My name is Sarah Laing, and I’m a cartoonist, fiction writer, illustrator, graphic designer and mother of three. Although I have lived in a number of cities, including Munich and New York, I grew up in Palmerston North, New Zealand, and spent about 9 years of my life in Auckland. Right now I live in Wellington.
Most of the comics I post here are pretty spontaneous and autobiographical, drawn in response to my everyday experiences. Sometimes I post comics I’ve drawn for publications, which go through multiple drafts and are carefully coloured, with all the spelling mistakes corrected. I’ve also written a book-length comic, Mansfield and Me: a Graphic Memoir, which is published by VUP, and hopefully soon by some international publishers too – I even have an agent!
Fancy-pants bio for literary purposes
Sarah Laing is a fiction writer and graphic artist. She comes at books from all angles, writing as well as designing and illustrating them. The author of a graphic memoir, two novels, and a collection of short stories, she has also illustrated children’s books and designed and co-edited an anthology of Aotearoa/NZ women’s comics.
Her literary career was launched after winning the Sunday Star Times short story competition in 2006, and her first collection of short stories was published the following year to critical acclaim. “Sarah Laing is our next great short-story writer…Sarah Laing is a real talent”, wrote Siobhan Harvey in The Press. She completed her debut novel at the Michael King Writers Centre, as a writer-in-residence, and Jolisa Gracewood described Dead People’s Music as a novel “brimming with narrative pleasures”. In 2010 she was selected to be a fellow at the Sargeson Centre alongside Sonja Yelich, Lorde’s mum, and it was there she began her popular blog, Let Me Be Frank, cronicalling her writing and parenting life in comics. This led on to regular columns in Metro and Little Treasures, a series of comics books published by Pikitia Press, and her decision to make her 2013 novel, The Fall of Light, part prose, part illustration. Sarah Dunn of The Nelson Mail wrote: “The Fall of Light offers a fresh new perspective on life as a New Zealander through irresistible characters. I loved it.”
In 2013 Sarah was the University of Auckland/Michael King Writers Centre fellow, and there she worked on her graphic memoir, Mansfield and Me. Grappling with Mansfield’s legacy as New Zealand’s finest short story writer, she examined her own desire to be a ‘real writer’ in lush watercolour illustrations. This will be published by VUP in October 2016, in time for Mansfield’s 128th birthday.