Laydeez Do Comics, April 2015, London

I am Peter Hindle, you can see my diary comics here  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.


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


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.


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.


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.


Laydeez do comics are 5

I am Simone Lia. I am a comics artist and illustrator and the author of Fluffy and Please God Find Me a Husband! Both published by Jonathan Cape. You can find out more about me and my work from my website and blog I was invited to be the guest blogger for the big birthday…

What better to place to celebrate the Laydeez Do Comics 5th birthday than in the brand new swanky flagship Foyles store. I oohed and ahhed upon entering the building in the welcoming environment with its wide staircases and open spaces that allow you to read books in an informal and buzzy setting.

Taking the lift up to the 6th floor I was surprised when Guardian journalist Laurie Penny stepped in. I think it was her. She’s quite famous for being a feminist and having lots of opinions.  I didn’t want to gawp but from my peripheral vision I could see that she was standing right in my face looking at me. A bit intense.  I thought perhaps this was a method that famous people use to intimidate normal people.

Laurie Penny1

In the end it turned out that I was facing the wrong direction in the lift and was blocking the door. Classic lift faux pas.

The events room on the top floor is extremely slick and modern.  It wouldn’t have been a surprise if the evening had kicked off with Sarah and Nicola arriving on the stage on rising podiums in a fog of dry ice. They didn’t do that but instead emphasized the essence of what Laydeez Do Comics is about. And that is a place where the audience matters, everyone feels connected and a community is created.  Thanks to Nicola and Sarah; Laydeez is a welcoming forum for inspiration, creativity, sharing and learning.

Nicola made a rousing and inspirational speech that acknowledged the humble beginnings in 2009 in a place with a leaky roof.

Nicola, opening speech

Personally, I remember it as a cold, concrete floored room on Brick Lane, with rain filled buckets and dirty faced children, wearing rags who sang about pick-pocketing techniques and Nicola singing, I dreamed a dream.  At least I think that’s what I remember…

Laydeez has kept it’s integrity of connectivity and has flourished, impressively growing in numbers with branches throughout the UK and Internationally. Look at how many places it’s popped up at!


Tonight was a celebration of this and bringing together some of the organisers that run Laydeez here and abroad.  Before the speakers spoke we viewed Sarah’s epic home made birthday cake.  It would be the last of those cakes. From now on it’s going to be Foyle’s fodder.


Anna Brewer artist and the Glasgow Laydeez organiser, was the first speaker. Anna is from London, she lives in Glasgow and was in the States for 25 years. Through her work she explores areas that she lives and does very unusual and playful research as to what kind place it is that she’s living in.  She finds out the kind of chickens that live there and what kind of farming machinery is used.  Through making artwork she is able to connect and share her experiences with others and convey her own emotional experiences.

Anna Brewer

I loved Anna’s unusual outlook and the way that she, for example can compare combine harvesters to a line of chorus girls. You can see her sensitive and beautiful drawings here and more drawing here.  What resonated was Anna’s drawings of a little frog who sometimes, she describes, is a devil frog who voices what is going on in her head.  The inner critic.  I used to try and ignore him but now I let him say everything and it takes away his power. 

Anna makes artwork for her HP who, like a loving parent appreciates and values what she does.  At first I thought HP stood for Hewlett Packard.  Perhaps it was time for me to switch printer brand?  Epson just doesn’t do that kind of empathy.  But then Anna explained that HP stands for Higher Power.  My thoughts were that her work then not only becomes a gift to her HP but also a gift to the audience. It did feel like that upon viewing. Thanks Anna!

Next up was a slide presentation about the F Word project from Maureen Burdock, presented by Sarah and Nicola. Maureen Burdock runs Laydeez do Comics in San Fransisco. To see more of her work about and the F Word Project take a peak here

Louise Crosby who runs Leeds Laydeez do comics was next up to show us her work.  I had a massive blog fail at this point as I decided to draw in my sketchbook without taking notes/photos and listen properly on the recorder afterwards.  My recorder didn’t work and this drawing is horrible (!)

Louise Crosby

It was a great presentation, Louise talked about her work and accidental start into comics from her print making background and her new arts council funded project Seeing Poetry.  Louise has been illustrating the poems of Clare Shaw.  What struck me whilst listening and making awful drawings in my sketchbook, was the sensitivity that Louise brings to the relationship of image and poetry, particularly, I felt, honouring the silent and unspoken words of the poem.  You can see Louise’s seeing poetry website here.

We watched a video interview between MK Comic Nurse and Nicola. Comic nurse runs the Chicago Laydeez.  MK is a nurse, a comic artist, illustrator, photographer and she talks a lot about comics. You can see that video here.

Paula Knight, who runs Bristol Laydeez do Comics talked about her upcoming book The Facts of Life, that will be published by Myriad Editions.

Paula Knight

Paula had been to a comics convention in Bristol in the mid-naughties.  She’d felt too female and too old but had found that there were similar people at Laydeez.  Old? Nicola asked. Everyone laughed heartily.  Paula found more than she identified with the type and content of work being made and shown at Laydeez do Comics.

Paula’s artwork is engaging, accessible and brave. She’s widely been exploring themes of fertility particularly with her own, in her artwork.  She showed us some drawing that she’s been making for The Facts of Life. Rather cleverly Paula made spin off comics to take to conventions, this got her involved in the event and she received feedback for the longer form of her work. She is very brave, I think, exposing such personal subject matter to a broad and potentially undiscerning audience. “I received interesting feedback” she said one man pointed at the artwork, pulled a face and ran away.” Another woman read through the whole book and pulled disgusted faces through out. Paula thinks she might have been offended but I wonder if that was the case, there was clearly something about the quality of the artwork that compelled the lady to read straight through.

Sarah Lightman, co-founder of Laydeez do Comics, artist, and curator is researching a PhD in comics at the University of Glasgow in autobiographical comics; “The Drawn Wound, Hurting and Healing”. She is also a new mother to Harry.

Sarah showed artwork from The Book of Sarah, her memoir that will be published by Myriad Editions in 2015.  It’s the unwritten book of the bible, “there is a book of Daniel, and there is a book of Esther, but not of Sarah,she says commenting that her siblings have the same names and she is the youngest child, wants what the others have. In her work Sarah draws parallels between herself, late(ish) motherhood and baking. Her biblical namesake and her book will intertwine the two characters, contemporizing and positioning her Sarah in the centre.

Sarah also talked about her touring exhibition of autobiographical artists –Graphic Details coming to London this September that will be showing work from artists that that you might not know of. Sarah’s desire is to change the culture so that as artists we are referencing each others work in talks and the papers that we write, and in doing so creating an art history that hasn’t been written yet.  She has a solo show in America September and October.  Last year Sarah was working on the Graphic Details, Jewish Womens Confessional Comics in Essays and interviews, published by McFarland later this year. Sarah is doing this to fill the spaces in the libraries with voices that have never been recorded before.

Maura McHugh (Splinster) Laydeez organiser from Dublin who was not there in person, had a powerpoint presentation. She has a life long interest in sci-fi and horror fiction and is among many other things, the co-writer of Witchfinder which is a five issue mini series published by Dark Horse Comics.  Maura says “horror has been good to me”. You can see Maura’s work here.

Finally we had the other co-founder of Laydeez do Comics, Nicola Streeten.

Nicola asked the question in 2008 – where are all the women in comics?  This is the issue that bonded her with Sarah Lightman and prompted them to start up LDC.   Nicola talked about her latest work which is a commission from The Collection Gallery in Lincoln.  They asked her to work with people who wouldn’t usually visit a gallery and Nicola chose to work with offenders in HM Lincoln prison. Working with other peoples’ stories rather than her own narrative brought about new writing challenges.

Paula had touched on this subject earlier. She’d been working with the transcript of a cancer patient for a research project called The Phoenix Project.  The man was suffering erectile dysfunction due to the treatment that he was receiving – having not met or spoken to the man, Paula’s question was whether she had pitched her sense of humour at the right level. Whether she was being sensitive to his story.

Nicola had a different set of difficulties of a more practical nature.  She’d planned to work with the children who were visiting their fathers. Everything was set up but she found that it was difficult for the children to participate. It was partly the age difference of the children (from 1 to 12) but mostly it was because the children had come to visit their Dads. Nicola had to adapt her approach and the angle that she was coming from, and was invited instead to work directly with a small group of offenders.

As part of Nicola’s PhD research she is setting up Graphic Cultures. It’s a website that will be a platform for comics works that engage with social and political issues. It’s being launched  with Dr Nina Burrowes, who has created a free comics book online telling stories of people who have experienced domestic violence and rape.

The evening was concluded with some chit chat and then being booted out by Foyles staff. It was a brilliant craic, a proper celebration. I came away feeling very inspired and impressed by the artwork that I’d seen and was really impressed at the bold, yet humble vision of Sarah and Nicola.  They have succeeded in executing with confidence and excellence bringing people together and giving those who might be on the fringes, or unnoticed –  a voice and a platform.

So from everyone who has experienced Laydeez do Comics and been inspired or made friendships or been helped in any way,  a massive thank you!  Thanks to Sarah and Nicola and all the Laydeez do Comics organisers. Thank you for all of the hard work that you’ve put in.  We very much appreciate it.

LEEDS Inaugural Laydeez do comics, November 2012

Hello there! This is Emily S Rabone blogging for the first EVER Laydeez do Comics Leeds. There is a little bit about me at the end for those interested… (oh the suspense!)

As we travel back in time to Monday 26th November 2012, back when we were busy dreading the Mayan apocalypse, we have a great crowd gathering at the Wharf Chambers for the premiere of ‘Laydeez do Comics Leeds’. The evening’s speakers are Nicola Streeten, Steve Tillotson, and Griselda Pollock. 
Before the talks begin, there is a special Laydeez do Comics ice-breaker. We introduce ourselves by giving our name, what we do, what we’d like for the holiday season, and who we would like to see at future events. 
In Laydeez do Comics, women are asked to give their full names. This is based on the observation that while men often give their full names, women shy away by giving their first names only. An audience member raised the point that this method of trying to overcome gender inequality seemed in itself a form of discrimination based on sex. Here lies the dilemma faced much too often: ‘Is identifying the socially vulnerable marginalising them further?’ I opted for the full name introduction to stand my ground. (having a common name like Emily was an additional factor) 

The introduction also gave the group the opportunity to review our holiday presents list. There were some very interesting suggestions…

And who did we want to see at future Laydeez do Comics events? There were democratic responses such as  ‘everyone’ and ‘interesting people’, and there were practical responses such as ‘publishers’. And there were also specific, named requests… Simone Lea, Alison Bechdel, Kate Beaton, Posy Simmonds, Lynda Barry… We are looking forward to seeing you in Leeds!
In the meantime, please enjoy the reports from our November meeting. A huge thank you to the first guests of Laydeez do Comics Leeds.

As promised, here is a little bit about myself:
My name is Emily S Rabone, a self-proclaimed writer, comic artist, photographer, and cultural icon (entirely self-proclaimed). I recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Philosophy of Religion from the University of Leeds, and I am now looking for a job. I have been involved with Comics Forum since 2010, which is an academic conference on comics held in Leeds every year. I do not have a website YET, but am working to get one set up. Thank you Helen Iball, Louise Crosby and everyone at Laydeez do Comics for trusting me with the first blog entry for Leeds. 

Laydeez do comics BRISTOL August 2012

I am Nick Soucek, a comics artist and I was the guest blogger for the Bristol Laydeez do comics which took place in August at Kino Cafe in Bristol. Here is what happened…
The guest speakers were: Paula Knight, Nicola Streeten, Sarah Lightman, Andrew Godfrey and Emma Mould, Simon Moreton and Katie Green.

July 2012: Laydeez do Toronto!

JULY 25, 2012
A visual report by MK Czerwiec and Mita Mahato.

The Arts & Letters Club of Toronto served as a wonderful venue for the event.

After opening social time, Nicola called the room to order with the club gong.

Past-President and historian of the Arts & Letters Club of Toronto, Margaret McBurney, welcomed us to the venue. She stated that though the club had been founded in 1908, women were not granted admission until 1985.

After an audience introduction exercise, in which those in attendance told a cab story or a family secret signal story, ROSALIND PENFOLD presented her work on Dragonslippers: This is What an Abusive Relationship Looks Like.  She had an apron hanging from her waist.  By the end of her talk, it was draped on her shoulders, superhero cape style!

LESLEY FAIRFIELD spoke next about her book, Tyranny, which is a memoir of her long struggle with an eating disorder. “I wanted to make the kind of book I wish I’d had” she said.

NICOLA STREETEN spoke about her varied career as an illustrator, which included the creation of her graphic memoir, Billy, Me, & You. “Take risks and maintain integrity,” she said.

Before hearing from the remaining speakers, we had a social break with delicious cake.
When we reconvened, SARAH LIGHTMAN presented her work, opening by telling us that “Intellectual analysis and empathy are not an either/or thing.” She showed two short animations she had created.
SANDRA BELL-LUNDY then told humorous stories surrounding the syndication of her strip, Between Friends.  She talked through a number of episodes from the strip and had the audience in stitches.
Closing out the evening, NATALIE PENDERGAST, a graduate student at the University of Toronto, shared work from her dissertation.  She is studying comics that feature women’s coming-of-age stories and representations of virginity loss.

Many distinguished comics lovers were in attendance at the event. One of them was reporter Cinders McCleod. She created and promoted this special Laydeez-inspired article in the August 11th Toronto Globe & Mail. 
Yay Cinders!

Thanks, Laydeez for an absolutely unforgettable evening.

December Laydeez do Comics

Hi there Laydeez.
I’m Jade Sarson, an illustrator and comic creator based in Milton Keynes. I recently graduated from the University of Lincoln with a first class honours degree in Illustration, and am currently one of six comic interns at the londonprintstudio (if you went to last months meeting you may have met Shamisa, one of the other interns). I am currently working on developing my first graphic novel alongside the internship, and also frequently update my webcomic Cafe Suada, both of which you can find out more about on my website:
So yup, I’ll be your guide to what happened at this month’s festive meeting.
The evening began with the usual game of introducing yourself and answering a question, this months being “What was your best/worst Christmas present?” There were a lot of interesting answers, including Sarah Lightman’s hilarious cop out of “I’m Jewish, we don’t DO Christmas”, but I think my favourite was the person who declared socks the best gift ever to give or receive. I have to agree, socks are awesome!

Then Rachel Abrams was up. Rachel told us a bit about her illustration work for Turnstone, projects for big mega corporations which have influenced the way she approaches her personal projects. She also explained who her artistic influences are, from Asterix comics to Spiegelmann, as well as cartoons by Matt Groening and projects by RSA Animate. Rachel was humble about her work for large corporations and said that they were nothing in comparison to pitching about her personal projects, which is far scarier because they are just that: they’re PERSONAL.

Her current project is very engaging… she used the phrase “I’ve got this friend who…” to sum up the premise. This new comic of hers aims to take all the tales Rachel has heard about a certain subject and tackle them in an ambivalent way. And the subject?
Female fertility.
Rachel has observed that women everywhere feel a natural unhappiness regarding their own fertility. Society pressures them to have children and lots of women are turning to modern science to solve their problems. IVF treatment and egg freezing procedures are becoming far more commonplace these days, and this is a subject that Rachel is determined to try to explain and question in her new comic project.

However, what was interesting about her talk was that she was very keen to ask the Laydeez about her target market… she was keen to identify who the comic was for, very specifically, so that she could have them in mind when creating the comic. “Is it for young women? Will boyfriends read it? Should I pitch it to drug companies?” she asked us.

The Laydeez piped up at this point. Several attendees were very adamant that this project, though on the fence about the delicate subject matter, is something personal to Rachel, and therefore SHE is the audience. She should write and draw it for herself. Personal projects are done for that exact reason. And the conclusive point made was that by isolating her feelings in this comic, Rachel will in fact draw in MORE readers. I am certainly looking forward to seeing where she takes the project from here, especially after seeing a sample panel which compared female fertility to the fearsome power of a nuclear bomb.

Next up was Sarah Lightman, one of the organisers behind Laydeez Do Comics (the other being Nicola Streeten, who also spoke at the meeting this month). Sarah started by showing us a self portrait that she drew at 15, and explained that from a young age she has been unashamed of being honest about herself, and didn’t beautify herself in any drawings, which I thought was brilliant. Confidence to draw people as-is and see the value in that is amazing, in my opinion. But anyway. Sarah moved on to tell us about her ongoing project, the “Book of Sarah”, which is a comic visually based on Jewish religious texts (her religion has always been an important part of her life). The Book of Sarah is not about religion, however, it is about Sarah’s experiences with finding herself, and expresses how she feels about finding a place in your family and your community. She went on to explain that through finding the comics community, she has found her place (something I and I’m sure many of the other listeners could empathise with). Following on from childhood, the Book of Sarah focuses on romantic interludes and the isolation caused by breakups. What I found most interesting about the book itself was that the narrative was told with a beautiful use of negative space. In the childhood chapters cut out clothing and bodies hint at who is missing or supposed to be somewhere, and in later chapters single objects are placed in a white space to force the reader to interpret the story behind each one. Sparse text is used to guide the reader’s interpretations though, as it is Sarah’s story and it wouldn’t do for the reader to interpret the objects too differently to the intent. I wonder when this fantastic conceptual book will be finished. I suppose only Sarah knows. In the meantime we can read her food diary comics and The Reluctant Bride, which use the same techniques crafted just as carefully (Sarah is, after all, from a Fine Art background, and so each drawing is very precise. She loves her graphite pencils, that’s for sure!)

Sarah finished by talking a little bit about her experience with curating exhibitions such as currently touring  Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women. She feels that it is very important that the history of comics should cover women too, and not just the leading male creators, so her exhibitions aim at exposing the world to female creators’ work and influencing academia – Sarah has spoken at several universities as part of the exhibition. Hopefully the message is being heard. That is, after all, what Laydeez Do Comics is all about.
There was a little break after Sarah’s talk to eat baked goodies and chat… I met Mike Medaglia (everyone had been congratulating him on his wedding that evening, there was a lot of clapping, haha!) and we talked a lot about webcomics and the Gosh!p meets, which I must go to in the future, they sound like a lot of fun. I also managed to grab Paul Gravett for a second (he moves fast!) to mention that myself and the comics interns will be attending Strip Turnhout on the 10th, an event Paul had mentioned that evening in the announcements.

After that quick break it was time for the third speaker of the evening to step up: Marcia Mihotich. Marcia is obsessed with grids! Hahaha. I think you had to be there, but suffice to say, Marcia really does like grids. She is a graphic designer and illustrator, and has designed for architects, animations, magazines, book covers and book illustrations (I believe she has either completed or is in the process of illustrating a book called “How to Stay Sane”), and also draws her own comics. Marcia showed us lots of great examples of her design work, and explained how she is very accustomed to using simple but effective techniques and framing. She uses grids to compose her comic page layouts, and uses techniques such as image layering for colour application and ‘the changing speechbubble’ to tell some very clever narratives. (To explain the changing speechbubble: Only the content of the speechbubble changes, the contents of each panel do not.)
Marcia then told us about how the birth of her son affected her life. “I spent so much time in the park” she remarked dryly. She used this to her advantage, however, creating beautiful graphic artwork of the park from many different perspectives, in different seasons and colours, using a layering technique to separate each aspect. She also made use of the time that her son was playing in the park to observe other people – the mums and their children. Whilst doing a lot of observational sketching she overheard plenty of hilarious life stories, and has made use of them in her comics. She explained a concept known as toxic chatter, which I found particularly fascinating: toxic chatter occurs when you are speaking about something mundane to someone and are putting on a polite façade – inside your head, you say mean, frustrated, irritated things until they go away, and this is what’s known as toxic chatter. I loved being able to finally call it something. I’m afraid this blogger is an avid toxic chatterer! Can’t help these things I suppose.
Aaaanyway. It was very entertaining to listen to Marcia, she is a naturally dark humoured, witty storyteller. She finished her talk with a sneak peak at her in-progress “SPY” comic, which everyone at Laydeez agreed made beautiful use of huge, black shadows and large areas of black inking, for dramatic effect. Cannot wait to see more of this comic, I hope she keeps it going alongside her design work! “I do it when I can, when I can find the time” she said. Well let’s hope she does.

Finally it was time for the other founder of Laydeez to step forward, Nicola Streeten! Nicola has been all over the media recently promoting her new graphic novel, Billy, Me & You, which she talked a lot about in the last speech of the evening. Nicola started drawing again after her son Billy died, starting from the bottom (illustrating greeting cards) and working her way up through the years to illustrating clever map advertisements for local businesses. She eventually moved to Lincolnshire, began printing a zine called Liquorice with help from her young daughter (which is still going) and signed up for a Masters course at the University of Lincoln. (Somehow Nicola navigated the labyrinthine illustration department there and found my degree show, which is how we met a few months back. Small world!)
Nicola then focused a lot on the development of Billy, Me & You over the course of several years, and gave us a privileged look at her notes and sketches she made while developing the story and illustrations. It was also during this time that she met Sarah Lightman. As both Nicola and Sarah have ties to the fine art community – they realised that they knew plenty of people from that community, and decided they wanted to meet more people from the comics community – and that, readers of this here blog, is how Laydeez Do Comics first began!
Nicola followed on from this very chronological talk with lots of design work for B,M&Y. She explained how her literature review (a stage in the creation of a new project where you pretty much look for every other work that is similar to yours, and is often an offputting stage for new creators!) was a great aid to her artistic development. She used techniques inspired by a lot of comics she had read, such as the emotional rendering of Barefoot Gen, in B,M&Y to great effect. Nicola also explained that the passage of time was an important aspect of the graphic novel, and she used photography sparingly to emphasise this. Toxic chatter rears its head again this evening, oddly enough, as Nicola then goes on to analyse the misinterpretations of her own comic. The moments of awkward socialising depicted in the graphic novel, Nicola explains, are interpreted differently by different readers. For example, a panel where a friend moves Billy’s t-shirt out of the way and then metaphorically stabs Nicola and her husband, has also been interpreted as Nicola metaphorically stabbing the friend, which Nicola found odd, and the Laydeez attendees certainly found interesting.
To conclude the evening, Nicola mentioned some helpful information for other comics creators, which I took careful note of.
She mentioned Myriad Editions, publisher of Billy, Me & You, and how though they call themselves a small publisher, but it is not about size. It is important when you secure a publisher for your work that they have the right contacts for promoting your book, as Myriad have for Nicola. She has already been reviewed by several noted comics shops and newspapers, and was featured on Channel 4 news too. Lots of great press for the launch of the book, then, and something to bare in mind when looking for a publisher for your own project in the future.
And lastly, Nicola mentioned the key things to do when creating your own graphic novel (I was paying a lot of attention at this point, as it is rare that creators will flat out tell you what works and what doesn’t, so this was very good of Nicola for the Laydeez. I’ll elaborate a little on the points she made).
When creating your own graphic novel:
Its important to look at what’s already out there, and identify where your work will fit into the market
Yup, it sounds silly but really. It’s important. The more informed you are, the better your comics will be. Once you’ve identified your genre within the field, try to work out why there are some works that you don’t find quite so great. 
Nicola showed us messy scrawlings which laid out her story, and I myself take up pages and pages to scribble out my narratives. It’s good practise to separate your narrative into the sections or chapters, and then work on the design from there.
Sure, at the end of the day lots of us prefer shutting ourselves away to get final work done, but when you’re developing your comics it is important to get feedback! How can you know it’s any good if you are the only one judging your work? And to reinforce my point earlier, getting out and away from your usual workspace will inform and educate you, and the more informed you are, the more interesting and fun your comics will be to read.
And that’s pretty much it! How educational.
I had a great time at this month’s meeting, and learnt a lot. I hope you enjoyed reading about it all! Good luck to Nicola and Sarah with the next Laydeez Do Comics meeting, which will be on Monday 16 Jan – the first one in 2012! And thanks again to Nicola for giving me the role of guest blogger this month, it was fun.
~Jade Sarson