Events and news
Events round up…
Obviously things are difficult, what with the pandemic and all, but things are starting up again, my new graphic novel Eve just came out, so hopefully there’ll be a possibility of us meeting face to face again. There are some festivals in the pipeline, but in the meantime you could read about my work and artistic process on moma.co.uk and about my life and my books in Big Issue North magazine, 26th July, Issue 1391, a four-page feature. I also have a somewhat neglected YouTube channel and I’m developing some creative writing courses for graphic novels (thanks for your patience, those who are on my mailing list). I’ll be tabling at Thought Bubble Festival 13th to 14th November, so that will be nice. Other than that I’m a bit of a hermit right now, but there’s an archive of my past adventures below, they go way back, to when I started with Becoming Unbecoming, so please excuse the variable text styles.
October, 2019, Mauá, São Paulo – Dedicated to All the Others, with Coletivo Rubra
I visited Mauá and São Paulo where I met with a youth theatre that have developed a play based on Descontruindo Una (Becoming Unbecoming). Coletivo Rubra and their play Una: Dedicado a Todas as Outras has emerged from a group of young people taking theatre classes with the local government in Maua, São Paulo. They perform the play with my blessing and collaboration, not for profit, and intend to use it to get the people of Brazil to recognise the problem of sexual violence and domestic violence and take action.
I spent a week with these talented young people and their director Felipe de Galisteo watching their performance and discussing improvements. They have created something genuinely profound and have respected the integrity of the book and the visuals while transforming the work into a performance. We will continue to work together and we are currently seeking funding and partners.
As part of the Brazil visit I met with a group of women at Casa Helenira Preta, a fledgling women’s refuge in Mauá. They are doing great work to support and protect women escaping violence but are in urgent need of support. I will also continue my work with them and try to raise funds and find supportive partners.
Here’s what we did during my stay in Maua.
A book (re)Launch at Ugra bookstore, São Paulo, including a performance from CR and an interview with me, with simultaneous translation. A conversation with public participation hosted by student feminist organisation Sempreviva at Casa Hip Hop, Maua. A visit and talk with women at Casa Helenira Preta, a help centre for women victims of violence. Followed by a Sarau. A discussion and zine workshop with Coletivo Rubra. A visit to a high school to do creative writing and drawing workshops. The main performance on Thursday 24th, 8.00pm til 10.00pm at Municipal Theatre of Rio Grande da Serra, a special presentation of the play Una-Dedicado a Todos as Outras by Coletivo Rubra.
Events and stuff, 2019
Saturday 16th November: Talk Lighthouse Bookshop, Edinburgh.
September saw the publication of a new anthology Drawing Power, edited by Diane Noomin, Published by Abrams, featuring work by a host of talented women including me *runs around excitedly*. I’m talked about this on Saturday 16th November with Maria Stoian at Lighthouse Bookshop, Edinburgh.
Sunday 24th November: Workshops Sunny Bank Mills, Farsley, Leeds.
As part of the Panel Show exhibition I gave two creative writing and drawing workshops, 10am till 12.30 and 2pm till 4.30. Drawing As A Way Of Thinking and Comics as Life Writing.
21st September to 10th November, Panel Show exhibition, Sunny Bank Mills, Leeds
I’m a featured artist in this interesting exhibition. You can see a commissioned piece and a collection of sketches and finished work that relate to my creative process. Details here Panel Show.
26th September to 24th October, Librarian’s Choice exhibition, Leeds Arts University.
An exhibition of original artwork and ephemera in the new Library exhibition space, Blenheim Walk site. Librarian’s Choice, curated by Nick Norton.
Weds 6th Nov. Thought Bubble creative workshop, Travelling Man, Leeds. 6.00-8.15
Hive Mind: Drawing as a Way of Thinking, with Una. A creative workshop to help artists and writers use drawing to think through, develop and plan characters and stories.
Free. All levels, ages 16+. Session opens at 6pm, if you need extra time for travel, please email ahead. To book, use the Eventbrite link.
9th & 10th November, Thought Bubble Festival, Harrogate.
I’ll be tabling all weekend selling pins, totes, posters, books and a new zine. Drop by my table to say hi, I’m always happy to chat. I don’t have my table number or location yet, I’ll update when I do.
Sunday 10th November 11.30-1.00pm, Thought Bubble Festival, Harrogate.
Bring Your Angry Eyes, Just In Case, with Una. A creative workshop to help artists tackle the problem of proportion in figure and face, and facial expressions. You will need a camera to take selfies. All else is provided. Room TBC. Open to festival ticket holders only. First come, first served.
16th September to 15th October, Sick Festival 2019, Manchester
I’ve designed a poster as a commission for the festival as part of Graphic Encounters. Viewable on Metrolink stops in North Manchester between 16th September and 15th October. For more details see the ‘Commissions’ tab on my home page.
Saturday 8th June 2019, ELCAF, London.
Sunday 31st March 2019, BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival.
Listen here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0003zgn
Saturday 30th March 2019, 10am till 3pm Laydeezdocomics Portfolio Reviews.
A 50 minute session with yours truly at the Free Word Centre London EC1R 3GA
Wednesday 6th March,Torch, Oxford, Decolonising the Curriculum.
This is the second session in a series that invites thinkers from all over the world to contribute to an important discussion. I’m doing graphic recording of each session in a (large) sketchbook, which can be made available to researchers after the series has finished. It’s free to attend and fascinating.
Events and stuff, 2018
22nd to 25th November BilBolBul Festival, Bologna, Italy.
22nd November presentation of Io Sono Una and a discussion in the Women’s Library, Bologna.
23rd November 10am till 1pm workshops with High School students making comics and discussing sex and relationships, Fano Public Library.
23rd November 7pm till 9pm Fano Town Hall. Presentation and discussion of Io Sono Una.
25th November comics signing at Biblioteca Salaborsa, Bologna
31st October to 3rd November Lucca Comics and Games, Lucca, Italy.
Wednesday 24th October, Cumbria University, Lancaster Campus.
Your Life Your Story. Drawing and creative writing workshop at this unique literary festival for National Care Leavers week. 1.30-3.00pm. To book a place contact amanda dot knowles at your-life-your-story dot co dot uk
Saturday 13th October, Lakes International Comic Art festival
In the Page 45 room in the Clocktower, 10.00am till 5.00pm. I’ll be signing and selling copies of my new comic book Cree. How exciting!
Friday 5th October, Cree official book launch, Waterstones Durham for Durham Book Festival.
6pm – 7pm, launch of my new book, Cree, commissioned by Durham Book Festival. Tickets £4 including a drink on arrival.
Monday 1st October, Waterstones, Tottenham Court Road, London.
Northern Fiction Alliance Roadshow. Reading and signing of pre-launch copies of my new short graphic novel Cree, commissioned by Durham Book Festival and New Writing North. Tickets £5. Lots of authors appearing. 10% discount on any books bought.
Saturday and Sunday 22nd, 23rd September Thought Bubble Festival
You can find me in the Comixology Marquee, table number 186.
Saturday 22nd September, 11.00-11.50am, Thought Bubble panel – Comics and Conflict.
Studio Theatre, Carriageworks, Millennium Square. Entry is with your Thought Bubble ticket.
Weds, 19th September, 6.30pm till 8.30pm, Travelling Man Leeds (Thought Bubble event)
Weds 19 Sept, Travelling Man, Leeds, LS2 3AD, 18:30-20:30, Free
This event is aimed at adults but young adults aged 14+ are also welcome if accompanied by an adult 18+.
A drawing/creative writing session with comics artist and author Una: Becoming/Unbecoming (2015), On Sanity: One Day In Two Lives (2016) CSE Principles (2017) and Cree (2018)
A friendly and informal workshop to help you explore how to draw out a sequential story from everyday life – your own or another person’s. People who think they can’t draw are more than welcome in this session, it’s suitable for all abilities. We’ll save a few seats for the more brilliant artists among you.
Basic drawing materials provided but feel free to bring your own if you have preferences.
To book a free place, use the eventbrite link here.
Saturday 15th September Leeds Zine Fair
Kirkgate Market, Leeds, 10.00am till 5.00pm. I’ll be selling brand new, limited edition riso print posters based on Becoming Unbecoming and copies of my self-published book On Sanity.
Friday 15th, Saturday 16th June, Bande De Femmes, Rome, Italy
9.00pm till midnight, Saturday 16th discussion of Io Soon Una at Biblioteca Goffredo Mameli, via del Pigneto 22, with Laura Schettini, Society of Historians and Barbara Ferrero, writer. Followed by live painting at Libreria Tuba to a soundtrack by the Playgirls of Caracas.
Turin Book Fair 11th to 14th May
I’m at the Salone Internazionale del Libro in Torino giving a talk with Italian writer Giusi Marchetta about the new Italian edition of Becoming Unbecoming – Io Sono Una. Details on the link below.
Saturday 5th May, Oxford University, Wolfson College, Oxford Centre For Life Writing
Everyday Matters: Writing Obscure Lives Colloquium. 2pm- 3.30pm Comics as Life Writing Workshop. I’ll be delivering a participatory creative writing/drawing workshop for this colloquium. Wolfson College, University of Oxford, Linton Road, Oxford OX2 6UD.
Tuesday 1st May, 17th Arras Book Fair, France
I’m appearing for signings and interviews and a talk with my translator Noomi B Grusig at the Arras Book Fair with my new French edition of Becoming Unbecoming – L’Une D’elles.
Sunday 29th April, Librairie Internationale VO, Lille.
11.00am brunch, talk and signing the new French edition of Becoming Unbecoming – L’Une D’elles, with Andi Watson and Joff Winterhart at Vo bookshop Lille.
Monday 5th March, Laydeezdocomics Leeds.
Leeds branch of Laydeez, meets at Wharf Chambers in centre of Leeds, organised by Lou Crosby. There are three speakers:
Una – artist and writer, author of Becoming Unbecoming and On Sanity: One Day In Two Lives . Currently working on a graphic novel for Virago Press and a short graphic novel for Mayfly Press, commissioned by New Writing North.
Annie Lawson – artist – began self-publishing on postcards in the 1980s, talking about her recent zine-making: a hair-care book, a true spy story, three fiction zines concerning the Otters of Mytholmoyd, and a family history saga.
Sarah McNicol (researcher) – Talking about Graphic Lives – a Heritage Lottery funded project that worked with a group of Bangladeshi women in Greater Manchester to create digital comics about their life stories.
Starts 6.30pm prompt Ends 8.45 pm (approx). All welcome (mixed event)
Entry: £1.50 No need to book
Wharf Chambers, 23-25 Wharf Street, Leeds, LS2 7EQ (Wheelchair accessible)
Saturday 24th March, Laydeezdocomics London: The Laydeez Review
Portfolio review sessions as part of the Laydeezdocomics Unpublished Graphic Novel Prize awards ceremony. At the Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Rd, London, EC1R 3GA
Six artists taking part: Rachael Ball, Wallis Eates, Kate Evans, Karrie Fransman, Simone Lia, and ME!
Book a 50 minute portfolio review and I’ll give you a one to one, encouraging tutorial, and you can ask me anything. there are 24 sessions up for grabs. Hurry, hurry! Not free, unfortunately. £27, subsidised by ACE.
Thought Bubble Table, 17th-23rd September and Persepolis workshop, March 7th.
I’ll have my own table at Thought Bubble Festival in September this year where I’ll have some new comics related items and I’ll be hanging out for occasional signings with my usual TB buddies, Myriad Editions/OK Comics.
Before the festival, in March, I’m doing a FREE educational comics-as-life-writing workshop alongside a screening of Persepolis at the Hyde Park Cinema, Leeds. Wednesday 7th March, 14.30 – 16.50. This workshop is for young people accompanied by a teacher. You can make group bookings using the eventbrite link.
Thought Bubble writing/drawing Workshop
Wednesday 20th September 6.00pm-8.30pm
A Day In The Life – Comics as Life Writing, a workshop with Una.
Draw out a sequential story from your own life in this friendly workshop, suitable for all abilities. With a focus on mental well-being this session aims to help you invent a simple character and let it talk through one day in your life. What makes you feel good (or at least a little better)? Going for a walk? Taking a long bath? Playing your favourite music?
Thought Bubble 2017 panel
Saturday 23rd September 12:30-13:20
Myriad Editions Thought Bubble panel.
Thought Bubble Festival signing times
Saturday 23rd September and Sunday 24th September
Leeds City Centre, various venues.
I’ll be around all weekend, hosted by OK Comics in the Millennium Square Comixology Marquee, tables 45/46. My signing times are 13.30 to 14.30 on the Saturday and 12.30 to 13.30 on the Sunday.
Durham Book Festival events
Saturday 7th October 2017, 10.00 till 4.00pm.
Durham Empty Shop TESST space.
A friendly, practical workshop making comics as life writing. £8/£6
Sunday 8th October 2017, 12.00 till 1.00pm.
Palace Green Library.
A lively, lovely chat with me and Mary Talbot. £8/£6
THE INKING WOMAN EXHIBITION
26th April – 23rd July 2017. Cartoon Museum, 35 Little Russell Street, London. WC1A 2HH.
EAST LONDON COMIC ARTS FESTIVAL
On 16th, 17th, 18th June 2017 I’ll be at the ECLAF tabling, signing and doing a panel. I’m speaking on Sunday and signing on Saturday at the House Of Illustration table.
NORWICH LITERATURE FESTIVAL
21st to 24th June 2017 I’ll be at the Norwich Literature festival by invitation from the International Literature Showcase. I’m reading on Wednesday evening at an event dinner for the International Literature Showcase at Norwich Castle Keep.
7th to 9th of July I’ll be at Semana Negra in Gijon, Spain for an exhibition and a round of talks about stories against violence against women and girls. Details tbc.
AYE WRITE LITERATURE FESTIVAL, GLASGOW.
Sunday 12th March I was at the Centre for Contemporary Arts for a panel session with Maria Stoian and Sasha de Buyl Pisco. A really interesting session with an in depth chat abut feminism and comics.
OXFORD LIFE WRITING CENTRE, WOLFSON COLLEGE, OXFORD UNIVERSITY
25th February 2017 I was speaking at the famous Wolfson College Centre For Life Writing about my work more generally as it relates to Self Knowledge: Autobiography and Research.
FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL DE LA BANDE DESSINÉE, ANGOULEME, FRANCE
26th to 29th January 2017 I was at the festival in Angouleme France as part of the International Girl Gang. In answer to the debacle in 2016 when no women artists were nominated for the Grand Prix and international group of women artists, editors and writers delivered a raft of talks and events for the festival committee.
LAKES INT COMIC ART, KENDAL
Saturday 15th October 2016, Lakes International Comic Art Fest, Kendal, 11.30 till 12.30, I was a panelist and was signing books at the Myriad Editions Table. Tickets £8.00.
THOUGHT BUBBLE, LEEDS (Three events)
Wednesday 2nd November 2016, Carriageworks Theatre, Millennium Square, Leeds, 6.00pm till 8.30pm. Comics creating workshop and a slide show about the On Sanity project. Free copies of the zine We All Start At The Beginning to all participants. Signed copies of On Sanity: One Day In Two Lives will be on sale at the event at £4.99.
Saturday and Sunday 5th and 6th of November, at the Myriad Editions table in the TB convention, signing Becoming/Unbecoming.
Sat 5th Nov, Cinema of War, Royal Armouries (Second Floor), 13.50-14.40, free entry with Saturday/Weekend convention pass.
Four creators talking about their recent books and the use of comics to tell stories from fiction to graphic memoir. Rachael Ball – author of The Inflatable Woman, Henny Beaumount – author of Hole in the Heart, Jade Sarson author of- For the Love of God, Marie! and Una- author of Becoming Unbecoming. Chaired by Lou Crosby – Seeing Poetry, and Co-ordinator of Laydeez do Comics, Leeds.
COMICS FORUM, LEEDS CENTRAL LIBRARY
Friday, 4th November 2016. I presented at the Comics Forum at Leeds Central Library. a paper on my new work in progress, Eve, and the emerging genres in comics and graphic novels.
WATERSTONES, PICCADILLY, LONDON
Wednesday 9th November 2016, Myriad Editions Literary Salon, Piccadilly Waterstones, London, 7.00pm. Discussions, slide shows, readings and signings.
ON SANITY: ONE DAY IN TWO LIVES
As part of the On Sanity project I gave a couple of talks at INKWELL ARTS – 31 Potternewton Lane, LS7 3LW.
Thursday 23rd June 2016
Me and my mum, discussed the comic we created specially for this project, about our different perspectives on the day my mum was admitted to hospital. She gave a talk about how her illness manifested, the difficulties it gave her and her subsequent recovery.
Thursday 30th June 2016
Me and Darryl Cunningham gave an informal talk about our work as it relates to mental health. Darryl’s first novel Psychiatric Tales, about being first a nurse and then a patient can be found in comics shops and online.
Some comics colleagues and I also gave some free community art sessions UNION 105 – 105 Chapeltown Rd, Leeds LS7 3HY and we delivered similar sessions in a psychiatric unit in Leeds. This resulted in the zine, We All Start At The Beginning.
Tuesday 28th June 2016 with Jean McEwan
Wednesday 29th June 2016 with Una
Saturday 2nd July 2016 with Una
Wednesday 6th July 2016 with Jack Fallows
20th April – 24th 2016 July original drawing from Becoming/Unbecoming was part of an exhibition called The Great British Graphic Novel at the Cartoon Museum, 35 Little Russell St, London WC1A 2HH. Artists featured in the show included Kate Charlesworth, Dave Gibbons, William Hogarth, Martin Rowson, Posy Simmons, Bryan and Mary Talbot.
5th Feb – 15th May 2016 original drawing from Becoming/Unbecoming was shown alongside original work from women in comics through the ages as part of a group show at the House of Illustration, curated by Olivia Ahmad and Paul Gravett. The show was called Comix Creatrix: 100 Women in Comics and I was honoured to be part of this event with so many brilliant artists, going back to Marie Duval. House of Illustration is a great gallery space, behind Kings Cross station, right next to Central St Martins, University of the Arts, London. Here’s a rather nice article in the Guardian about the show.
8th to 13th March 2016 is WOW – Women of the World – festival at the South Bank Centre, London. I appeared on the 11th March on a panel of graphic novelists as part of the festival. Sarah Lightman, co-founder of Laydeezdocomics was chair and me (Becoming/Unbecoming), Rachael Ball (The Inflatable Woman) and Catherine Anyango (Heart of Darkness and 2×2) were the panel. It was called Kapow! Graphic Novel Social.
I took part in a panel with some other great women at Leeds Central Library for an International Women’s Day event called The Festival Of The Body. Saturday 19th March, My fellow panelists were Jacky Fleming, Kristyna Baczynski and Beth Dawson! This is the organiser’s blurb:
The month-long programme of public events includes an exhibition, conference, performances and talks. It’s all free and includes something for everyone including theatre, making sessions, participatory events and a wide range of talks. Festival of the Body is organized by F=, an interdisciplinary research group based at Leeds Beckett University exploring the significance of feminism in creative practices.
Find out more at fequals.co.uk
On Thursday 12th November I was in conversation with the estimable Roger Sabin, Professor of Popular Culture at CSM, University of the Arts, at Waterstones Leeds, an event timed to coincide with the Comics Forum and Thought Bubble Festival. Roger stepped in at the last minute after the original presenter had to withdraw and he did a sterling job, thanks Roger. He actually saw Becoming/Unbecoming in the early stages after I asked him for some critical feedback, and we had a fruitful discussion over coffee in a little restaurant in Clapham, so he is well placed to discuss is with me now and directed his questions well. We had a good turnout, including a whole class group from the University of Leeds Continuing Education. So lovely to see them all sitting there in the front row. Also in attendance were two women from the Leeds based SARSVL, (Support After Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds) who were distributing information and informing people about a new role in their organisation. After the talk, I was able to meet and chat briefly to lots of people to whom the book was important while I was signing. I wish there had been more time to chat, but perhaps we’ll meet again. If you were there, thanks for coming.
Thought Bubble 2015, Leeds
I was at the Myriad Editions table at the Thought Bubble festival on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th for book signing and general chat. Becoming/Unbecoming was selling like hot inky cakes on the Saturday so I got to talk to lots of people. I was interested to find out that lots of mainstream comics fans also like my book, which I’m sure is a good sign. I’m aware of how, erm… alternative my approach to comics is so I’m delighted by this. Best of all, I had a chat with Kieron Gillen, who has written for Marvel and is known for his work on The Wicked + The Divine. Turns out he loved my book and as he gave me a potted critique on the spot. (A good one obviously). I wasn’t involved in any panels at Thought Bubble, but I was a guest this year, here’s my guest page.
BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour – Twice!
I appeared for the second time on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour on November 17th. This time I was drawing cartoons, which were then tweeted by BBC staff. The idea was that I would make drawings in response to a studio discussion about what people look like as part of the Mirror Mirror features on appearance. However, on the day there was only a short section discussing what people look like, so I just doodled away on anything that seemed interesting. As the show went out shortly after the Paris attacks, there was a discussion about how to talk to children about these events. A serious and sensitive topic, and not an easy thing to make a cartoon about on the spot, but I did, and I’m rather proud of it. I’m going to make a separate blog post with the cartoons on it so you can look at it there.
I have to say, it is extremely inhibiting trying to draw while there is a camera over your shoulder and someone hovering with an iPad, so some of the drawing from that day is pretty wonky, but they liked it, that’s the thing. I drew a quick pic of each crew member (of course people don’t usually see them) and they liked them so much they took them home. I drew Jane Garvey and Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney and Portlandia fame and also drew along with her interview about her musical origins. Jane took the drawing I made of her view into the control room and said she was going to frame it and hang it in the hall! We chatted along while I drew and you can listen to the podcasts here.
The podcast for the more extended October interview with Jenni Murray can be found here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06d9p9q
On 23rd of November 2015 I presented at London Laydeezdocomics, Gosh Comics with Richy K Chandler of Tempo Lush comics. It sold out, and I had a great reception, which was lovely because that’s where it all started. When Becoming/Unbecoming wasn’t even a notion of book yet, I went there to show my work. This was in the damp and dusty days of meeting at the Rag Factory, off Brick Lane. I kept attending the forum and helped out a little all through its transformation into something rather grand at Foyles bookstore and then got too busy to go there anymore. Now it has this wonderful quirky residency at Gosh. This useful forum was started by Nicola Streeten and Sarah Lightman, because they were tired of seeing so many male presenters at comics events. They have certainly evened out the balance. Nicola and Sarah are on sabbatical at the moment, so the forum is run by the lovely Keara Stewart and Wallis Eates. Gosh is such a lovely comics shop, I love the way it’s laid out and it sells lots of interesting stuff, you should visit it soon.
London Literature Festival
The London Literature Festival went well in October 2015. I was on a panel called The New Experimentalists, at the South Bank Centre, Royal Festival Hall. I’ve been invited back to take part in the Women of the World event in March 2016. Dates to be confirmed
Feminism in London Conference
I was at the Feminism in London Conference in October 2015 because I’d been shortlisted for the Emma Humphries Memorial Prize for writing and activism that combats violence against women and children. I was lucky enough to hear the grand dame Naawal el Sadaawi speak. Amazing event.