Rosalind B. Penfold was aged 59 when her first graphic novel, Dragonslippers: this is what an abusive relationship looks like, was published by Penguin (Canada) in 2004. It was subsequently translated into nine languages, becoming an important resource worldwide – and has now inspired a new comics prize for women.
The gut-wrenching mindset of an abused wife was captured in Penfold’s diary of drawings, compiled into a graphic novel when she ended the relationship after ten years.
Discussing the genre of graphic memoir in The Guardian in 2012, Bryan and Mary Talbot wrote: “Dragonslippers is a visceral account of domestic violence … It’s hard to think of a more effective medium for communicating this kind of painful experience. Anyone who’s concerned about the prevention of violence against women should read it.”
This week, Laydeez Do Comics has announced The Rosalind B. Penfold Prize for “finding your voice over the age of fifty”, which will be presented as one of the shortlisted prizes of the Laydeez do Comics Award.
“We recognise that many women come late to the table with a lifetime of important domestic experiences worth documenting,” says a spokeswoman. “This is to encourage and reward their voices.”
The Laydeez do Comics Award is the first women-only prize for a graphic novel work in progress by a UK-based creator. This represents a recognition and celebration of the wealth of comics work currently being produced by female-identifying people based in the UK.
LDC’s interest has always been in the drama of the everyday and the autobiographical. Within that remit we are looking for original and innovative work in progress, that stretch definitions of the comics form as well as the subject matter.
The Laydeez do Comics prize will be awarded to the graphic novel work in progress that, in the opinion of the judges – Olivia Ahmad, curator at the House of Illustration, Samira Ahmed, a freelance journalist, writer and broadcaster at the BBC, absurdist cartoonist, illustrator and artist Steven Appleby and Philippa Perry, psychotherapist and the author of the graphic novel, Couch Fiction – shows the most potential.
• Don’t miss the deadline! Submit Digital Entries by 11th January 2019 and printed zines by 20th January 2019. Apply here and find out more on the Laydeez Do Comics web site
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