A Cool Review for Shine in the Guardian

Shine by Candy Gourlay
'A precious and important novel that also explores exile from neighbours, family and country. The book is about reinvention and the faces we present to the world, whether it be in person, on a postcard or on the internet, all wrapped up in an exciting and perfectly paced story with a disturbing and dramatic climax.'
Philip Ardagh, The Guardian
Read the review

Thursday, 10 January 2013

My Former Life as a Pregnant Cartoonist: Using Comics to Tell Stories

Info ... what?

Over on my other blog Notes from the Slushpile, we've started a new series called the Geek List - geeky tools that can make the job of being an all-writing, all-marketing author much easier.

My first piece is about using Powerpoint to easily create infographics. I got so caught up in it that when I remembered that it was my turn to blog over at my publisher's  StoryBlog (yes ANOTHER blog) I made a comic using Powerpoint!


My StoryBlog comic. Click on the cartoon to see the rest or go here

Comics in Another Life

I had so much fun, it reminded me of the time I used to have a weekly comic strip in a woman's magazine in the Philippines (sadly I didn't bring any with me when I moved to England).

Back in 1991-1998 when I seemed to be continuously pregnant, I made a cartoon about pregnancy that I shopped around for a while. Nobody wanted to publish them. Maybe it was because there isn't really a tradition of strip cartoons in the UK.  Or maybe they weren't any good ... but here are some examples:

Now Mrs Jones, slowly let go of my hair ... and push.
It's turning BLUE! It's turning blue!
Early learning.


These comics are All Rights Reserved, © Candy Gourlay

This got me thinking. I wondered if there were other easy ways for non-drawing people to make comics. It's such a nice medium for telling stories - especially the three frame strip which hones your ability to create a set up and lead to a pay-off ... which is a great way to prepare to write longer pieces like short stories or novels.

Online Comics Generators as Teaching Tools

Turns out there are plenty of online comics generators ... and that lots of imaginative teachers have already started using comics to get their students telling stories!

There are some great links to free comics generators in that article, but I will post them below to make things easier for any kids or teachers who want to have a go.












9 comments :

  1. What a useful tool - thanks Candy - looks like fun and really, it's not procrastination. Really. It's not.

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    1. No of course it's not procrastination!

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  2. I totally agree that creating comic strips is a great learning tool. I don't know whether it is done in mainstream education but in special needs education kids learn about sequencing - they are given pictures to arrange in a way that tells a story with a beginning, middle and end. It is a fun and effective way to hone verbal and written communication skills, storytelling is an important aspect of this. Will go have a look at your links.

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    1. The Powerpoint trick might be a fun way of doing it. Children can act out the story and photograph themselves then build the comic on Powerpoint using the easy drag and drop interface and formatting the frames to look like comics. To work quickly on my Storyblog comic, I made the comic in sections and took screenshots to upload to the blog. Screenshots are such a quick and easy way of creating an image at the perfect uploadable resolution. And that's my hot geeky tip for the day.

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  3. Hi Candy,
    Thanks all these tips are great. I love comics and Graphic novels, but have the technical capabilities of a nat. It's always handy to find new fresh ways to present information.

    I love the pregnancy comics too.

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    1. I am planning to make a Slideshare about it. I love discovering easier ways of doing things.

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  4. Many will appreciate and understand the stages of motherhood if you use comic-inspired story-telling. It's a good remembrance of what are things you've been through as a parent and mother, so just keep it up Candy.

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  5. Yes, I do agree with what Hannah said, some people would refer reading comic-inspired pregnancy stories for it’s easier to absorb and managed. I’m looking forward to seeing more comic-inspired pregnancy stories from you.

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  6. Why nobody wanted publish? craziness maybe?... reading the comments make me an idea, but your comics are great! very funny. Keep going!

    digitaleoptionen.yolasite.com

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