Across those many pages
Some of those ‘parts’
& Gill Hatcher
Team Girl Comic #5, front cover
Colleen Campbell’s work features in TGC#2-5, as well as in full colour on the cover of TGC’s landmark 5th issue. This is a strong piece of work, with good proportion and linework, a pleasing in-your-face attitude, and a few good jokes to boot.
|Cover art: Colleen Campbell|
‘Twi Won’t You Shut Up?’
This is the first page of the second of 2 2-page strips by Jessica Hatcher featuring this Twilight-obsessed school girl. The strips are simple gags the theme of which- the one-track mind of the obsessive, should be taken as an object warning to geeks everywhere(!).
‘Twi Won’t You Shut Up?’, #1
‘It's Not You It's Me’
This deceptively simple 1-page cartoon by Claire Yvette could easily be taken as an exemplar of all that is good about indie comics in general and TGC in particular.
‘It's Not You It's Me’, #5
Gill Hatcher is the founder of TGC and one of its creative mainstays, with her work appearing in every issue so far. This 3-page strip is a great example of the 'slice of life' stories which appear in the comic.
‘Lanarkshire: 9-11...’, #5
This strip marks Jef Sinclair's first appearance in TGC: a mere 7 panels, but Jef manages to pack quite a lot into that limited space, including a poignant ending to her well-observed little story.
|Jef Sinclair’s ‘Moving On’, #5|
‘The true story of Arabella Stuart, contender to the throne’
Penny Sharp's cartoons have been appearing in TGC since #2. Her work has already shown tremendous variety, to which this strip just adds. 'The true story of Arabella Stuart' is a historical romance featuring a little-known noblewoman from the Elizabethan era who came to a tragic end for the crime of marrying the man she loved without the King's permission. At first sight Penny's artwork in this strip isn't as strong as that in her other strips- which show a good grasp of anatomy and a strong eye for fine detail, but this naive style deceives the eye.
‘The true story of Arabella Stuart,
contender to the throne’, #5
OK, OK, but why the ‘all-girl’ schtick?
All that said, I cannot but imagine that some of my readers are asking themselves the — not insignificant — question: does the all-girl collective make a real contribution to what is to be found in the pages of TGC, or is it just a gimmick? My answer is no, it’s no gimmick; the “all-female” in Team Girl Comic is essential to the comic in many ways, and is certainly the secret of its success.
I have a sneaking suspicion that this begins with the format of TGC itself. What I’m talking about here is that it’s an A5 comic printed on thick paper between card covers. I’d had my copies lying around for several weeks before it struck me that this format is simultaneously portable and durable, just the thing for carrying in, well, in handbags. I don’t know if this was a conscious decision on the part of anyone at TGC, but, inadvertent or not, anthologies and portability are a match made in heaven because dipping-in in spare moments is a major feature of the appeal of anthologies of any kind.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I hear you say dear readers, but what about the content? Well, I think the few samples I’ve here reviewed show a range of subjects and treatments which speak of a definite female sensibility, whether that be expressed in the simple choice of subject- eg. Claire Yvette and Jef Sinclair’s strips, or in the treatment of a chosen subject- eg. Gill Hatcher’s strip. It could certainly be argued that strips like this might well appear in a general anthology, but I would suggest that material of this ilk would struggle to find its place if it had to compete against the differing ethoi which men would be bringing to the editorial process in that situation. That’s not to say that the TGC is necessarily superior to different ethoi. Rather it’s just to note that the TGC ethos is what it is, and that it simply couldn’t flourish the way it does if the all-female collective didn’t serve to nurture it the way it does.
|Doon Mackichan, Sally Phillips &|
Fiona Allen of Smack the Pony
The guest creators
Team Girl Comic didn’t hog all the glory to themselves that night back in July: 2 of the tables in the Scotia at COMICS NIGHT with Team Girl Comic were set aside for guest creators.
|Gordon McLean & Colin Bell|
Jonbot vs Martha
|Helen Wright & Jenny Speirs|
|Suzi McIntosh, conceptual artist|
|Torpedo LOS, Roy Lichtenstein|
Thanks as ever to everyone whose company gave me such a great night out; to John and David of Black Hearted Press for the small gesture of faith they showed in an unknown blogger; but most of all to Team Girl Comic, who laid on a great event which really showed me- and many others, how much Glasgow comics geeks are worth. ;)
Gill Hatcher and Penny Sharp have alerted me to a couple of factual errors: “the covers of TGC#5 feature the only work by Coleen Campbell to appear in the comic so far”; and “many of the drawings in this strip are copied from an embroidered footstool, so Penny's style was fixed for her by her choice of subject”- both wrong. Oops. The ensuing corrections have entailed minor rewrites, naturally enough.
- Sisters, doing it for themselves #1: "Drink! Girls!"