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Paradox

05/08/2015

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Oh the dilemmas of knowing too much and reading way too many essays online. I feel saturated in intelligent essays, which is a wonderful thing, but it makes me aware of all the possible ways of living and failing.

This comic here was prompted by this Jane Campion clip. It’s pretty cool – you should watch it.

I gave my character different hair in this comic – I am experimenting with a persona, as I do potentially have a new job drawing comics (alas not being paid squidillions for it) and I am exploring what I might do – observational stuff, like I post on this blog, or perhaps some kind of fictional drama, like what Posey Simmonds did for the Guardian. Of course she wrote this when print still reigned supreme and people didn’t read everything on their tiny phone screens.

Pop quiz: how do you read my comics? On your computer or on your phone?

Oh, and look, here is my manuscript! It’s over 300 pages but looks really huge because I hand painted it all on heavy paper. I still have to go back and revise stuff, and now Gerri Kimber’s found some poems from Katherine Mansfield’s lost years, so maybe I can bring some of that to the manuscript. But still, I feel a sense of achievement having got this far.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Emma Jean Kelly permalink
    05/08/2015 12:07 pm

    Congratulations on the manuscript Sarah! Having recently finished a ‘Gender and Work’ project with Judy McGregor, Lynne Giddings and Judith Pringle I can tell you it’s a capitalist conspiracy that says women earn less because they take time off to have kids….there is no study that actually proves that, it’s just a big fat assumption. It’s simply the unspoken understanding that working part time or having a focus other than work makes you a less valuable employee, and desperate scrambling by employers to justify why they systematically pay women less for the same work, even in universities where they should know better – and also an assumption that all women want kids leading to, for example, young female grad lawyers being employed less because potential employers assume they’ll want babies in the next few years (but HR will never put that on their reports). It’s all BS & Jellybeans given how much ‘presenteeism’ goes on in workplaces – ie if you’re at work from 9-5pm you must be productive – it’s just not true. Mums are enormously productive workers who should be paid accordingly- and more Dads should be respected for wanting to stay at home with the kids…but I’m preaching to the choir and getting a bit worked up now! 🙂

    • Sarah Laing permalink*
      05/08/2015 12:56 pm

      That is so interesting, Emma! And yeah I suppose that’s how the status quo remains – with all those phoney excuses and false – or convenient – assumptions. I think a big issue is that people’s worth is also defined by what they are paid, and so much valuable work is unpaid – childcare, community involvement, anything to do with the arts or writing, which you are meant to do voluntarily, out of some kind of compulsion, whilst having a ‘proper’ job at the same time. Or, in my case, being married to someone with a proper job so that I can pursue my poorly-paid interests.

  2. Alison permalink
    06/08/2015 3:39 am

    Hey Sarah, congratulations! It looks amazing… I am so impressed at you hand painting a 300 page book.
    I read your comics on my computer, except when you put in links to you-tube videos, then I need to switch to phone because my computer is set up in a weird way and I don’t hear anything through the speakers.
    A small rebellion about traditional female stereotypes… I pretend EVERY character who is not obviously male in EVERY book I read to my children is female. I did this with animals from when they were little, now extended to humans. So if a book is about an astronaut, I say “do you think she’s just back from the moon?”. My kids thought it was strange when I first started doing it a couple of years ago (they were 5 and 7), but now they don’t react as much. Ruby asked me almost every time, “do you think that’s a woman? And I would say, “yeah! oh well I don’t actually know”

    • Sarah Laing permalink*
      07/08/2015 12:19 pm

      That sounds like an excellent strategy! I wish you could do that with Hollywood movies too. And thanks for the feedback. I know people are reading stuff on their phones more and more but I really don’t like to read long form there – the computer is way more comfortable.

  3. 10/08/2015 10:58 am

    I read mine over the computer (via email notifications) and I love it! Thanks. However, I don’t have a smart phone. If I did, and received emails over it, I would probably read your comics there, too.

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