The Laydeez do Comics Women’s Prize for Unpublished Graphic Novels in Progress

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The winner of the 2019 Laydeez Award was Niki Bañados

The Rosalind B. Penfold prize for women over 50 winner was Natalie D’Arbeloff.

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Read about their works and the shortlisted artists below.


Natalie d’Arbeloff Double Entendre.

Autobiography from two different points of view. One shows incidents from my life story, condensed. The other is a running commentary from my alter ego, Augustine, a comic philosopher/investigator. It’s in progress and will change in format as it develops

Natalie has been working as artist, bookartist, writer and cartoonist all her long life. Her artists’ books are in major public collections internationally. She has lived in London since 1963. She has taught printmaking and book-art in adult education. She is still very busy creating and never intends to stop.

Niki BañadosShivers in London

This story explores the surreal experience of moving across the world knowing only one other person and with very little planning for the way forward. It documents some weird personalities, explores different manifestations of love, and navigates life around loss.
I think find myself in the end.

Niki is a graphic designer and printmaker who was born in the Philippines and grew up in Sydney. This is her first comic.

Maria Flower
 – A Cinema Near You

A Cinema Near You is a mosaic of anecdotes taken from my workplace- an art house cinema staffed by intellectuals and creatives who have found themselves marooned on post-university tides. I aim to celebrate the tradition of the humorous comic strip form, while melding it with the sober and contemplative qualities natural to autobiography.
Framed in the context of the cinema, the comic follows my journey to find identity, meaning and direction as a young adult.

Maria is  an artist currently living and working in Aberdeen. She received her degree in English Literature with Film and Visual Culture  from the University of Aberdeen in 2014. Since then she has self published several zines, ran a collaborative exhibition consisting of life sized dolls and is currently working on artwork for an Edinburgh DJ. She has recently accepted a position at Grampian Hospitals Art Trust.


Sophia Luu – Keep it in the Family

Two years of child sex abuse. A decade of silence. Thirty-two months after speaking out and one court case later, my extended family finally agree to discuss what happened – and what happens next. In this autobiographical zine, a very private conversation is bought to a very public domain.

Sophia is a ‘good’ designer – using her work to promote social change. She founded ‘on the mend’, a design collective aiming to better healthcare environments. She studied History of Science at the University of Cambridge and is now doing a Master’s in Art and Science at Central Saint Martins

Irina Richards Witchmarked

Iola’s peaceful existence shatters when she is captured in a Viking raid. After a miraculous escape, Iola finds herself on a remote Hebridean island, with a mysterious group of women and their fierce leader. But even here, trouble is brewing, and Iola learns to protect – and love – her new home.

Irina is a comics/manga artist and educator based in Cambridge. She is a member of Sweatdrop Studios, an independent comic collective. Irina is the author of a two-volume manga series, Chemical Blue, and a co-author of an instructional book, Creating Manga Characters. Witchmarked is Irina’s first historical graphic novel.

Jeeti Singh – I’ll be fine

An Indian woman pays her last toll and jumps off a bridge in California. Jeeti, her daughter, years later sits in a bathroom stuck in a cycle of despair; she has a glimpse into her dead mother’s broken mind. She journeys down the road of the past, remembering moments in their lives that led them both through fear, angst, self-deprecation, grief, and internal suffering, in hopes of choosing a different path. One towards happiness and an acceptance of self in the face of mental illness.

Jeeti was born in Hong Kong, and moved to California where she completed her BA in Fine Art and Psychology. She continued her studies later in London, receiving her MFA. Her work mixes Indian symbolism and contemporary comics. Jeeti continues her practice in London whilst working full time for the Royal Drawing School and is writing her first graphic novel.

Judges Mention:

Caroline Grebbell  Good People

A family is pulled apart as a result of incompetent ‘professionals’ and the vexatious actions of one daughter.Personal correspondence, recording transcripts, legal letters and social media postings (collected across 15 years) are used to narrate how the system failed Norah Grebbell. From institutionalising her in her own home to, ultimately, her death.

Caroline is a TV/Film Art Director and writer. She mostly writes speculative fiction and has been nominated for a British Science Fiction Association Award. Originally trained as an animator, Caroline recently started drawing again and is enjoying it much more the second time around.



Natalie d’Arbeloff
Lilith Ai
Camille Aubry
Niki Bañados
Alice Clarke
Maria Flower
Jennifer Gloster
Caroline Grebbell
Sophia Luu
Amelie Persson
Edith Pritchett
Irina Richards
Teresa Robertson
Jeeti Singh
Zara Slattery
Myfanwy Tristram
Anja Uhren
Congratulations Everyone!


The judging panel for the LDC award is made up of invited judges, with one vote per judge. The judges have been carefully selected to represent a range of interests and varying knowledge of the graphic novel form.


Olivia Ahmad is Curator at the House of Illustration. In 2016, Oliva co-curated the critically acclaimed exhibition, “Comix Creatrix: 100 Women Making Comics”, the UK’s largest ever display of the work of pioneering female comics artists.


Steven Appleby is an absurdist cartoonist, illustrator and artist. Publications include, Normal Sex, (1994), Men: The Truth, (1995), Jim: The Nine Lives of a Dysfunctional Cat (2003), ABC of Childhood (2005), The Captain Star Omnibus ( 2008), The Coffee Table Book Of Doom (2011) and Guide to Life (2013).


Philippa Perry is a  psychotherapist and the author of the graphic novel, Couch Fiction (2010), a graphic tale of psychotherapy,  How to Stay Sane (2012), and her forthcoming publication, The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did (2019).

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