Laydeez Do Comics: Monday 18 May 2015, London

My name is Kim Clements and I am relatively new to Laydeez Do Comics. I like to draw and eat chocolate raisins and you can find out more about me here!

Nicola Streeten and Sarah Lightman led the talks and began with some brief comic updates, including that Laydeez will be moving from Foyles in the coming future, so look out for new venues!

sarah and nicola laydeez

Sarah Lightman and Nicola Streeten

The question ‘what have you learnt through social media this week?’ was then directed at the audience for some light hearted introductions. That video of a bear being scared by people and Orvil the Duck, were notable highlights.

laydeez intro

Rebecca Fox

Rebecca Fox was the first speaker and she opened her inspirational talk at Laydeez with advice from Ira Glass, (the producer of This American Life), to keep on making bad art, as ‘through practice and experience you will meet your expectations’.

The accomplished painter and graphic novelist spoke to us about psychology and the subconscious, her link with literature, notably The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkin Gilman, and her wonderful encounters with travel, religion and creating emotive stories.

Rebecca’s strong belief in the form of the graphic novel and how it can ‘go beyond fiction’ was reaffirming. A lover of people and ideas, with a degree in post-colonial literature and a history of punk inspired methodologies, Rebecca could back up her points expertly. I really enjoyed hearing her talk and will be looking out for her new Epiphany Series when it is published in the coming year!

Find out more about Rebecca- here!

rebecca foxTilly, Ben and Del the Piggy

Next was an upbeat trio, who like Rebecca Fox had something to say about mental health and using comics to boost awareness. I found Tilly Hughes really uplifting and funny whilst able to strike home about big topics such as tackling autism as an adult, and being independent in-spite of society’s constrictions and ideals.

Ben Connors shared a different side, speaking about comics from an art-school perspective (or as he suggested ‘art-school spectrum’) and spoke of his love of performance and creating comics with Tilly. They complemented each other in a great way throughout the talk and shared projects such as their work with Heart n Soul, a music and comics platform, as well as Snizz Comics.

tilly and del and ben

Apologies for misspelling ‘Piggy’ as ‘Piggie’. I got a bit carried away with myself!

tilly

You can find out more about Tilly, Del and Ben by visiting Ben’s blog here!

Anita O’Brien

Last was Anita O’Brien curator and director of The Cartoon Museum  London. A great speaker, Anita was enchanting and very enthusiastic (I managed to draw her a lot as a result of this), and had come to tell us about how the museum works, what it is like to be a part of it and what they have in their collection.

O’Brien also touched upon the Charlie Hedbo tragedy and how she tackled the aftermath of this high calibre media issue with dignity and strength. The power of the subconscious was therefore again very prominent, alongside the clear fact that the pen is still very much potent weapon, and Anita O’Brien was not afraid to talk about this or to give us her viewpoint.

anita o brien laydeez

I really enjoyed hearing about Anita’s particular loves, including a glorious tale involving Ralph Steadman and poor postage, and her individual insight into the comics/graphic novel scene.

It was also great to hear about workshops that Laydeez Do Comics’ hardened regular Richy K.Chandler runs at the Cartoon Museum, helping introduce comics to a new audience.

anita o brien sketch

anita o brien 2

You can visit the Cartoon Museum website by clicking here! And about its ongoing workshops here!

Laydeez Do Comics: London, February 2015

Hi there! I’m Rowan Manning and I’m lucky enough to be the blogger for LDC London February 2015. I’m a developer by trade, I spend my week days making websites look pretty; but I love illustration and keep a regular diary comic which boosts my creativity. This is my fourth Laydeez, and it’s easily the most friendly and welcoming group of people I’ve found in London!

The question this month was: Have you had a “first experience” recently? The response was varied, though there was a definite focus on food. First kebab, first steak, first Nando’s, and first day having double fish and chips; the latter being something I definitely have to try! A less delicious-sounding first experience was “picking up a dog poo without a bag” – it put an end to my stomach rumblings.

Philippa Rice

The first speaker was Philippa Rice, I was really pleased when I found out she was speaking – I’ve been a fan for a little while. Also it was great to hear the story behind her latest book, Soppy (which you should definitely buy, it’s lovely).

Personally I was interested to hear that Soppy started life as rough daily sketches of Philippa’s life with her boyfriend. Most of my diary comics start in a similar way – as a doodle to help me remember what happened. The style of the finished book seems to take inspiration from Philippa’s hourly comic day drawings, which use cut-out elements similar to My Cardboard Life.

Philippa also spoke about her other work including My Cardboard Life, and comics like Recyclost. It was nice to hear about the transition from web comics to physical books, and the challenges this poses when your work isn’t in a standard format.

Carol Adlam

The next talk was by Carol Adlam, who spoke about The New Wipers Times. The original Wipers Times was a renowned trench magazine published by Nottingham’s Sherwood Foresters whilst fighting in World War I; it was a satirical look at the war, and managed to find irony and humour in some of the most dire situations imaginable.

The New Wipers Times is a graphic anthology which gives a glimpse into army life. It tries to retain the spirit of the original and commemorates the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War. Developed with the current army families based at Chetwynd Barracks in Nottingham, it was really interesting to hear some of their stories.

Sophie Herxheimer

I remember thinking at several points during Sophie’s talk: “How the hell am I going to document this on the blog!?”: The talk had a focus on “talking to ghosts” (life and death making up a lot of the subject matter), but it felt more like a wonderful rambling insight into the life of a very creative woman.

The first of Sophie’s projects mentioned was Hurricane Butter – a collection of poems and drawings acting as a memorial to her mother. It was lovely to listen to readings from the book, and to hear about a woman who’s obviously been a great inspiration to Sophie.

Another of the works that was spoken about in detail was an enormous table-cloth for Feast On The Bridge, where each place setting was screen-printed with another person’s food story; this was supposed to work as an ice-breaker before the meal. These stories were collected by Sophie, who spent 10–15 minutes talking to people and coaxing tales about food out of them.

Sophie covered many other interesting projects during her talk, I’d recommend exploring Sophie’s Website for a better idea of what she’s working on.

Laydeez Do Comics, April 2015, London

I am Peter Hindle, you can see my diary comics here http://petehindle.com/post/90149848764/i-didnt-even-know-bees-could-poop  I’m sure that, like me, you’ve often wondered what type of radio the presenters at Laydeez Do Comics would be and I thought I would be able to answer it in this short blog-post.

LDC-April-1

Laydeez Do Comics was introduced, as ever, by Nicola Streeten, but Sarah Lightman sadly couldn’t make it. This is sad, because Sarah bakes the cakes, which are excellent, but also because I had worked out what kind of radio would be: a Blaupunkt Bristol 27 car stereo. Compact, functional, and excellent typography.

blaupunkt Bristol

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First up tonight was the indie comics powerhouse, Elizabeth Querstret, who talked about finding her way into the comics community, why she makes the individual comics that she makes, and why creativity (and actually making things) is so important to her. Obviously, Querstret would be a Yaesu FT-60E, a portable handheld unit that can both receive and send ham radio communication.

yaesuLDC-April-3

Next was Nicola Streeten herself, who gave a fascinating talk about the history of feminist comics. This forms the basis of her PhD research, and she talked us through some of the forgotten and hidden gems of these politically important comics. In terms of radios, Nicola would be the groundbreaking Beolit 600, a radio designed so far ahead of it’s time it looks good next to an iPhone.

beolit600

Finally, Ian Williams came back to Laydeez Do Comics to tell us about his dual career as a comic book author and doctor, and how Laydeez Do Comics had been essential to helping him realise his comic-making ambition. He talked about his excellent new book The Bad Doctor out now with Myriad Editions.  He also talked about how graphic narratives are incredibly useful for explaining medicine in a way that reached out to a larger audience, and he explained the graphic medicine movement that he has been at the heart of. Ian is, of course, a Sony ICF-SW100, the famous Sony radio that is practical for international travel, useful in an emergency, and has the smooth clean lines famous of 1990s Japanese design.

sony_icf-sw100 LDC-April-4

Finally, I’d like to give an honourable mention to Keara and Wallis, who’ve been so patient with me (and such excellent behind-the-scenes organisers). If they were turned into radios, they would be a matched pair of Regency TR-1’s, the shirt-pocket transistor that made it fun to listen to radios everwhere.

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