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

Saturday, 12 July 2014

An Affair to Sort of Remember: my comic about how I met my husband

A frame from my comic. Do
You recognise one of the
I've been attending a graphic novel course taught by Emily Haworth Booth, winner of the 2013 Observer/Cape/Comica graphic short story prize (you can view her hilarious winning entry here).

When I was a child, a cartoonist was one of the things I wanted to become. In fact, I did have a weekly comic strip in a Philippine women's magazine for a while. But real life intervened and I became a writer.

I especially love Marjane Sartrapi's
simple black and white vibe. Tried
to copy it and realised it's harder
than it looks!
Today comics are having a resurgence with exciting publishers like Nobrow and beautifully produced graphic novels of all genres.

I have become addicted to the autobiographical work of artists such as Craig Thompson (Habibi), Alison Bechdel (Fun Home), Guy deLisle (Pyongyang), Art Spiegelman (Maus) and Marjane Sartrapi (Persepolis). I signed up for the course to see if I could do something similar.

Here is my final project. Click on the view full screen icon on the bottom right corner to see it in full view.

If you look closely, you can see that I'm learning as I go along. At first I tried to draw and lay it out directly on the page. But I discovered I couldn't do straight lines so I had to admit defeat and lay it out on Photoshop.

I tried doing a technique of pencilling then copying the images on a lightbox but I found the second time I drew an image, it lost all its energy. So these are a combination of pencilling things in and drawing straight on the page, then erasing my mistakes on Photoshop.

A lot of the techniques of developing a story are similar to building a novel. If I had the time, I could add a couple more pages to this story. I left out some interesting bits!

It was so liberating to get out of the writer's cave every Thursday night and do something other than writing a novel. And it was fun meeting other people with a love for comics. My classmates were such accomplished artists. And young.

I'm looking for another graphic novel class to attend in the autumn.


  1. Candy, that was an awesome story! I don't care if there were different bits in terms of techniques, I didn't even notice. Great fun to read!

  2. That's so great, Candy. Loved it!

    1. Thanks, Sue. Really enjoyed making it.

  3. This is brilliant, Candy, I love the way you've created and captured expressions - especially your own! :-)

    1. Thanks, Nicky. As I made it I felt more and more like a cartoon character!

  4. I have to send you a signed copy of the image on the Asia Magazine cover. And an second print for you and your husband to sign for my archive. Great job. Keep drawing!

    1. Gee, thanks Frank! Nice to hear from you. Your Asia Magazine cover is treasure to us!

  5. Candy, it's wonderful. I would love to see more of this story.

    1. I'd love to do more ... time is all I need!

  6. Fantastic, Candy. Loved your comic, and i'm totally fascinated by the process of creating it too. I soooo want a light box.


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