Sunday 1 November 2009

Congratulations Vivien McDermid

and Joff Winterhart (what a great name!) on 1st and 2nd place respectively in the Graphic Short Story Prize. Unusual choice for a post from me, but there's quite a lot of traffic coming through my blog this weekend and I don't want my previous post to seem like a slight on the true winners or their strips. You can read the winning story on the Guardian Gallery page or fork out for the Observer and read it there. It's a story about the difficulties of parenthood and loss of liberty, I could relate to some of this after struggling at home on my own with my son through unemployment and trying to build a career as an artist and writer. And most of my 'art' in those years went into creating worlds for my son and I to play in which often resulted in wrecking the house, much to my poor wife's despair upon returning from work.

Looking at the reaction to the previous winners I saw a surprising amount of criticism of the strips and the competition itself, so another reason for this post is to distance myself from anything like that. Of course I think I was 'robbed' (I imagine that's what you feel if you lose a competition - this is my first) and it's great that so many people like my story. One 'A' level student liked it so much she asked if her literature class could use it to discuss what constitutes a story, poem, picture etc. What I'm saying is that the competition makes you work up an idea to completion and therefore you've succeeded.

If there are as many entrees as I've heard then hopefully someone will put together a site to collect them all, and if it may be more constructive if, instead of aiming resentment at the judges or the winners, people take a moment to write why they entered in the first place.

I entered because although I have managed to earn money from drawing and writing (see the 10 Ways To Stay Busy post) I have a lot of ideas about what is possible with comics/graphic story telling. I'm never going to get a brief that says "Rob, can you do something we've never thought of" so I needed a focus to get the ideas down. I'm happy enough with what I've done, it's a glimpse of what I feel I can do and I think I was hoping that if people 'got it' or 'liked it' then I could justify giving up some of the paying jobs and putting more time into my own projects.


Anonymous said...

Just bumped into your site...
Certainly liked your entry more than the winner and runner-up!
As I made an entry too, I also was disappointed. Not so much on not winning, but on the overly, well, 'feminine' choice - no disrespect, but no surprise judging on (some of) the judges. I'm pretty sure the results would be different if readers would be consulted.
But hey, you're right, no point in getting into this too much. Like you, I just hope the others will get more exposure they deserve.

This was my entry:


Rob Davis said...

Hi David

liked your strip, reminded me a bit of an old film called Carnival of Souls, if you haven't seen it you should.

shane oakley said...

lo, rob. coming to your blog late and reading HOW I BUILT MY FATHER.

this is easily one of the best things i've seen you do(and that's saying a LOT!).

just beautiful.

inventive, sweet, funny, sad, and so english phython-eccentric.
and the spot colours make it sing.

haven't read many of the others, but yours towers above those that i have seen.
and, not winning aside, i think you stepped up and did summat brave, something special. and i would love to see you do more of the like, time allowing.

gush over.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rob,

Thanks, I will look that up; haven't seen it yet - I'm a huge filmfan!

Julia Bax said...

Great work man.

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