Category Archives: other stuff

Festive hibernation to you all. 

Here’s your Christmas card, in a choice of colourways.  3D fabric paint on wood on card. 

A bit more work to do, then it’ll be time to switch off the internet until next year. 

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My honourable friends. 

Here’s week 1 of my new panel-a-weekday comics project:

Like any busy person, my answer to a busy diary is to start a new project. Here’s my plan, and rules that have already evolved from this plan.

1. Quote from an interaction as recorded in Hansard, the official record of UK Parliament debases.

There’s a lot of talk that has precious little to do with the preceding statement. Sometimes there’s a prolonged debate/conversation. Sometimes there’s a series of questions that were submitted in advance. Sometimes there’s no discernible connection. Interactions interest me in an academic way – how people talk and learn together – so I’ve decided to focus on connected exchanges.

2. Be accurate.

It’s too easy to intentionally misquote people. Context is important. Hansard is not a verbatim transcript, which I reckon is fine.  I’ll include speaker names and the date on each panel so it can be checked. Usually the House of Commons, sometimes the House of Lords.

3. Be selective, be interesting.

There’s a lot of flowery language, my honourable friend, so I think it’s justifiable to edit out the pleasantries but otherwise stick to the transcript. Some things interest me more than others, some exchanges are pithier than others, some groaning attempts at humour don’t need repeating.

4. Be timely.

My diary is split between day-job and PhD research and other stuff. Sometimes there’s a weekly structure, often there isn’t. Doing a panel each weekday has, so far, helped insert some sort of structure. There’s a good discipline in doing something creative each day, making it public, and moving forwards. I’ll aim to do each day’s panel in the evening, or the next morning on days when evenings aren’t possible.

5. Keep going. 

If there’s no sitting that day, dive into the archives. They’re online and well catalogued and free to access. For no-sitting days I wondered about finding other speeches/statements from that day, but (a) it’s the parliamentary-ness that interests me (b) there’ll be plenty of days including holidays/recess when there are no speeches (c) the out-of-my-control-ness of parliamentary interactions is a sweet way to include an element of roulette in this project.

PS: Nad Rash is an anagram of Hansard, the official record of what is said in UK Parliament debases. It is also an underused slang term.

PPS: Are you the editor of a reputable daily news media outlet? Let’s talk syndication.

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Not angry, just disappointed.

Here’s a copy of my email withdrawing from Lakes Comic Art Festival in Kendal, 2017. I’m sharing it here because some other comics creator on the exhibitors’ reserve list may well receive an email saying a stall has become available, and at least this way they can appreciate why.

Dear LICAF organisers,

I am writing to withdraw from exhibiting at Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2017 this coming weekend. This is because I found Sunday evening’s twitter statements from your festival account and associated accounts unacceptable.

My academic work addresses themes of fairness in education, particularly the constructions of ‘race’ and social class, through the specific example of British comics. I need to do my best to ensure that my comics making, publishing, and distribution (as myself, and through my organisation Applied Comics Etc) remains consistent with these themes. This means that I cannot take part in a publicly-funded festival that has made such poor choices of language and tone when discussing issues of ethnicity and diversity.

With this in mind, I would like to offer constructive support when you plan the future of your festival. Please do let me know if my academic work on untangling and addressing issues of fairness – as well as my professional experience in staff development in higher education – is something you would like to make use of, in due course.

For this year’s festival, please could you refund my half-table exhibitor fee. I would also appreciate it if you removed my profile page from your 2017 festival website. I will contact my booked B&B in Kendal to cancel and will request a refund for my advance train ticket.

Best,
Lydia Wysocki

Sad to disappoint all three of my fans, and annoyed at missing opportunities to catch up with people about current and future projects. By all means reuse the wording of my email if it helps draft your own.

For context: link to twitter thread. Photo in this blog post is from when I exhibited at LICAF in 2014 (blog post here). I try not to make a habit of sharing letters online, but it happens.

Leeeeds coooomics 

See that? That’s my planned table setup for Thought Bubble comics convention 2017. Leeds Town Hall Marquee table 37 might just buckle under the weight of many comics including :

  • Research questionnaire. Fill in a questionnaire about comics you’ve read, get a free sticker and an infocomic and the knowledge that you’ve taken part in my PhD research about reading British comics. The questionnaire is in comics form and will take maybe 7mins to fill in – good if you want a break from wandering round, or want to do something comics-y that doesn’t involve spending money. It’ll take a bit of thought but not too deep – the second stage of my research involves more indepth interviews with comics readers, this questionnaire is a stepping stone to that second stage. 
  • Applied Comics Etc collaborations. Free comics, all made in partnership with researchers, archives, kids, sweeeet comics creators. Promo postcards for Freedom City Comics anthology are hot off the press (launches in Newcastle 1st October) 
  • Comic Swap library. Read the well wikkid comics made by kids’ comics clubs, swapped earlier this year as part of a postal swap run by Hannah Sackett and I.
  • Applied Comics Network. Free badges, free chat about overambitous plans coordinated by John Swogger, Ian Horton and I. 
  • My comics and books. To swap with comics you’ve made, or coffee/tea/snacks, or for sale (various prices from £1 stamp books to £13 double comic). Say the secret password ‘I like your office wallpaper’ and get a free gift with any swap or purchase of my solo work, whilst stocks last.

If you’re around on Thursday/Friday come to Comics Forum conference – I’ll be presenting about my questionnaire & PhD research, and involved in running an Applied Comics Network workshop. 

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There ain’t no crafting like  hung parliament stress crafting…


…cos hung parliament stress crafting is a good way to process the news and stop refreshing webpages for the latest shenanigans.

I made a new batch of hipster upcycled artisanal stamp books. They were popular at Leeds Tetley book fair, so these can wait until my comic convention stalls this autumn. 

Use them as mini pattern colouring books if you reeeeeally need a change of focus.

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Tuppence a bag for your thoughts.

A list of reasons why this morning’s comic is among the best I’ve ever made:

  • It’s a comic 
  • That I made
  • In my beautiful sketchbook (bound by @bookbindings)
  • I’ve nearly finished that sketchbook aww yeah 
  • It was straight to ink, no pencil
  • It references Milkshake by Kelis
  • And  Parklife by Blur
  • I got the Phil Daniels “sense of enormous wellbeing” quote wrong
  • Hardly anyone will notice
  • And it only bothers me a little 
  • Whereas it would’ve given younger-me much cause for muso concern 
  • It’s about music
  • Well, music references 
  • Mashed together like a mixtape
  • And feeding the birds
  • Dancing 
  • Education 
  • Fighting for free education 
  • And reminding people that you can, and do, learn and teach all the time, even if you don’t see it as formalised education 
  • Lettering stamped with a 99p rubber stamp kit
  • And my 2kuai red ink pad
  • Like this 
  • Which is still going strong after uhhhh 7years of no longer living in China 
  • Is 2kuai still like 20p or has the world moved on? 
  • See, it’s about currency valuations too
  • And calling BS on a lot of the ‘wellbeing’ products and advertising that’s around at the moment 
  • Because you can’t buy happiness 
  • But you can read free comics
  • Or better, make your own.
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Your Xmas card 2016.

I don’t much care for Christmas but I do love sending Christmas cards. It’s good to keep in touch, to send art, and to afford the time and materials to do so.

This year’s card is a tree printed on brown card (made from trees, oh the cannibalism). It’s a linocut, as explained in the comic I made to send out with each card. 

Each year’s list of addressees gets longer as people’s families grow, which is a nudge to remember that every Christmas card is someone’s first. So showing the process matters, especially if it’s a printing process other than a commercial computer printout. 

As I get further into the world of printmaking I must remember to keep explaining the process – which of course applies to academic work too, innit. Christmas holidays are a good time to hunker down with the PhD reading pile.

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