Women Humourists at Gosh Comics 22 August 2016

 

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Hi there! It’s Lana Le here, and I’m chuffed that Rachael Ball asked me to be Laydeez Do Comics’ guest blogger for August 22’s meeting at Gosh Comics. (Though I may have hinted a bit when I doodled the previous speakers and posted their faces + quips on my online sketchbook.)

Last week’s speakers : Cath Tate, Angela Martin, and The Surreal McCoy are all women cartoonists who use humour to comment on social issues, politics or current affairs. “I saw humour as a weapon.” said Angela Martin, describing cartooning as perfect for someone like herself, who likes to draw and is opinionated, but is too scared to be a stand-up comedienne.angela_martinAngela had studied textile design, but was inspired by a Claire Bretécher cartoon, in the Sunday Times Magazine about what women do on Sundays, to write her dissertation on women cartoonists. This led to creating her own cartoons, which were later produced as cards by Cath Tate and Leeds Cards.

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Cath Tate’s postcards began as mini protest posters against nuclear weapons and anti-homosexuality clauses. Originally Cath used photo montage, a technique she learned from Peter Kennard, and sold her postcards at alternative bookshops. She didn’t shy away from politically-charged topics such as reproductive rights or equality for women in the workplace. cath-tate_2bcath-tate_3bcath-tate_4b

Cath later expanded to calendars, Christmas cards, and a series of Fanny comics, a collaboration with Carol Bennett. Today Cath Tate Cards are greeting cards instead of postcards and are sold online and in bookstores.cath_tateThe Surreal McCoy (TSM) introduced herself by adding “You can call me ‘The.’” A self-proclaimed “gag artist”, TSM (I never learn her real name) tells us that it’s essential to know a little about a lot to be funny.

the_surreal_mccoyTSM, actually a musician who became an “accidental cartoonist” when she doodled while travelling on tour busses and it led to a second career when they started getting published in magazines and newspapers such as The New Yorker and Sunday Times. “I wish I could’ve chosen a more sensible second career like accounting.”the_surreal_mccoy_2

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Catch The Surreal McCoy doodling in public at The 1066 Country Cartoon Festival in Hastings on 16 October.

Perhaps see Angela Martin directing a theatre festival (her current focus).

Next year, see more of all of their work in Cath Tate’s passion project at the Cartoon Trust — an exhibition showcasing the work of women cartoonists from its beginning to the present. We can’t wait for another excuse to celebrate Laydeez Do Comics.

 

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Laydeez Do Comics: Saturday 27th June, Hebden Bridge

My name is Eleanor Hollindrake and I am an artist from Bradford. I am fairly new to the world of writing and drawing comics but I am currently working on a couple of quirky all ages’ books involving plenty of fun and dragons. I have a Tumblr where I blog some of the things that I draw and I will be at the Thought Bubble convention at The Royal Armoires in Leeds this November,  so if you are there please stop by and say, hi.

projects_0002 - Copy - Copy (2) The Leeds meeting for June actually took place in Hebden Bridge as part of the Hebden Bridge Art Festival. Louise Crosby introduced the evening and as there were a lot of new people at the meeting she started with a quick introduction to more autobiographical comics.

projects_0002 - Copy - Copy (3)The first speaker was Jacky Fleming who is a feminist cartoonist known for her postcards and comic strips. She talked about feminism, and how she attempts to make it accessible through simplistic and humours drawings, which draw on people’s collective experiences. We were treated to some of her later political cartoons, which were more about politics in general, and a glimpse at a new project about science, inspired by viewing may documentaries about the “great men of history” and wondering where all the women where.

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Second was Kate Charlesworth who talked us through the process of making her new graphic novel, Sally Heathcote: Suffragette, which she worked on with Mary and Bryan Talbot. Her talk fused on the artistic process from Bryan Talbot’s layouts, to sketches, through to the finished watercolour pages. Many things inspired the look of the characters and the portrayal of the suffragette movement, both from historical research, as well as their portrayal in TV dramas and other media. She talked briefly about the use of colour, how the colure builds as you progress though the book and also how important it was for Sally’s character to be recognisable on every page and so has red hair.

She finished with a short overview of how she originally became involved in comics and cartooning through the LGBT press, drawing and writing about things she believed needed to be written about. It was an interesting look at comics tackling topics which were not talked about in the general press.

London, 15 June 2015

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Candy Guard Illustrator, animator and comics artist  http://candyguard.co.uk

Sharon Morris (UCL) Professor of Fine Art at Slade, UCL, Poet and Artist http://www.ucl.ac.uk/slade/people/academic/profile/SMMOR81

Kiriko Kubo Cartoonist http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_fb_0_16?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=cynical+hysterie+hour&sprefix=Cynical+Hysterie%2Cstripbooks%2C144

Elizabeth Querstret Comics artist http://www.querstret.co.uk

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Laydeez do comics: London December 2014

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Created by: Evie Fridel Illustrator www.eviefridel.com blog: http://fridels.tumblr.com/

Guests:
Will Brooker  
writer and academic, Professor of film and cultural studies, Kingston University, http://fass.kingston.ac.uk/faculty/staff/cv.php?staffnum=354

co-creator of My so called secret identity http://mysocalledsecretidentity.com

Chris Geary comics artist, illustrator and designer http://www.chrisgearyonline.com

Elena Vitagliano and Asia Alfasi comics artists talking about their collaborative project http://cargocollective.com/elenavitagliano

http://asiaalfasiart.com

Laydeez do Comics Leeds, November 17th by James Norris

I am James Norris, I am an artist and there is some information about me at the end of the post. I was invited to blog for the Laydeez do Comics Leeds meeting on Monday 17th November that boasted talks by Rikke Hollænder, Miss Heather and Lizzie Boyle. Each of these talks were delightful in their own way, starting with Rikke http://cheesopath.blogspot.com/  who gave a funny insight into the making of her new graphic novel Travels With Albert. She remarked that her brother had had the idea and she got the work load. Interestingly she is currently undertaking a forestry degree.

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Lizzie Boyle  www.disconnectedpress.co.uk then discussed her new compilation graphic novel CROSS which she described as a politicized novel but ‘in a British way’. She divulged her passions for helping young artists make their work as she believes, as do I, that graphic novels (I would just say art) can change the world. She also led an interesting thought to questioning the gender qualities of content. Like many, she has recognised the poor writing of female characters in works of fiction, with the idea of a “strong female character” being a personal bugbear of hers. This reminds me of the Bechdel scale, a term coined by Alison Bechdel.

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Finally Miss Heather www.missheather.co.uk gave a heart-warmingly shrewd talk on comics for young females. She marked that she, as a child and indeed now, would like to see a person in a graphic novel that represented her. She amusingly remarked that most commercial magazines for girls seem to simply make something pink then tape a lip-gloss to it – well done, now it’s for girls. Miss Heather called for more work for girls, girls that look like her and talk about things that she is interested in! Her talk complimenting Lizzie’s towards a more empowered female impression on the graphic novel industry which I support wholeheartedly.

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Whilst brief, I hope you can enjoy this write up on my experience (of my second Laydeez meeting) which was as dynamic and exciting as their clothes were colourful!

Written By James Norris.

James Norris is currently working through his first graphic novel ‘A Mother’s Trace’ that uses his childhood experiences and the suicide of his mother. It is an autobiographic graphic novel that aims to unpick a devastating mess and attempt to understand such an all encompassing void that suicide leaves behind, underpinned (hopefully) with humour and an academic outlook.

If you would like to see the first chapter (part one and two) of his book ‘A Mother’s Trace’ then please see his tumblr account here: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/a-mothers-trace

Alternatively you may wish to read an article written about James and his new book here: http://www.oneandother.com/features/211-a-mother-s-trace-james-norris

If you have any questions or comments to pass onto James please feel free to message him on the tumblr account or his twitter account @amotherstrace

Thanks!