For those of you that haven’t gathered by my previous posts, I am a complete and utter geek, and bloody proud of it too.
Whilst I might not be able to tell you the latest fashion trends or describe who the hell Kim Kardashian is (seriously, can someone fill me in on that one), I can name every character the Marvel comics have ever produced.
So it was hardly surprising that the HTC ladies recommended I attend a Laydeez do Comics meeting, a monthly meet-up that celebrates all things comic and graphic novel related. They describe it as “A unique graphic novel forum with a focus on comic works based on life narrative, the drama of the domestic and the everyday.” And that’s exactly what they deliver and a hell of a lot more.
The main event
I have to admit I was anxious when the big night arrived. ALL my friends that had promised to accompany me dropped out at the last minute with excuses that went from the understandable (I’m stuck at work) to the plain ridiculous (I’m stuck in Tesco). So I faced going to a part of London I’d never been to, with people I didn’t know, talking about a subject I only had minimum knowledge about.
I may know a lot about the more mainstream comics and graphic novels, but when it comes to anything else, I admit I’m still a novice. I entered terrified, but luckily within moments of stepping through the door a lovely, smiling lady came over and introduced herself. Turns out she was Nicola Streeten, one of the co-founders, and she instantly put my nerves at ease with the words every girl likes to hear – “There’s some tea and cake over there”.
Laydeez do Comics started a mere three years ago, and has already established itself as THE meeting place for comic and graphic novel fans, and whether you’re a complete comic expert or haven’t even heard of Spiderman let alone the Watchmen, it’s a superb night.
After making a friend, I took my seat and expected the speakers to begin…how wrong I was. Imagine my complete horror when Nicola said, “Introduce yourselves, say what you do for a living and what you do when you face rejection”.
In hindsight, it’s an ingenious way to get to relax people, but at the time I was looking for the nearest exit. But as people began to take their turns, I began to relax. The people (who incidentally were an equal mix of men and women, Laydeez do Comics isn’t just about women) had the most creative and varied job titles, which included web developers, publishers, cartoonists, and therapists (who thanked everyone for being excellent case studies with their rejection answer…I loved her).
I forgot to say my surname, described my job in the most awkward way and said that to cope with rejection I eat ice cream and listen to One Direction…it got a laugh… they thought I was joking.
For a small entrance fee of £1.50 I was treated to 5 phenomenal guest speakers, who each did a presentation about their work, followed by a Q&A. I won’t talk too much in detail about that, I’ll leave that to the official blogger of the night, but safe to say I was in complete awe of each and every one of them.
To give a short overview, there was:
- Nick Abadzis : He discussed his creation, Hugo Tate. Originally just a stick man, the character has grown up over time. I strongly recommend you check him out.
- Nancy Miller : an author who had the most incredible story that I won’t spoil. Incredibly lovely and I want her to adopt me.
- Isobel Williams: a phenomenal artist who, amongst other things, drew portraits of the Occupy protesters. She has the most fantastic sense of humour, a great gift for both drawing and talking to people to get their stories, and was possibly my favourite of the night. I was too scared to tell her how much I wanted to be like her in every way.
- Aneurin (Nye) Wright : Illustrator, animator and author of “Things to do in a retirement home trailer park when you’re 29 and unemployed”. Based on the true story of his time looking after his dying father, I’ve already ordered my copy on Amazon.
Seriously, this is the best £1.50 you could spend every month. Incidentally if you want to check out the evening I attended or any of their previous meetings, it’s on iTunes too so you can attend the meeting on the move.
On an end note, I have to say thanks to both Nicola Streeten and Sarah Lightman for such a warm reception the minute I walked through the door and for putting on such a fabulous night, you made one scared geek very welcome.
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