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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! 

Please feel free to get in touch via email, twitter or facebook. I also have an instagram page, and a minor addiction to social media. And I love it when you comment on my blog!

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.

23 Comments leave one →
  1. 28/02/2011 12:20 pm

    Dear Sarah,

    I just discovered your blog and it is absolutely delightful. I am going to add it to my blog roll so I can drop in often and visit.


  2. 23/08/2011 11:30 am

    Hi Sarah!! I haven’t had a chance to read this all yet but I had a skim of your other blog and it’s all so lovely!! I’ve been making sourdough too but didn’t know about the water (ajax!) spraying thing, will have to try it out. I love that your mum caught the yeast, I caught mine in Mt Albert ;o)

  3. 01/09/2011 10:43 am

    found your blog through your newest “stalker” simone 😉
    love the cartoons – super talent!
    looking forward to reading along am adding you to my blogroll too 🙂

  4. 10/10/2012 3:23 am

    Hi Sarah,
    I’ve been reading and enjoying your comics for some time now and have wanted to ask you (what may sound like) a stupid question. As a guy from the United States I don’t want to come across as one of those “clueless Americans” but having never been to New Zealand prior to discovering your site, the only other person that I’d heard of from New Zealand was singer Shona Laing. Are you any relation? Or is Laing just a common name.

    • Sarah Laing permalink
      10/10/2012 7:25 am

      No I’m not! Don’t worry, I get that question from New Zealanders too. It’s a common-enough Scottish name, more common in Australia than in NZ. My grandfather Laing came over from Tasmania in 1930s or so.

  5. 30/10/2012 12:45 pm

    Dear Sarah: I’m a New York City-based writer and curator who came across your work in Metro. Here for 2 weeks.

    Loved the Nov. “shopping” cartoon. Do you sell your originals? I collect, mostly autobio work.

    Thanks, Michael Kaminer
    Ps-URL I left is for cartoon show I created/curated. Thanks.

  6. 13/12/2012 12:08 pm

    Hi Sarah,

    Is there any way to buy your ‘An assortment of inspiring women’ comic online?


    • Sarah Laing permalink
      13/12/2012 12:22 pm

      No – I have to get onto that! But you can email me directly – sarah at and I can sell you one.

  7. 12/05/2014 8:24 pm

    I just discovered your book at Ramp Gallery’s current exhibition and it devoured my lunch hour. New fan.

  8. 01/08/2016 9:25 pm

    Amazing peice..of writing! 🙂
    Please check out m latest post on my blog!

  9. 77peter777 permalink
    05/09/2016 4:29 pm

    Hi Sarah.
    What a cool discovery you are and *I have no idea how I found my way here. Your graphic and written word resonates with me like I feel we are brother/sister or mates that grew up together. Fellow Kiwi who grew up in Palmy (teen years) and then went on to Wellington – Highbury (up above Te Aro) of course, and then later did the Auckland thing perhaps might explain the weird commonality. Can’t wait to take in more of your work. Love it !
    Peter (in the sunny Upper Hunter Valley of NSW)

    • Sarah Laing permalink*
      05/09/2016 6:39 pm

      Hi Peter, funny coincidence! I live quite near Highbury now. The Upper Hunter Valley sounds like a fine place to live, especially in a very changeable Wellington spring…

  10. Christine Hayvice permalink
    09/10/2016 8:38 am

    Dear Sarah, so thrilled to see your book is coming out about you and KM. I shared the Michael King house with you for a short time when you were there. I love your blog. It is thoroughly entertaining and funny. I’m sure your book will be a hit and I can’t wait to get a copy. I’ll be back in NZ to live by early next year. Christine Hayvice

    • Sarah Laing permalink*
      09/10/2016 10:08 am

      Hi Christine, thanks so much! I hope you like it, and welcome back to NZ for next year.

  11. LIZ MACINTYRE permalink
    12/02/2017 1:16 pm

    Hi Sarah, my daughter bought your KM book for me, knowing I’d done my MA thesis on her many years ago. I’m nearly finished it, but don’t want to. We’re in the Outback Australia now, but lived in Balmy Palmy for 12 years.

    • Sarah Laing permalink*
      13/02/2017 11:10 am

      Hi Liz, that’s great to hear! The Outback sounds like a bit of a change from Palmy!!

  12. Adrian Beauchamp permalink
    18/04/2017 9:30 pm

    Hi Sarah, my mum sent me a copy of your KM book for Easter – you have done a great job of describing your own journey as a writer in relation to the life of Miss Mansfield.

    These days I call Bavaria home, but your book took me back instantly to my own experiences of being young and reckless in Wellington in the 80’s .

    I try to read as much as I can get my hands on about Kathleen B so its been a real treat to see something visual about her life. It will nestle alongside the other books on my special shelf in good company. Your images of how it would have been – Carco squatting in front of the fire – bring the magic of her story to life.


    • Sarah Laing permalink*
      18/04/2017 10:10 pm

      So lovely to hear! And lucky you, living in Bavaria. You must be a descendent?

  13. Ana Paewai permalink
    28/10/2020 11:13 am

    Kia ora Sarah
    I’m visiting Wellington and saw an exhibition, just a snippet of your book, Let’s Be Frank. It was at the entrance to the Katherine Mansfield reading room in The Alexander Turnbull Library, I loved the story and the bright colours – the vibe that grabbed my attention. Yes, I’ll be sure to follow your work. Thanks for inspiring me.

  14. 19/01/2021 6:07 pm

    I just finished reading Mansfield and Me and thought it was absolutely wonderful. What an amazing writer and illustrator. Funny, inventive and moving memoir.


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