Observer/Cape/Comica graphic short story contest – 2015 round-up

banner image by MyfanwyTristramAs usual, I’m attempting to gather as many links as possible to entries for the Observer/Cape/Comica graphic short story contest. Apparently there were 200 of them this year. The Observer’s Rachel Cooke says: The standard was the highest it has ever been, and by some distance.

So much work goes into these, even those that are not placed that it feels like a good thing to compile them all in one place. So:

And the shortlisted finalists were (linked where I could find the strip):

The rest

This is a short list (literally short, not a ‘shortlist’) at the moment, but hopefully it will grow as I compile my usual list of links to every entry I can find.

Do let me know if yours is online anywhere, and I’ll be happy to add it to the list.

MOAR comics

While you’re waiting for more strips (do keep checking back), why not look at previous years’ entries?

 

My entry for the Cape/Comica/Observer graphic short story competition, 2015

It’s that time of the year again, when the shortlisted artists for the Observer/Cape/Comica graphic short story prize will have been notified.

Once again, my email inbox is inexplicably empty (INORITE, some mistake surely), so I’m sure it’s fine to share my entry now. 

As in previous years, I’ll be collecting any others I can find and linking to them in a big round-up post, although, gotta say, I’ve barely seen any mention from other entrants yet. Hopefully everyone else is just waiting like I was, and will start putting them online soon. If you’ve done so, let me know!

Meanwhile, please enjoy “Whatever Works”. As usual, you can click each image to see it more clearly.

Whatever Works by Myfanwy Tristram P1 lowres

Whatever Works by Myfanwy Tristram P2 lowres

Whatever Works by Myfanwy Tristram P3 lowres

Whatever Works by Myfanwy Tristram P4 lowres

Fly Across London

by Myfanwy Tristram

Fly Across London by Myfanwy Tristram

I’m not normally the type to squeak deadlines – you might have noticed that I had my Cape/Comica/Observer entry in weeks before the closing date. And then what happened? I started talking to friends about how little chance I felt I had of winning, and one of them suggested hedging my bets a bit by entering a strip into the Thought Bubble Comic Art Competition.

Well, that deadline was only a few weeks away (it’s still open! Enter!), but it only involved submitting a single page, and I managed that. And THEN the same pesky friend said that since I had turned that around so quickly, maybe I should submit something to the AOI Prize for Illustration*. The deadline was something like 10 days away at that point – 10 days which included a weekend we had booked away for a family reunion.

Anyone sane would probably have shrugged and said, oh well, maybe next year then, but it appears that  a) I’m very suggestible, and b) I find it hard to turn down a competition.

It’s not even as if I sprang into action right away, either. No, I spent a while casting round for inspiration. The competition has the theme “London Places and Spaces”, and goes into some detail about the requirements, which include the fact that you must at least nod to a form of London transport. Eventually I landed on the idea of all the backs of houses and gardens you see from the Overground train windows, which always grasp my attention as the train trundles through the suburbs. You get just enough of a glimpse to imagine yourself down there, bouncing on a trampoline or picking flowers from the pristine beds, lying on a garden bench or picking up toddlers’ toys.

Once I’d played around a bit with composition I suddenly thought, of course! The theme lends itself very well to the collage form I’ve used before… but would I have time to do something quite so intricate? Well, now I know the answer.

As a rough estimate, it took about twenty hours’ work, mostly crammed into the time between finishing the day job, and going to bed when I reached exhaustion (which actually isn’t that late for me! I wake early for the school run, so by 11 or 12pm I’m bushwhacked). The knock-on effect of the late hours was that I was too tired to do my normal exercise at lunch time – something I’m usually very strict about – and that my husband started giving me the side-eye over the share of housework I was(n’t) doing.

Hopefully it was all worth it: I’m pleased with the end result. If I’d had more time, though, there are things I would have done differently. My stocks of maps and stamps – my favoured materials – were very low.

A friend has been promising me some old maps for months, and I’ve been too lazy to go and collect them, so that’ll teach me. I had to use my very last scraps, which didn’t give me a full tonal range of materials to choose from. Also, because of the London theme, it would have been just great if it could have used London maps and tickets – but I had no such thing in my stash.

Never mind, though. It is, as they say, what it is.

 

* Warning, this website flashes in a very disconcerting and headache-inducing way.

Myriad Editions First Graphic Novel competition

myriad event by Myfanwy Tristram

We’re lucky in Brighton: the city is home to Myriad Editions. Few British publishers really champion the graphic novel form as much as they do, nor take such delight in stretching the definition to embrace techniques such as embroidery and lino cut.

I’ve just come back from a talk, chaired by its Creative Director Corinne Pearlman. She, and the very personable Nye Wright and Hannah Eaton made a couple of hours pass very pleasurably, as they read from their own works, mused on the process of getting into print, and graciously took sometimes rather complex questions from the audience.

If you entered the Cape/Comica/Observer contest and felt like, actually, four pages wasn’t enough for you, you wanted to go on to, oooh, say, another 250, then you’ll be interested to know that Myriad will shortly be running their First Graphic Novel competition for 2014. Start drawing now, and you’ll have a head start!

As I’ve mentioned before, I can’t resist drawing people at events like this. Here are some sketches from tonight.

myriad event by Myfanwy Tristram

myriad event by Myfanwy Tristram

The woman in front of me had this great hair:

the woman in front of me's hair by Myfanwy Tristram

And here (below) are a few sketches from train journeys to and from London yesterday. As always, click to see them bigger.

traindrawings-nov13

I absolutely love doing this kind of drawing. I keep wondering if there’s a niche for it – like, I could get hired to go to someone’s wedding and draw all the guests (I’d hate that actually – it’d be so stressful and there’d be a terrible pressure to get flattering likenesses).

The most agreeable example of this type of work I can think of is when the Guardian sent Posy Simmonds to (I think) Paris Fashion Week. I can’t find any images from it online, though, so maybe I’m remembering the details wrongly. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Cape/Comica/Observer graphic short story – update

Work in Progress by Myfanwy TristramJust a quick camera phone snap of some work in progress, so that this post has an image – it’s not actually relevant to the rest of the post : )

An update on my attempts to gather together entries for the Cape/Comica/Observer graphic short story contest. Apparently 180 people entered this year. I have managed to find and link to 14 of them (including my own), which is not even 10%.

I can’t believe that anyone who’s a cartoonist or comics artist these days doesn’t put their work online – surely! So perhaps people aren’t labelling them in the same way that I’m Googling. Do let me know if you manage to find more.

I was in Edinburgh last week. For some reason, I was waking insanely early each morning, which did at least give me time to listen to a Guardian podcast about the competition, while my daughter slept.

One of the judges, Rachel Cooke, talked a bit about it. I was hoping for some stunning insights into how they chose the winners, or what sort of strips almost made the grade, but no dice. To be fair, it was very interesting listening to previous winners talking about the projects they’ve gone on to create: Stephen Collins’  The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil, and Isabel Greenberg’s Encyclopaedia of Early Earth.

One thing that was mentioned, and which I’ve also seen online, is that there were fewer entries than expected, and they put that down to people being intimidated by the professional-looking entries that won previously. I wonder if that’s why they chose a strip that is technically less polished this year.

Apart from that, I haven’t seen much analysis online, either. There are endless re-announcements of the winner, but I’m not reading people’s thoughts about it, really. Again, maybe I’m just Googlin’ in all the wrong places. I haven’t seen the shortlist yet, either, though there’s a lead in the comments to my last post

While we were in Edinburgh, we experienced a few full-on torrential downpours. One of these rather serendipidously put us through the doors of Forbidden Planet, where they had a special offer on selected books. I picked up Guy Delisle‘s Pyongyang, about his two months as an animator in North Korea.

Ahhh, it was brilliant. Like many, I’m already kind of fascinated by North Korea, and my goodness. People often say that books make you feel like you’ve been to a place yourself – well, this makes it clear that graphic novels can do that for you, too. I gobbled it up, and by the end, I also felt like I’d spent two months in this utterly surreal country.

Shenzen next then, I think.

Jonathan Cape/Comica/Observer Graphic Short Story competition

The shortlisted entrants for the Jonathan Cape/Comica/Observer Graphic Short Story competiton (that is *such* a mouthful. I think they need to rebrand it as ‘Plonk’ or something) have been decided.

For me, as someone with a history in cartooning, it looms large as ‘THE competition’. This year I was determined to enter, because, apart from anything else, it’s super to have such a well-defined comics project to work on. I’m not sure I’d have the impetus to sit down and work on a four-page graphic short story without a good reason.

Anyway, now that the shortlist has been announced, I feel I can blog my entry – there’s a clause in the rules about the work not having been published anywhere before, and I’m always a bit paranoid that that might mean ‘even on your own blog’.

I’d also like to use this blog post to collect links to other entries – so, if you entered and your work is online, leave a comment. I’ll keep editing the post to add new links as they become apparent. Here’s what I’ve found so far, via a quick Google (there must be LOADS more than this… please shout if you have a strip I can add).

Now here’s mine. It’s called ‘Overstock’. Click to see each page larger.

Overstock by Myfanwy Tristram page 1

Overstock by Myfanwy Tristram page 2

Overstock by Myfanwy Tristram page 3Overstock by Myfanwy Tristram page 4