laydeez do comics evening

Last night I went along to Brick Lane for the monthly meeting of Laydeez Do Comics. I went partly to hear the talks, but partly to see my friend Darryl Cunningham, who lives way up in Keighley in Yorkshire, so any visit to London is a big deal.

Bloomsbury in the USA had just sent him some author copies of the American version of his book Psychiatric Tales, which comes out next month (but is already unofficially hitting the shelves), and he gave me a copy! And then I was super chuffed to find my name in it! Yay! Thanks, Darryl!


New introduction to the American edition of Psychiatric Tales

I did a few rough doodles in my notebook during the talks:

The presentations covered a lot of ground in comics and social history, but I’ll post a few links the speakers mentioned. Corinne Pearlman flagged Myriad Editions’ First Graphic Novel Competition, a chance to publish a book with them, with a £10 entry fee and final date of 1 Oct 2011.
Ed Hillyer (aka Ilya) talked about being sent to Indonesia by the British Council to meet with other comic artists and come up with a app-friendly comic based on a deteriorating painted mural at the Jakarta History Museum. (You can see some British Council Flickr photos here.)
Dr Julia Round promoted the Studies in Comics Journal and encouraged people to submit comics and academic paper to its future publications.
And my favourite bit was when the lights went on, the Powerpoint went off, and Erica Smith, creator and editor of Girl Frenzy got out her collection of old comics and zines:



Erica Smith

Erica linked a lot of things to punk feminist movement Riot Grrrl, which I feel I ought to know way more about, since it was based in my part of the world, but I was very young then and Riot Grrrl wasn’t exactly a household name among the suburban, makeup-wearing, Republican-voting mothers of the kids in my school. We had a good discussion about the place and significance of self-published zines, and if blogs have taken over from them. I loved seeing the period typefaces and old-tech printing techniques. People in the audience suggested that most zines ten years ago were about music and bands, and MySpace had been doing the job that zines had done previously. But with current obsession with all things retro, and lower printing costs, zines have made a big comeback, with events such as the Alternative Press Fair (where I ran my first-ever comics stall; more photos and write-up from David O’Connell) and London Zine Symposium.

The other great thing about Laydeez Do Comics is getting to see all the people I vaguely know from the Internet as being potentially lovely people, but are much more comfortable chatting with when I’ve met them in real life. I’ve run into quite a few Camberwell students who took the the same course as me (MA Illustration) in the year after I’d graduated (including Jane Heinrichs). Here’s Katrin L Salyers, who drew the funny picture of Hayley Campbell and me as kids (I blogged about it earlier here and Hayley gives it a mention in her blog post about the Brisbane floods).


Katrin L Salyers and her scanned drawing of Hayley and me

Thanks again to Sarah Lightman and Nicola Streeten for organising the evening! Read a Comics Bureau interview with Nicola about Laydeez Do Comics and her work here.

Edit: You can read the official event write-up by Thomas Ferrier over on the Laydeez Do Comics blog here.

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