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.