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'Girly Comic Book' launched by University of Leicester graduate and employee

Cover for The Girly Comic Book 1, launched on November 15 at the Thought Bubble convention in Leeds.

'Girly Comic Book' launched by University of Leicester graduate and employee

Launch of female-centred comic collection on Saturday November 15

Issued on 14 November 2008

A new Girly Comic book featuring female characters in the lead and dealing with topics as varied as magic, ghosts, drug addiction and anorexia is to be launched this Saturday (Nov 15) by a University of Leicester graduate - who also works at the University.

Selina Lock, Information Librarian at the University of Leicester, is editor of The Girly Comic, a publication designed to encourage more female comic creators and readers. It is published by the Leicester-based publishing imprint Factor Fiction, which is managed by Selina and her partner Jay Eales.

The Girly Comic Book 1 collects stories from the first nine issues of The Girly Comic, together with an introduction by writer of DC Comics' Lucifer series Mike Carey.

Selina said: "During the first couple of comic conventions I attended in 1999 I kept complaining that there weren't enough comics there that I wanted to read, as the wares on offer were mainly superhero or 2000AD related. Finally I decided to put my money where my mouth was and The Girly Comic was born."

Although The Girly Comic aims to encourage female readers, Selina feels that it appeals to all comics fans.

"The main criteria for submissions is that they have to have a female main character in order to fit the "girly" theme, and they have to be written and drawn to a high standard.

"One of our major contributors, Lee Kennedy, creates autobiographical strips, with a humorous undertone, based on her catholic upbringing in New York and her more recent experiences living in London. Other fictional stories range from those on magic and ghosts through to those on drug addiction and anorexia.

"We have a wide variety of creators of both sexes who contribute to the comic, from professional creators who have a story they want to tell that isn't suitable for their normal publisher, such as Martin Millar & Simon Fraser, through to people who have never written a comic strip before.

"I believe that The Girly Comic will appeal to anyone who enjoys good storytelling."

As a small press comic, The Girly Comic is only published 2 - 3 times a year but is now on to its eighteenth issue. Its pages have featured comics industry professionals such as John Stokes, Mike Collins, Simon Fraser, mpMann and Martin Millar, veteran indie creators such as Lee "Inner City Pagan" Kennedy, Terry "Sleaze Castle" Wiley and Jeremy Dennis, alongside new talents from the British Small Press scene and beyond.

The Girly Comic Book 1 will be launched officially at the Thought Bubble convention in Leeds on November 15th. Selina has found that conventions are where the comic is most popular: "Most of our sales are made through comic conventions, such as the Bristol Comics Expo, Leeds Thought Bubble event, the Birmingham International Comic Show, and the Caption convention, which I help organise. We also supply small press friendly comic shops such as Gosh in London, and sell through our website."

This niche market has not stopped the Girly Comic from receiving acclaim and it secured second place in the Best Small Press/Indy Comic category in the final National Comic Awards in 2004. It has also received a nomination for Best Small Press Title from the Comic Creators Guild in 2006.

Selina is an Information Librarian and graduate of the University of Leicester.

She said: "My colleagues at the University of Leicester have been very supportive of my creative endeavours. I have found that skills learnt while working at the University, such as time management, have helped me to manage editing and publishing The Girly Comic."

The Girly Comic Book 1 is published by Factor Fiction, priced at £15 (hardback).

Notes:

Selina Lock is the Editor of The Girly Comic. She co-organises the Oxford-based comic convention Caption. She has been published in the Norwegian teenage comic Baddis, Borderline, Redeye, Tribal Magazine and the Crazy Like Us blog.

For more information, visit the Factor Fiction website: http://www.factorfictionpress.co.uk

The Girly Comic Book 1 will be launched officially at the Thought Bubble convention in Leeds on November 15th, where several contributors will be in attendance.

For interviews with Selina please email selina.lock@googlemail.com

Report by Peter Thorley

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