Comics & Motherhood

Since having a baby I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting other mothers talking about motherhood through comics. It’s been a great source of inspiration and we’ve since formed a collective of sorts (Comiking Mums) and have presented our work at two conferences now.

The group was initially convened by Sarah Lightman, author of The Book of Sarah. Our last outing was the 2019 Graphic Medicine Conference in Brighton. Here’s us after the panel. From left to right Amelie Persson, Camille Aubry, Zarina Liew, Myself (making faces), Miki Shaw, Hannah Berry, Sara Kenney, Karrie Fransman, and Sarah Lightman.

As you can see, children were welcome and I brought Asa, who even managed to run up to the podium during my talk to have a poke around :-) You’d be surprised (or not surprised) at how surprised (and delighted) some people were to see actual babies at a panel on motherhood which really says more about how unwelcome “motherhood” has usually been made to feel in these kinds of spaces. So I love these awesome ladies for turning that around.

I presented some panels from a comic I’ve been working on called “Everyone Was Once a Baby” (or Nothing Lasts Forever).

Basically, ever since having a baby I’ve been gripped by the obvious yet somehow still overwhelming realisation that everyone was, indeed, once a baby. This has given me both a sense of solace and paralysing grief. For a while, it was more grief than solace, and so I started this comic as a respite from the tears.

I also threw in a few pages on the medical aspects of my birth experience.

This was kind of new territory for me as I don’t think I’m naturally a personal-details sharer, and haven’t really explored auto-bio in my comics work. But it was definitely cathartic and who knows maybe if I had explored this territory earlier I could have saved myself years of unexplained angst and therapy. So (maybe) more of that down the line.

Signing off for now. More of anything and something in the near future.

P.s. If you are a mom/mum working with comics and would like to get involved, get in touch and I will add you to our group.

Me & my little boy Asa <3 <3 <3
Thx Karrie Fransman for the pic.
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