London Laydeez Sept 2017 by Pam Kaur Gibbons

Hi! I’m Pam Kaur Gibbons, a comic enthusiast and a teacher of English to international students based in London. I tweet @kaurgibbons

LDC at The Cartoon Museum was exciting as ever:

  • The Question: Something interesting/funny about your name OR you’re favourite plant
  • The audience was packed with floral names: Fleur, Poppy, Lily to name a few.



  • Comic artist
  • Illustrator
  • Focuses on the formula of life experience + creativity = what?
  • Loves drawing mugs of tea: “keep going for hours”
  • “Why write autobio comics?” Comics lend themselves to autobiographical work in that they can leave a legacy for posterity. Also, important for working in the Here and Now and wanting to change something in the current society
  • Aware of the stigma around mental health and wondered how is this illustrated?

‘The Butterfly Stage’ Graphic Novel

  • Trying to be truthful in the images being used
  • Really important to tell it through a true story
  • Took a while to feel comfortable to tell the story
  • ‘Worrying’ represented in a cyclical way
  • Often the images associated with psychosis are horrendous and sensationalised and did not depict her personal experience
  • Use of images as a symbolisation of psychosis but wanted to be careful that they would not cause a trigger
  • Use of the flower: “something alive is happening in my mind”
  • Being truthful and not a cliché
  • It focuses on transformation



Education Director at Positive Negatives

Positive Negatives:

  • Director: Dr Benjamin Dix, Senior Fellow at SOAS
  • Founded in 2012
  • Ethno-graphic research non-profit
  • Make comic animations about real-life stories
  • Due to human rights’ implications and security issues, turn photos into graphic illustrations
  • Capture people’s stories whilst protecting their identity
  • Focus of comics are humanitarian issues, social issues, race, natural disasters and more
  • Use comics to transform policy makers’ research or statistics to be more accessible
  • Comics humanise the statistics and bring to life the issues
  • Get the wider general audience to critically engage with the issues
  • Work with a wide range of artists from around the world to be culturally appropriate to the story being portrayed
  • Use mixed medium such as real photos mixed with illustration to further the impact of the story being represented

Participatory methodology:

  • Go out to meet refugees / individuals / activists all over the world
  • Work with same-sex interpreters
  • Work with same-sex artists
  • Take lots of photos from field work as most researchers are not artists
  • Take contextual information for the artists, if they are unable to come out for field-work
  • Write the script
  • Take that back to the respondent and get them to check for accuracy
  • Do the same for the storyboard
  • Take the draft storyboard to the respondent, to ensure visual accuracy
  • At the end of the process give the respondent a hard copy of the work
  • Talk about the process to the respondent, and ask them “What it’s like seeing your story in front of you?” and “Has there been any effect on the community?”

Why Comics? Educational Charity

  • Established in 2016
  • Focus on the UK education national curriculum
  • Over 60 published lesson plans that are available free
  • Teachers can filter by: age, topic, length of lesson
  • Up to 10 contextual links within each lesson plan, such as maps, research, infographics, and videos, to bring the issue to life.

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