It’s the second South London Comic and Zine Fair this weekend and, to get Londoners in the mood for this most welcoming day of small press comics magic, we’re providing a handful of short spotlight features this week on a trio of exhibiting creators who either graduated from last year’s SLCZF Communal Table or are newer faces on the scene. Our third and final subject is Hattie Comics who talks to us today about her retro-style approach, her love of classic UK comics for girls, and the importance of representational storytelling…
If you want to find out more about SLCZF you can read our festival report on last year’s triumphant debut here and follow the fair on Twitter here. Broken Frontier are proud to be putting their name to the 2018 SLCZF Communal Table. If you want to find out how to have your comics displayed there on the day then all the guidelines are here. And don’t forget I’ll be available to speak to any aspiring creators about their comics practice and give feedback/advice on the day!
ANDY OLIVER: Tell us a little about your background and your wider artistic practice?
HATTIE COMICS: I have been reading comics, sketching and writing stories since I was in single digits. About a year and a half ago, I stopped procrastinating and published my first comic online. It took me a while because like many other artists in the independent comics scene, this is something I do in my free time.
AO: How do you define your work in terms of theme or genre? What have you self-published to date?
HATTIE: A couple of years ago, I stumbled upon some of the British weekly girls’ comics I’d enjoyed as a youngster: Bunty and Misty. Besides the amazing artwork, I was struck by how dark the comics often were. Of course, there were tales of forbidden romances, boarding schools and magic lockets, but there were also stories about teen runaways, the occult, and even psychological abuse. Kind of heavy for such a young audience, but there was always a moral and a strong, female heroine. They resonated with me. I think it’s important that young people see true-to-life, uncensored versions of themselves in storytelling. Reading stories about young women facing everyday shit can be very cathartic. I hope that’s how people have found the first five issues of Hattiecomics.com. It’s both a parody and a homage to the “girl comics” genre.
AO: How would you describe your artistic style? What mediums do you work in?
HATTIE: I’m into pulp and retro comics kitsch, so it’s always a big compliment when people recognise those styles in my work.
Hattie Comics is hand-drawn but created digitally (I sketch directly onto the tablet). I have also recently started creating photo comics, which feels like a fun return to my film school days, as you have to set up lighting,
AO: What will you be selling at this year’s SLCZF? And whose work are you looking forward to picking up on the day?
HATTIE: I will have some posters, prints and my first photo comic for sale. I’m delighted to be featured with Jade King and Joe Stone, who I am coincidentally big fans of.
I’m also looking forward to picking up some of Lucy Sullivan and Wallis Eates’ new zines. I can’t wait for both of their upcoming graphic novels.
AO: What would be your one soundbite of advice to new artists just starting on their comics self-publishing journey?
HATTIE: Apply to as many competitions and anthologies as you can. It was a great confidence boost to have my work accepted into issue #12 of Dirty Rotten Comics earlier this year.
AO: What can we look forward to from you in the near future? Are there any longer-term projects you’re working on?
HATTIE: Donut Girl Part 3 will hopefully be online by September. I’m also hoping to revisit my Adventures in Online Dating series (first published in Dirty Rotten Comics), which is autobiographical and certainly stranger than fiction.
Check out more Hattie Comics on her site here and follow her on Twitter here.
For regular updates on all things small press follow Andy Oliver on Twitter here.