SoA Comics Creators Network welcomes new Steering Committee

12 March 2021

Five comics creators have joined the Steering Committee for the SoA’s Comics Creators Network alongside founders Hannah Berry and Woodrow Phoenix.

Hannah Berry © Claire McNamee / Nyla Ahmad © Andra Lulian

The Comics Creators Network was set up in 2020 to help address challenges facing comics creators and advocate for better industry standards. It offers professional support for all types of comics creators and graphic novelists in the UK.

Joining the Steering Committee are cartoonist and illustrator Dan Berry, indie comics creator Alice Nuttall, scholar and author Dr Helen Kara and Nyla Ahmad of Scottish Book Trust, who join UK Comics Laureate Hannah Berry and illustrator and graphic novelist Woodrow Phoenix. The Committee will help shape the Network’s agenda and ensure its aims are met.

Hear from the new Steering Committee

Nyla Ahmad:

“'I am honoured to be part of the Comics Creators Network Steering Committee. It is a joy to support and nurture the wonderful, vibrant ecosystem of comics in the UK.”

Dan Berry:

“I’m delighted to join the Comics Creators Network Steering Committee, and I’m excited to contribute to positively impacting the lives and careers of other comics creators.”

Alice Nuttall:

“As part of the committee, I'm looking forward to working to help indie comics creators find opportunities and reach a wider readership. I'm excited to see what the future holds for UK comics.”

Dr Helen Kara:

“I’d love to see comics reach their full potential as communication tools for people of all ages, in universities and workplaces as well as schools and homes.”

On setting up the Network, Hannah Berry and Woodrow Phoenix said:

“Making comics requires a unique set of skills, and the comics medium itself is unlike any other. Historically, there has been little to no negotiation of creators' fees and rights, especially when working on licensed properties or material originated by the publisher. However, some things are the same no matter which area of publishing you are in: you deserve to be paid fairly, to own what you invent and to control what happens to it. The Society of Authors and the Comics Creators Network is here to help its members and to advocate for better industry standards. Industry standards, without the air quotes.”


Meet the Steering Committee

Nyla Ahmad is Reading Communities Manager at Scottish Book Trust, leading on programming Book Week Scotland. Nyla was the inaugural awardee of Literature Alliance Scotland's Next Level Award and currently serves on the Glasgow Zine Library board of trustees. She previously co-led the BHP Comics project, Full Colour, a mentoring programme for young comics creators from BAME backgrounds. She has also worked for the Glasgow Women’s Library on their museum access project, Equality in Progress. Nyla’s MPhil thesis examined South Asian and Muslim representation in comics. She served as chair of the Scottish Independent Comic Book Alliance Awards for three years.

Dan Berry is a cartoonist, illustrator, podcaster and educator based in the town of Shrewsbury, UK. He is a frequent collaborator with the author David Gaffney and is currently working on the follow-up to The Three Rooms in Valerie’s Head; a book called Rivers, both published by Top Shelf Comics. He has independently published his comics for a decade and is frequently called upon to illustrate Michael Rosen poems. Since 2012 he has produced the podcast Make It Then Tell Everybody of which there are over two hundred interviews with other artists, talking about what they do and how they do it.

Hannah Berry is a comics creator, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, and current UK Comics Laureate. She is the author of three highly acclaimed and occasionally award-winning graphic novels published by Jonathan Cape, and in 2018 was inducted as a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Dr Helen Kara is an independent researcher, scholar and author who creates and promotes the use of comics to support teaching and research in academia.

Alice Nuttall is an indie comics creator, and writer of three webcomics, Footloose, Cherry, and Black Market Magic, co-created with artist Emily Brady. She is an admin for The CVA, an online group supporting UK-based indie comics creators, and a regular attendee at comic conventions around the UK.

Woodrow Phoenix is a writer, artist, and graphic designer based in London and Cambridge. His work has appeared in national UK newspapers, in magazines and comics across Europe, the USA and Japan, and in television projects for Walt Disney and Cartoon Network. His most recent book, Crash Course, was published in August 2020.

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