posy simmonds at laydeez do comics

Last night I went to a presentation by one of my all-time favourite comics and picture book heroes, Posy Simmonds. As a speaker, she’s brilliant actress in being able to do all the different voices and accents of her characters! She had us all in stitches with her posh pre-war schoolgirl, midwest American academic, chavvy teenager on a bus, prententious middle-aged French writer, and obnoxious French glamazon.

These are some of my doodly notes. Posy’s work played a huge part of bringing me back to comics as something I could connect with and see as a remarkable storytelling medium.

Posy brought along two of her wonderful sketchbooks and let us look through.

Rosie West and Megan Donnolley, and one of the characters in the film adaptation of Posy’s Tamara Drewe. (‘I play a small role, a techno geek.’)

Some super lovely laydeez: Karen Rubins, Francesca Cassavetti and Laura Howell.

I was very interested when Posy compared writing a graphic novel with writing a serialised strip. Before Tamara Drewe was a book, it ran in The Guardian, so Posy had the pressure of a weekly deadline, and didn’t know how the story was going to end. (That’s just like my work on Vern and Lettuce, which started out as a weekly strip in The DFC – also briefly running in The Guardian – and I had no idea what was going to happen.) Posy said that in many ways, writing a graphic novel has much more freedom because she can digress more from the plot, she doesn’t have constantly to remind readers about what’s gone before, she can include more silent pages, and she doesn’t need as many cliffhangers. But working on a serial, often when she’s under pressure to be quick and decisive to meet the deadline, wonderful creative things happen, which might not have happened otherwise.

I could really identify with this. Having a weekly deadline was marvelous training for me in making comics; because it was really only one page I had to think about at a time, I could focus on making that one page really work, and feel utter relief when I’d finished it. Each page got a burst of its own energy that perhaps it wouldn’t have had if I’d been going for the long slog.

And you’re in for a treat, because the event’s OFFICIAL BLOGGER – my studio mate Ellen Lindner – will be posting her write-up soon on the Laydeez Do Comics blog! And be sure to keep an eye on the Laydeez Do Comics website for monthly events. Thanks so much to Nicola Streeten and Sarah Lightman for hosting!

Edit: Click here to see other blog posts I’ve made about Posy Simmonds.

Screen goddess Ellen Lindner

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