Dundee graduates kick-start cancer comic book

Two comic book artists are one page closer to launching a new title that shares personal stories of those living with or affected by cancer.

Ashling Larkin and Catriona Laird, both graduates of the University of Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD), plan to launch their first comic book ‘Living with Cancer: Our Stories’ in November, and intend to make it available in schools, libraries and general practice waiting rooms.

Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, the pair will be able to ensure that any profits from the comic book go to Cancer Research UK, a charity that helped Ashling and her family when her mother was diagnosed with brain cancer.

“My family and I found that it was difficult to find the right information and emotional support we needed at different stages of mum's journey,” said Ashling, who graduated with a degree in Animation from DCJAD in 2016.

“I'd begun thinking about how something like a comic would have been beneficial to us, and might be beneficial to other people too. So we've created ‘Living With Cancer: Our Stories’, a comic anthology covering six peoples stories about their individual cancer journeys in order to share vital information with readers as well as messages of hope and support.”

The pair hope their first comic book will be one in a series of visually helpful publications their new comic collective, Comics Help Inform People (CHIP) produce.

Catriona Laird, who graduated with a degree in Illustration from DJCAD in 2016, said, “Even though we have filled more than forty pages of easy-to-digest comics, we have barely scratched the surface of conditions like cancer and hopefully, by sharing these stories, we can begin looking to cover other diseases like Dementia that affect thousands of people across the world.”

The soon-to-be-published comic follows a series of graphic novels created by students, staff and Dundee alumni covering topics ranging from organ donationfibromyalgia to coeliac disease.

Artists involved in the project include; Sara Julia, Eve Greenwood, Elliot Balson, Jules Valera, Rebecca Horner, Sarah Holliday, Mairi Isla, Catriona Laird and Ashling Larkin.

Those interested in finding out more can contact: chipcollective@gmail.com