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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


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 14th, 2010 01:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks Sarah Fantastic I love your brilliant doodly notes and what a great photo of Ellen. x
Dec. 14th, 2010 01:07 pm (UTC)
Cheers, Nicola! That was a great night! Kudos to you and Sarah for getting in Posy, I couldn't think of a better choice of speaker!
Katrin L. Salyers
Dec. 14th, 2010 01:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the recap, Sarah! I really meant to get to this, but we've been caring for an elderly stray cat that we found the other night (we think he was just dumped on the street - poor thing was starving) and with all the attention on him, I completely spaced it out. Love all the drawings, and the notes are very helpful too!
Dec. 14th, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
Oh no, sorry you couldn't make it! Hope you can come along to another one. :)
Dec. 14th, 2010 05:18 pm (UTC)
Ohhhhhh. Won't Cape or somebody publish those sketchbooks? Ohhhhhhhhhh.
Dec. 16th, 2010 10:19 pm (UTC)
I know! I was thinking the same thing! And people were talking about getting her to do some audio readings, so she could do the accents. :)
Dec. 14th, 2010 07:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the writeup. I would have loved to attend.
Dec. 16th, 2010 10:19 pm (UTC)
You're welcome! Really hope you can make it along sometime.
Dec. 14th, 2010 11:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the writeup and the peek into those amazing Simonds sketchbooks!!! And the photos of Ellen looking cool/crazed. For a second I can vicariously imagine I was there. :)
Dec. 16th, 2010 10:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Simmonds!
Dude, I wish you were here! x
Dec. 15th, 2010 10:51 pm (UTC)
I love seeing sketchbooks. Since I have almost minus artistic ability myself (although my doodling can be awesome) it's fascinating to 'read' artist's sketches and see how they experiment with details, and how just a few pencil marks can become a living picture. It's magic.

I noticed you're going to the Courtauld. I used to run their study days and summer school. Fabulous building and collection with some great people. Have a good time :)
Dec. 16th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
Hi! Yes, looking through Posy's sketchbooks is amazing! They're so polished, whereas mine tend to be lots of things that don't work at all, building up to something that works okay in a final piece. I loved her work with coloured pencil, I need to try doing a bit more of that.

I'm not sure I'll be able to go to the Courtauld for that particular event mentioned - it's a full-day seminar - but I'd really like to! I love their permanent collection, they have some amazing masterpieces. That's so cool you worked there!
Dec. 16th, 2010 09:50 am (UTC)
Gosh, Posy's great, isn't she

I read her 80's guardian stuff with some voracity when I found it all in my university library. Not just because I had a crush on her character, Jocasta Wright. The heart wants what it wants!
Dec. 16th, 2010 09:52 am (UTC)
Jocasta was a brainy, lazy student who dated her middle-aged professor. Man, that rings true as all hell! Generally the girls I tend to fall for don't go for silly little boys like me
Dec. 16th, 2010 09:54 am (UTC)
I guess I'm saying Posy's characters have always been rooted in believability! And. indirectly, that I haven't had any sleep
Dec. 16th, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC)
Hi, James! Cheers, your last line made me laugh. Yes, Posy's characters are so well studied, really amazing.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah McIntyre

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