Hello we are Laydeez Do Comics
Laydeez do Comics (LDC) was set up in 2009 by Eisner award winning artist and scholar Sarah Lightman and British Medical Association award winning graphic novelist and comics scholar Nicola Streeten. They met at a time when they were both working on their autobiographical long form graphic novels whilst also embarking on their doctoral research into gender and comics. They were keen to find a space to talk about comics that were not superhero based and not for children, but instead about the domestic, the autobiographical and the everyday. Because no such platform in London existed they set up their own.
Women-led, though not women-only, their monthly events have run ever since and have been described as “a combination between a book club and a series of TED talks”. LDC events are open to the public and feature illustrated presentations from guests including filmmakers, writers, museum curators, artists as well as cartoonists, with strict adherence to gender parity in the quota of guests. Laydeez do Comics has spurred regular and pop up branches nationally and internationally including in Birmingham, Leeds, Bristol, Brighton, Glasgow, Dublin, Israel, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Czech Republic.
The UK branch of Laydeez Do Comics is run as an unincorporated voluntary organisation with a committee of six women. These are: Charlotte Bailey, Rachael Ball, Louise Crosby, Wallis Eates, Sarah Lightman and Nicola Streeten.
What is the "Laydeez Award"?
The first women's prize for comics. Six awards will be presented to UK-based female-identifying graphic novelists for unpublished graphic novel work in progress.
First prize: £2,000
Five shortlisted entries: £200 each
All shortlisted entries will also receive a one-to-one free Laydeez Review session including a critique of their work, as well as professional advice.
The winners will be announced at Laydeez Day, on Saturday 24 March, 2018 at The Free Word Centre, London. Arts Council England funding is in place to support the organising and hosting activity.
What is “Laydeez Day”?
A one-day festival incorporating three strands of new pilot activity for Laydeez Do Comics: Laydeez Lounge, Laydeez Awards and Laydeez Reviews. “Laydeez Lounge” will showcase all works submitted in response to an open call for entries for female-identifying “Laydeez Awards”. Six awards will be presented to UK-based female-identifying graphic novelists for work in progress. These will be monetary, supported by crowd-funding and will include a “Laydeez Review”, a one-to-one professional development mentoring session. A limited number of review sessions will be offered to the public for a nominal fee.
Why have a women-only award?
LDC has always championed the work of all comics artists and cartoonists whose works emphasis the drama of the everyday. Our interest is in an equal representation of all genders. We have never had trouble finding talented female practitioners to come and speak at our events. We are therefore relentlessly mystified at the continual lack of recognition of female artists on guest lists at comics festivals and in long and short lists of comics prizes. We are conscious that gender specific prizes are not the solution, but until gender parity exists within the wider cultural structures we think there is still a need.