Books, Thoughts

Published

Katie Green signing Lighter Than My Shadow

It’s really quite strange when suddenly the thing that all your thoughts and efforts and motivations for the past five twelve years have been pushing towards happens. It’s at once the most fulfilling and the most emptying experience I’ve ever had. People have constantly been asking me how it feels and in all honesty I don’t know. It does not quite feel real.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s wonderful that the fruit of my labours is out there, a real book in real bookshops for real people to pick up and buy and read. It’s wonderful that some of those people have liked it, and some have said very nice things, even in public places like Amazon and Stylist Magazine. I’ve even been in the paper and I’ve been on Radio 4. I’ve been interviewed and I’ve guest-blogged and I’ve given talks and even enjoyed giving them. I feel like I’ve achieved something of value, and it’s been amazing to meet people who’ve read it and think so too.

But I’ve also been missing having a project. After so many years tethered to Lighter Than My Shadow, I feel a bit disorientated now that it’s finished. I keep having new ideas for it, forgetting that it’s done and dusted and out there. In some ways I want it back, not because I’m unhappy with what I did but because I miss the doing.

People keep asking me, “What’s next?” and I get grumpy, because that book took me 5 years to draw and they read it in two hours and they want more already? But as I’m adjusting to the feeling of my first book being ‘done,’ I’m also adjusting to the notion that this – drawing, book-making – might be what I do. So yes, I hope there will be another.

And if you really can’t wait, of course, there is another. The Crystal Mirror, written by Tim Malnick and illustrated by me, is published by Vala next week. More, including details of the book launch coming soon…

Comics, Events

Graphic Medicine

Graphic Medicine

I’m cross-posting this from the Lighter Than My Shadow blog, about the great conference I’m attending this coming weekend.

I first discovered Graphic Medicine through Andrew Godfrey, who mentioned the website to me not long after we first met. I had the great pleasure of attending (and speaking at) their conference day in Leeds in 2011, where I met many lovely people with creative and/or academic interests like mine, exploring and discussing the interface between comics and medical practice.

Graphic Medicine

This year’s conference theme is ethics, and I’ll be presenting a paper about some of the questions I faced during work on Lighter Than My Shadow. In particular my ethical concerns were about how much detail to share. I’ll talk about why I never reveal my lowest weight, but having made that decision, whether it’s then contradictory to show illustrations of an emaciated body: don’t they amount to the same thing? And my questions about sexual abuse: what do and don’t I need to show to make the story both clear and impactful without being gratuitous? I won’t give too much away as I’ll probably share some of the presentation here after the conference: I’m sure it will also be made available as a podcast, too.

It’s a great honour to be presenting at this year’s conference, and I’m really excited about it (nervous, too). I’m part of a panel call Moral Risks, speaking alongside Andrew Godfrey and Emma Mould, Ravi Thornton and Matthew Green, and John Swogger. I’m also looking forward to presentations from Paula Knight, Mita Mahato, Simon Moreton, Sarah Lightman, MK Czerwiec and Ian Williams, plus a workshop with Hannah Berry. And that’s without even mentioning the keynote speakers, Nicola Streeten, Paul Gravett and David B! Also, if last time is anything to go by, the weekend will be a whirlwind of making new connections with people from all over the world with lots of different backgrounds, sharing ideas and enthusiasm. I can’t wait.

Zines

A New Green Bean

Green Bean Volume 4 Issue 1

I’ve just published is a new issue of the Green Bean and rather a special one, the one I talked about here. Throughout the process of working on Lighter Than My Shadow I found there were moments or behaviour patterns I experienced that I really wanted to talk about. Of course I’ll be sharing some of them on the blog in the coming months, but it also felt important to create something tangible, something ‘real’. There are drawings, comics and words in this zine that are more candid than I’ve ever been, apart from in Lighter Than My Shadow itself, and that I won’t share anywhere else. It’s quite different from the usual Green Beans, but I think that’s a good thing.

You can see more photos and buy the new issue here.

Books

It is here!

Picture 1

I’m very very excited to share with you my new website, www.lighterthanmyshadow.com, where you’ll find a 24-page preview of my forthcoming graphic memoir, Lighter Than My Shadow.

This site has been in the works for a while – actually at one stage I thought I’d be able to update it while I was working on the book. (Ha!) But it’s here at last, and in the coming months leading up to publication I’ll be blogging there about the process of creating the book, as well as sharing some sneak peeks and ‘deleted scenes’.