NDC’s meeting on the 14th November was introduced by the affable Josh Franks and opened with a personal, insightful presentation by Jade Sarson, who’s central themes of “food, friendship and sex“ are vividly showcased via her Manga influenced style, making a big impression on members of the audience who had not encountered her work before. I was particularly struck by the raw emotion of her “feels like noodles” splash page which evoked dark moods I think most of us can relate to. Jade explored how pivotal events in her life had shaped and influenced her artistic style and the whimsical worlds of Café Suada and For the Love of God Marie – tea tinged comic books which deal with subject matter relatively unusual for the medium whilst retaining the sense of fun – catharsis through comic art!
Jade was followed by long-term friend of the group Sally-Jane Thompson who provided a demonstration of building atmosphere and mood through the use of locations and backgrounds in comic art. This was a fascinating insight into the process behind the pictures. Sally’s minimalist images create maximum effect with sparing amounts of ink; members of the group took great inspiration from this approach. Food for thought for those of us not familiar with building “sets” for our paper avatars to interact with. Sally won points from the group for setting work in Nottingham – not just obvious locations, like Sherwood Forest, but in satisfyingly mundane ones, like Vicky centre bus station. For some reason seeing this obscure location pop up in sequential art provided a real jolt of recognition! Questions around mood, genre vs location and layouts provided grist to the mill – the group obviously learned a few tricks from SJT.
Last up, Corrine Pearlman provided a dry and funny talk, walking us through her entertaining life-story, fully immersed in sequential art gubbins. From her early days producing disturbing health pamphlets (a reoccurring theme for NDC speakers – a gateway drug perhaps) to an unusual incident involving a Jewish alter ego. I am sure Corrine’s talk proved motivating for members of the audience not in the biz as she laid out how she escaped the clutches of Pizza express to build the now well renowned Myriad Editions publishers, purveyors of diverse and unusual comics who, in a pleasingly cyclical fashion, gave our first speaker Jade a leg up in the biz after she won their well renowned Graphic Novel competition. Corrine came across as a bit of a legend in the biz who continues to contribute in a big way. She is also owed a debt of thanks for her work setting up Laydees Do Comics, which provided “inspiration” for our very own group (i.e. we nicked the concept).