This is a sketch I made of a creative writing class I took last year – I found it in my teaching notebook, which is completely filled up. Which means that I have done quite a lot of teaching lately.
I am taking another class – this time an 8 week one, my longest yet. It’s called ‘Zines and Comics.’ It’s a multi-disciplinary creative writing class: the emphasis is personal storytelling, using whatever means possible. Writing, comics, found photos, hand-lettered type… I will even bring in my 1920s underwood typewriter so people can make 1970s-style punk zines. There will be pens, paste, scissors, india ink and old magazines and books to ravage in order to create photocopiable publications. I’m going to rummage through some of Lynda Barry’s online teaching resources for inspiration, as well syphoning my own knowledge as a writer/cartoonist/graphic designer and teacher. I’ve got a few binding techniques up my sleeve, from special cuts and folds to tricks with staplers and erasers. There’s also my personal favourite – hand-stitched spines.
So if you live in Auckland and have Thursday nights free, you should come along! It will be fun, super-creative, you’ll meet some nice people, and as the class will be small I’ll be able to tailor it to your personal interests. The course costs $164 if you enrol by Tuesday 21 October. Call Studio One on 09 376 3221 and please book! I am leaving Auckland early next year and this is the last class I’m going to teach up here for a while.
Class name: Zines and comics
Start Date: Thursday 23 October, 7-9pm
Enrol: ph 09 376 3221 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: Studio One Toi Tu
I am still officially taking a blog holiday, but here is another snippet from my Katherine Mansfield journals – Katherine’s dream about Oscar Wilde and Lady Ottoline Morrell. At the moment I am working on a Bloomsbury section of my book, and here’s a rough sketch of Ottoline Morrell at Garsington:
The internet is truly amazing for this kind of thing – Garsington (the manor where Ottoline hosted the Bloomsbury Group) was on the market a few years back for 6.5 million pounds, so there are loads of photos to be found.
I also wanted to point out a few other places I’ve been appearing on the internet: my Let Me Be Frank comics were reviewed here – it was a lovely review, even though Rob Clough described my drawing style as slightly crude. Ah well, at least that means I don’t draw ‘competent boy comics’, as described by Indira Neville in our Three Words interview over here.
If you’re wondering what Three Words is, it’s our anthology of NZ Women’s comics that we are getting together at the moment. If you are a female cartoonist with any kind of NZ affiliation, please send us your comics! And join our facebook page even if you’re not an NZ woman cartoonist – this is where we’ll be posting lots of news. Also, Adrian Kinnaird talked about us on Radio NZ the other night – listen here.
I know I said I was going to be quiet for a while but I’ve been going through all my journals full of scribbly comics I drew last year, so many of which won’t be making it through to the final draft of my Katherine Mansfield book, and I thought it would be nice to post some of them here. Actually, I’m thinking that there will be 2 books by the time I finish this project – the messy, random book, and the carefully-constructed, inked and watercoloured book. I wonder which one will be better.
And…. I’m pretty sad about the NZ election results. Sigh.
I thought I’d post this Metro comic a bit early because it’s now just a few days out from the election and the central government is not supporting better public transport and bike/pedestrian infrastructure for Auckland – it’s hell-bent on building more super highways so its supporters can speed off to their luxury holiday homes. Which isn’t so great for carbon emissions and climate change. So yeah, I’m sure I’m preaching to the converted, but please vote, and not for the people currently in power.
Here is another comic that I did for the Storylines family day zine and comics table – this time I was trying to show how you can tell a story with minimal words. Also, as you can see, I was exploring the cocoon-like qualities of sleeping bags.
Hey, thank you everybody who commented on my previous post. It’s always so gratifying and interesting to generate discussion around comics. Now it’s time for me to be quiet for a little while as I finally have time to work on my Katherine Mansfield graphic novel. It’s been over 2 months since I last looked at it (how did I get so busy?!) but in a pique of frustration I quit a bunch of jobs, including my Metro comic, so I could concentrate on it. As you can see I’m still procrastinating, but, but, after I’ve finished this blog post and made myself a cup of tea and hung the washing out THEN I will work like the wind!
Since I’m planning on being quiet (let’s see how long that lasts) I will tell you my news now: next Tuesday 16 September I will be on a panel discussing comics in a digital age with Dylan Horrocks, Li Chen, Richard Fairgray and Adrian Kinnaird. It’s at Auckland Central Library and it starts at 6.30pm and there are free drinks and snacks! See you there.
It’s weird getting to meet your heroes. I’m beginning to come to the conclusion that sometimes it’s better to not meet them. The relationship you have is imaginary – they talk to you, you imagine talking back to them. But the conversation is one-sided. This weekend I also met Kristen Hersh, who I love, and whose music was the soundtrack to the movie of my early-twenties life. She was very gracious, but again I felt as though I had constructed a relationship with someone that had nothing to do with the person sitting in front of me – the rather shy, awkward person who had way too many crazy fans offloading on her. I’m now reading her memoir and feeling as though she is revealing her truths to me only. But of course she’s not.
Anyway, the Word Christchurch festival was fantastic. Hats off to Rachael King, who did inspired programming.
(The chairs that I’m standing in front of in the final panel represent the people who died in the February 2011 earthquake.)
(And please excuse my awkward paraphrasing of Ellie Catton and Lawrence Fearnley – my memory is a bit dodgy and I know they put things differently)
I made this comic for Storylines because I wanted to show the children how you could make a mini-comic on one A4 sheet of paper that can fold up to be a book. I used our bunnies as inspiration because I also wanted to explain how you can use real life detail and morph it into a fantasy story.
It was fun and exhausting running the zines and comics stand at Storylines – so many kids came and drew/wrote/collaged wonderful stories. I folded and cut and chatted for 5 hours straight. And that was straight after coming home from the wonderful Christchurch writers’ festival. I’ve got a comic I want to do about that one… see you soon!