Panel Borders: Inspired by Autobiography

Panel Borders: Inspired by AutobiographyIn an episode of the comics radio show Panel Borders looking at how personal experience can inform the content of graphic novels, Alex Fitch talks to cartoonist Ian Williams about his books The Bad Doctor and The Lady Doctor, in a Q&A at Cartoon County, Brighton. Plus, guest presenter Philippa Perry discusses The Book of Sarah with its author, artist Sarah Lightman, about the book’s mix of fine art drawings and diary entries, in an interview recorded at Waterstones, Hampstead.

The show is being broadcast just ahead of this year’s Graphic Medicine Conference in Brighton, where both Ian and Sarah will be speaking.

Ian Williams. Photo: Lucie Unsworth

Ian Williams. Photo: Lucie Unsworth

Ian Williams is a physician, comics artist and writer, based in Brighton, UK. He founded the Graphic Medicine website in 2007 and currently edits it with MK Czerwiec. His graphic novel, The Bad Doctor, was published in the UK by Myriad Editions and published in North America by Penn State University Press.

He’s co-author of the Graphic Medicine Manifesto and has written for various medical, humanities and comics publications and has contributed a series of comic strips to The Guardian.

Sarah Lightman

Sarah Lightman

Sarah Lightman is a London-based artist, curator and writer. She completed an Art Foundation course at Central St Martins, attended The Slade School of Art for her BA and MFA, where she won The Slade Prize and The Slade Life Drawing Prize,  and has a PhD from University of Glasgow in women’s autobiographical comics. She has extensively published her research. Her artwork has been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally.

Sarah co-curated Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women, an internationally touring exhibition of 18 comic artists, that opened at nine museums over 6 years. She edited Graphic Details: Jewish Women’s Confessional Comics in Essays and Interviews (McFarland 2014), which was awarded The Susan Koppelman Prize for Best Feminist Anthology (2015) and The Will Eisner Award for Best Scholarly Publication (2015), an Association of Jewish Studies/Jordan Schnitzer Book Award for Jews and The Arts (2016).

Sarah has experience teaching and lecturing at undergraduate and graduate level and acted as an External Examiner for an MA at California College of the Arts. In addition, she’s led comics workshops at the Jewish Museum, London (2018), Glasgow Jewish Book Week (2018), JW3, the Jewish Community Centre for London (2012, 2013) and Koffler Centre for the Arts, Toronto (2011).

She also chaired the Women in Comics Conferences in 2009 and 2010, and, in 2009, co-founded Laydeez do Comics with Nicola Streeten, the largest women-led comics forum in the UK, open to all, its mission to change the world through the medium of comics.

Panel Borders: Inspired by Autobiography airs at 5.30pm Wednesday 3rd July 2019, repeated 2.30am Friday 5th July, Resonance 104.4 FM and DAB (London) / broadcast streamed at / podcast after broadcast at

• Follow Ian Williams on Twitter as @thebaddr and see more of his work at and

• Sarah Lightman is online at and follow her on Twitter @sarahlightman1| Laydeez do Comics is at

• Graphic Medicine Conference 2019 takes place Friday, 12th July 2019, in Brighton – more information at

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