Nottingham Does Comics (Tues, 19th Sept, 2017)
Last Tuesday Jay and I nipped over to Nottingham for an evening of comicky goodness. We headed to Nottingham Writer’s Studio for the bi-monthly meeting of Nottingham Does Comics, who kindly hosted us as guest speakers back in June.
This time around, the guests were Magoria Studios co-founders: writer William Starling and illustrator Adam Willis, and Drugs & Wires webcomic creator Cryoclaire (aka Mary Safro).
William and Adam talked about the steep learning curve of jumping into comic creation and setting up Magoria Studios as a comics publisher. They had initially planned on working on a wide-ranging mythological based graphic novel series, but soon realised that it would be best to put out a few short one-shot comics first. Their first publication was a short comic called Filigree.
They’ve been doing lots of work behind the scenes to establish themselves as a business, looking at distribution routes and mentoring new creators. They are hoping to have lots more comics out soon, starting with the younger reader aimed Drones.
Cryoclaire has been publishing her webcomic Drugs & Wires for two years and has gained a loyal following for this alternative past cyberpunk tale. She talked about how the comic came into existence due to posting sketches of the characters and setting online – this led to people asking when she’d be doing a webcomic. On admitting that she wasn’t a writer as such, one of her online friends suggested that they work on the storylines/writing together and she gained her writer Io Black. The two live in different countries and mainly work via online chat and skype.
We picked up the first two printed issues of the comic on the night and the third issue at Thought Bubble a few days later (as we are terrible at reading comics online and prefer good ole dead tree). Highly recommended and if you’re not luddites like us you can read all the story so far online.
There were lots of questions for the speakers and then a chance to natter to other attendees, and it was all highly enjoyable.
We’re hoping to make it to the next meeting on Tuesday 14th November & you should to, as they have an excellent line-up in the form of Corinne Pearlman, Jade Sarson & Sally Jane Thompson.
Before the NDC meeting, we also popped into Five Leaves Bookshop for a meeting with my editor and publishers at Five Leaves Publishing. Five Leaves are a radical, literary and political small independent press who have been publishing books since 1996 and running Five Leaves Bookshop since 2013.
One of their latest initiatives is Five Leaves Graphic – an imprint for comics, graphic novels and related books. Their first publication was East of Aleppo – Bread, Bombs and Video Clips, by Brick.
I’m working on a book for them about my own personal journey researching the history of women working in British comics. I’m aiming to give an overview of the many women that have contributed to the industry from the 1860s to the present day. It won’t be comprehensive, as I’ll be concentrating on the stories that interest or resonate with me, but I hope it will showcase the largely ignored history of women in comics. The writers, artists, editors, publishers, letterers, colourists, designers, art editors etc…
Our visit to Thought Bubble at the weekend proved once again that there can be no denying the huge talent pool of women currently working in comics in the UK!
Provisional publication date: June 2018.