My name is Kitty McEwan, I’m the organiser of the new Plymouth branch of LDComics. On Thursday 12th December we held our launch event at The Clipper cafe on Union Street! More than twenty of us came together to meet each other and talk about comics, and listen to talks from three local comics creators. To start the night, I talked about Laydeez Do Comics and why I was inspired to start the new branch, and then introduced our main speakers.
First up was Laura Hole, creator of the award-winning indie comic Pumpkin Spice, who spoke about how she manages her time between her day job, raising children as a single mum, and writing comics in the evenings. Laura also brought copies of her beautiful new zine on the same topic and gave them out to everyone in the room. The emphasis in her talk was about finding the balance in the things that you have to do and the things that you want to do, and how difficult it can be when you have lots of different commitments.
Next we heard from Ross Bampfylde who talked about the inspiration behind his comic Chateau Obsidian and how he funded the first issue using Kickstarter. I found it interesting when Ross told us he had always been interested in comics as a reader, but that he hadn’t understood how they were made until he was in his thirties. Watching videos of artists sketching, inking, and then colouring their work made him realise he could create his own comics and Kickstarter provided him with a way to get them published.
The last of our main guests to speak was Louise Rabey a narrative illustrator, who talked us through her process of research and experimentation working on comics as part of her MA, and the way that making comics has allowed her to examine and express the things that matter to her, like animal cruelty and what happens after death. She talked us through her work page by page, detailing how the choice of frame placement, shape, and the colours she used were all intended to bring out emotional responses from her readers.
Local illustrator and creator of the webcomic Two-Faced L.J. Durose recorded the whole evening in the fantastic illustration which is attached to the top of this blogpost. She has managed to capture the evening perfectly, and we were lucky to have her as our first guest blog illustrator!
We had several short breaks during the evening to chat and socialise, and before we finished we gave space to members of the audience to come up and talk about their own work. Three people stood up for this, including Sam Gardner Jr, who spoke about his ambition to write for DC and his experiences so far along that road, Wolfgang Crowe, who was enthusiastic about the meeting and talked about the potential of indie publishing, and Seren Krakens, who talked briefly about their own work creating independent comics.
The event was a huge success and we hope to have another meeting in a few months. You can follow LDComics Plymouth on Facebook or Instagram to keep track of what is happening, or to volunteer as a future speaker! You can also follow each of our main speakers and our guest blog illustrator on Instagram: @midnakit @lauraholeillustration @ross.bampfylde @louiserabeyart and @purrlpankras.