Category Archives: this categories system doesn’t really work anymore and never did anyway

Everyone with a nose should picket.


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Comic in support of for fair pensions. Making comics is good stress relief, as is seeing so many supportive colleagues and students.

Updated to include day 2: some positive signs of progress, still a long way to go.
Day 3: snow, support, and strengthened logistics.
Day 4: grateful for excessive use of GIFs and for gritting lorry drivers.
Day 5: glimmers of hope

Day 6: solidarity in comics form
Day 7: solidarity continues
Day 8: media coverage
Day 9: solidarity through comics and booze

Day 10: The Thick Of It fanfiction
Day 11: the power of beeps
Day 12: we are institutionalised
Day 13: a university is a big school
Day 14: la lutte continue

Action short of strike week one: back to work but not quite back to normal
Action short of strike week two: this has gone on too long to quit now
Action short of strike week three: the emperor’s underpants are unravelling
Action short of strike week four: nostalgic about the future

Extra-cautious disclaimer: this comic represents my view. For official UCU (University & College Union) info on the strike, see https://www.ucu.org.uk/strikeforuss

If you enjoyed reading this comic, please consider donating to the UCU Fighting Fund if you are able to. It helps support people whose wages are docked because they’ve taken part in industrial action. https://www.ucu.org.uk/fightingfund

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That’s enough for this year. 

Ok here’s this week’s Nadrash/Hansard illustrated interactions, including a dive into the archives on Friday because the current lot knocked off early for Christmas. 

I enjoy doing this peculiar panel-a-weekday project. There’s a fair chance I’ll carry on with it, or something similar, next year. But now for a couple of weeks of more sleeping, less internet, and as much reading/writing as other commitments allow. 

A parliament of weirdos. 

Look look it’s all animal themed! I’d wondered if a visually themed week of quoted interactions from Hansard was possible*, and here it is. 

Also this week my activity sheets are up on ComicsClub.blog for their monthly Comics Challenge series. If I’m gonna encourage kids to make their own weird comics – because what kids should worry about the possible professional and commercial future of their comics – then I’d better keep up my part if that deal. There are plenty of resources out there to help people make comics. Sometimes it’s the weirdness that needs a boost. 

*said no one else, ever.  


A pattern is emerging. 

This week’s news has been about parallel universes bumping into each other in the foggiest of fogs. 

I like this grid layout though, and am still enjoying doing a panel a day. So maybe not all is lost.

Lords,  noble lord,  lordships. 

Here’s this week’s #nadrash, with sources*:

I think the screenshots of sources are a good move. Takes it from ‘you couldn’t make it up’ to ‘huh, they really said that’. 

*HP Sauce.  FUNNY JOKE

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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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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