Building a ship with 50 Shades of Grey: when life imitates art

50 shades ship by Myfanwy Tristram

Here’s a funny thing. In 2013, my entry for the Comica/Cape/Observer Graphic Short Story competition pivoted around a charity shop worker who built a ship out of surplus donations.

Those surplus donations were mainly copies of the book Fifty Shades of Grey.

The whole thing came from my imagination. And yet… fast forward a couple of years to this morning, when I scroll through Twitter over breakfast, only to see:

Mashable: 50 Shades of Grey fort

Is it just me, or is that a bit of a coincidence?

You can read the news story here. And my original strip is at the foot of this post, if you’d like to see how on earth I included this unlikely extremely probable concept.

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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