Nottingham_LHsample_williamOur fifth guest for Nottingham Comic Con!  We’re very pleased and honoured to have the awesome artist that is Laura Howell.

As always we managed to throw a few questions over to Laura about her and her work…

Nottingham_LHsample_Tricky

How did you get started in comics?

I’d been an avid doodler for pretty much my whole life, but it wasn’t until I was approaching my late twenties that I gave any serious thought to trying to do art for a living (I had been working as a children’s book editor since leaving university). By sheer coincidence, around that time I learned about a course running in my home city, Birmingham, called “StripSearch”. Tutored by industry pros John McCrea and Hunt Emerson, it was specifically designed to identify and assist people who wanted to break into the comics industry. I was chosen for a place on the course and really, it all started from there. So, a classic case of right place, right time. It helped that I had a portfolio compiled from work I’d done in my spare time ready to show when that opportunity arose, though.

Nottingham_LHsample_fatmanYou have an awesome claim to fame of being the first female to have a regular strip on the Beano. How did that come about?

Well, being female is purely an accident of birth, so I can’t take any credit for that;) Being a Beano artist is linked back to StripSearch. Hunt was, and indeed still is, working on The Beano at that time, and he suggested that I might want to approach them for work. I started off helping him with his strip at the time, “Ratz”, writing scripts and inking his pencil art, in order to demonstrate that I could work to a certain standard and also to deadlines (which is super-important when you’re dealing with a weekly comic). After a few months of that, I sent the editor some samples of my own work, he liked them, and they devised a new strip for me to try. That was late 2006, and I’ve been working on various Beano strips more or less constantly ever since.

Nottingham_LHsample_GandSWhat are you currently working on?

More Beano stuff! My current strip is “Tricky Dicky”, a re-working of the classic Topper character from back in the day. I’ve just finished a run of Les Pretend mini-strips, too. Right now I’m doing pages for the 2016 Dandy and Beano annuals (they prepare them really far in advance!), running cartooning workshops in schools and libraries, and trying to find time to squeeze in my own projects and pitches for other publications.

What can we expect to see from you at Nottingham Comic Con?

Hopefully volume 3 of my “The Bizarre Adventures of Gilbert & Sullivan” comic series! An assortment of comics from The Midlands Comics Collective, of which I’m a member. I’ll also have the usual badges, posters and suchlike with my own quirky-cute designs on them, and will be sketching cartoon characters and portraits for any nice person who asks for them. Basically, I will be sitting behind a table and smiling at random strangers, with a comic in my hand. Looking forward to being there!

Make sure to stop by Laura’s table at this year’s con and pick up a comic book or two as well as a poster and badge, it’ll be totally worth it.

Have you got your tickets for this year’s event yet? We’ll be announcing a whole lot more real soon, including more guests and exhibitors and letting you know which charities we’ll be supporting this year.
Eventbrite - Nottingham Comic Con 2014