Laydeez Do Comics: award and festival

Punks vs skins by Myfanwy Tristram

It’s the Laydeez Do Comics festival this weekend, at the Free Word centre in London. Why not come along?

Laydeez Do Comics is a “women-led but not women-only” organisation with chapters in cities across the UK and beyond. For the past couple of years, they’ve run an award for a graphic work in progress by a female identifying artist, and the festival is a culmination of this year’s award process.

On Sunday, it will be open to the general public so that they can browse all the entries, eat cake, and find out who will be awarded the prize.

I’m proud to say that my own work in progress, working title Satin & Tat, was one of the longlisted works, although it didn’t go on to be shortlisted.

That said, it is very difficult to be anything but grateful for LDC, because they’ve structured the whole award very cleverly to benefit everyone who enters, and not just the winner.

You’re instructed to submit the first twelve pages of your work, both in digital form and as a printed comic. Along with this you must provide your biography and a short summary of the plot. By fulfilling the conditions of entry, you may not realise it, but you are creating everything that would be required were you to pitch your work to a publisher or agent.

And there will be publishers in attendance at the festival – hopefully, publishers on the lookout for new creators to work with.

That’s not all, though: in order to help fund the monetary prize, LDC ran a number of professional development workshops and one-to-one consultations with practising graphic novelists. I went along to a workshop by Karrie Fransman in which she very generously shared her top tips for positioning your work and making it appealing to a publisher.

So now I feel very well equipped to go and give my elevator pitch and share the comic I’ve been working on for over a year, to anyone who might like to hear about it. It does feel like it’s about time it saw the light of day and got some feedback from people outside my own circle of friends and family!

Since creating the comic that I submitted for the award, I’ve continued to refine it, so I’ve actually put together a much fuller pitch package which I’ll be sharing with some publishers soon – ones that seem a good fit for this loss of innocence story that takes place against the background of the goth fashions, music and hairstyles of 1985.

While I was already working away on this graphic novel, I don’t think it would’ve been in anything like such a good state to share without Laydeez Do Comics giving me something to work towards, so great thanks to them.

PS, I should also mention that I’ll have a handful of Satin and Tat zines to sell. These are extra copies of my entry, so they contain the first 12 pages along with a synopsis etc. Talk about a very limited edition: there are only four or five available. As an extra incentive I’ll include a goth cut-out doll and one of the prints of the kimono’d bike rider as well.

Work in progress by Myfanwy Tristram - Satin and Tat

Satin and tat by Myfanwy Tristram

Advertisements

Memories of a teenage goth

Satin and Tat by Myfanwy Tristram, work in progress

I’ve been pretty quiet on here of late, mainly because I’m working away on one massive comics project that will be another several months before it’s ready to share.

I do sometimes post work in progress over at Instagram though, so anyone who follows me there may already know that I’m deeply immersed in my Eighties memories — and in particular, my life as a teenage goth.

Here’s some work in progress (click any image to see it bigger):
Work in progress by Myfanwy Tristram - Satin and Tat

Work in progress by Myfanwy Tristram - Satin and Tat

Remember crimpers? All bunged up with Elnett hairspray…? I sure do.

But it’s not just set in the past; there are some present-day scenes too, and these have a different colour palette:

Work in progress by Myfanwy Tristram - Satin and Tat

Satin and tat by Myfanwy Tristram, work in progress

Talking of colour palettes: there was one image, in particular, which people on Instagram seemed to really take to; it’s a dream sequence right at the beginning of the story, when the main character (now middle aged) has been taken right back to her youth. She has a very graphic dream about cycling along the riverbanks in her goth finery.

The first version I drew of this was in these colours:

Work in progress by Myfanwy Tristram - Satin and Tat

… but I subsequently changed my mind, because I wanted to differentiate more between the past and the present within the story.

Work in progress by Myfanwy Tristram - Satin and Tat

I’m glad to say that people seem to like them both, and as I won’t have any actual new comics at the Lakes Festival this year I thought I’d offer both colourways as prints. They’ll be nice and affordable because they’re not fancy giclee or anything, just standard digital prints on nice card.

Also as a taster for the forthcoming comic (which SHURELY will be ready for the Lakes NEXT year…), I’m also going to be selling a paper cut-out doll based on all the clothes I wore back then.

So much of my memory of that time is hazy, but I can recall every single item of clothing with crystal clarity. I wanted to share the enjoyment I’ve had as I’ve drawn the leggings, split down the seams and laced back up, or the stripy mohair jumpers that everyone got their grans to knit them, and the pixie boots, oh, the pixie boots.

The dolls come with an extra cartoon (or more of a rant really) on the back — so you’ll have to buy a couple if you want to cut them up. But that’s ok, I’m also planning on making these super-cheap.

If you like these and you won’t be at the Lakes, don’t worry, I proooomise I’ll set up my online shop again after the festival. Just as soon as I’ve stopped having so much fun trawling through old copies of Smash Hits to find authentic hairstyles to draw.