Meeting once a month, the Birmingham chapter of Laydeez Do Comics clubbed together to celebrate their first anniversary in style, with their first publication, Hometown: An Anthology, and asking the regular attendees to contribute on the theme of, well, hometowns and what this conjures up in their minds. The result is a B+W anthology comic that encouraged the members of this growing community to create comic strips that has resulted in a very hefty and handsome looking comic book packed with some very diverse interpretations on the theme of Hometowns and what this term means to the different creators featured.
Publisher: LDC Brum
Price: £5.99 from LDC Brum website
Focussing on autobiographical stories whenever they meet up, it made sense to reflect this in their first anthology, Hometown, with some surprising takes on this one word brief.
Yen Quach uses her strip to question the very ideology underpinning the perennial question she is always asked wherever she goes: Where are you from? While, others see the whole idea of ‘hometown’ as a concept rather than a geographically specific place. A place to spiritually get back to, as Aswimwithbirds does, sharing a truly personal tale of violence and the slow winding road back to health and happiness.
But, these are not stories of doom and gloom. Co-organiser, Sammy Borras, who supplies the wraparound cover and a strip, concisely shares her thoughts on coming from Coventry, it’s vibrant musical history and its central location, while not dissing the place itself, which as any school child could tell you, is very easy. I mean, you don’t send someone to Bradford do you when ostracising a playground pal?
Rounding off the anthology is fellow organiser Charlotte Bailey’s musing on her own hometown and, like so many of us who went to uni know, fell out of love with it once her eyes had been opened to the wide world out there. Like Thomas Wolfe famously wrote, you can’t go home again. But, it’s still a nice place to visit from time to time, as many of the creators who embraced this project know.
Look out for Hometown: An Anthology at comic cons throughout the summer and beyond, or alternatively order your copy here and help support this thriving comic book community grow.