An Excerpt from Liz’ comic ‘House’ from lizzlizz.com
Today’s Thoughts from Thought Bubble stars Lizz Lunney: mighty comics creator, illustrator and one of the organisers behind Birmingham Zine Festival. We managed to nab a few minutes with Lizz inside the glamourous lobby of the Holiday Inn (while it was being hoovered) for her thoughts on Thought Bubble, BZF and comics in the UK.
On Thought Bubble 2012:
It’s been really good. I think this has been the best Thought Bubble I’ve ever done and I’ve been to every one. So I think it’s getting better every year.
On the convention circuit in the UK in general in developing comics:
Thought Bubble is important because it’s really the main festival and focus of the year, but other than that, I feel other festivals are becoming less so as they’re a bit scattered. I feel we’re lacking compared to other countries. But it’s improving!
On what she and others are doing to address that:
Well, Dan [Berry] and me are trying all sorts of things. I organized BZF this year and part of was the Make It Then Tell Everybody panels that Dan hosted. We were trying me make something that was really positive, interesting and pro comics; we didn’t want people feeling left out or criticising other peoples work. The panels were all about people who are positive about comics and willing to help each other. Although you’re always going to find it competitive in any career, I feel like in other countries it’s not so… mean, I guess?
BZF 2012 poster by Ben Javens
On the differences between comic audiences in other countries and the UK:
I think the main difference is how the general public see comics in this country and how they see them in Europe and Canada, which is totally different. I think the best way for this to be addressed is for all the people who do comics in the UK to spread out and work on other ways that comics can be portrayed to the public. Only then can the audience grow and a stronger acceptance of comics as a medium happen, not just the old opinions that “comics are for kids” or “comics are for geeks”.
On upcoming work:
I’ve got a few things in mind. The next thing I’m going to do is a collection of short stories – a bit longer than what I normally write - about weird people that I’ve met over the years in different jobs. As I’ve done comics, I’ve always had various other jobs as well – and I think most comics people are the same – and when you’re working within the public like that you meet a range of different people. And now I want to write about some of the weirder ones. There are some printers based in Leeds called Footprint who have a big riso printer, so I want to experiment a bit with printing techniques. We had Footprint at BZF where they did a zine-in-a-day.
On organising BZF:
It was so unbelievably stressful this year. I felt like I’d organised a really good event that went really well and people were really happy but I couldn’t enjoy it myself because i was too busy organising it.
We had arts council funding this year to promote Southside; Fuse magazine were doing a big illustration festival called Eye Candy and BZF was a partner. To be honest, I don’t know if I’d do it again with funding involved as it really complicates matters. It means you can have extra stuff like extra flyers printed and that kind of thing, but I think the essence of it is that we don’t need that much money to run it. But I think we spent the finding well and tried to do everything we could to promote it.
On hopes for comic creators in the UK going forward:
I hope it can become more of a real-world job for more people!
Thanks to Lizz for taking some time away from her table at Thought Bubble to speak to us. Head on over to Lizz’ shop to see more of her great work, or just pop into any greetings card shop, where you’ll be able to buy various cards from her range for UK Greetings. She’s taking over the world, one medium at a time.