Byron Bay Artist second-year-running finalist for International Comics Award


Holly English, Byron Bay contemporary artist, comic-creator, cartoonist and illustrator has been shortlisted for the 2020 Broken Pencil International Zine Awards (Comic Section) for her comic ‘Grace’.

Holly was also shortlisted in 2019 with her comic ‘Octopus & Lamb’ and in 2019 was shortlisted for the Australian Comics Award (Ledger Awards) for her comic ‘Byron Bay, A Time and Place’.

Grace is the story of Holly’s maternal grandmother and her journey with chronic pain, suicide and the subsequent impact on her family.

It is a 24 page, black & white, A5 comic drawn with ink and pencil.

“Grace is a chapter of a graphic novel I am working on about chronic pain. However, it seemed to work on its own as an individual comic for publication. So I decided to release it as it is.

I print my comics nearby at Digi-Print Pro in Bangalow or my petite zines at the library, keeping it all local.

Chronic pain and chronic illnesses are largely invisible – not only physically, but on many levels in society.

Great help is given to support those with cancer, stroke, autism etc (and rightly so), but people suffering from long-term chronic conditions often lack the long-term intensive support they need- unless they have an amazing family, circle of friends and/or wealth: true healthcare is expensive.

Suicide and suicidal ideation are a real issue. It’s not just about the pain, it’s also about everything you lose with chronic pain…and you lose everything.

Sharing my own, others and historical figures experience with chronic pain, I aim to shed light on this often misunderstood and stigmatized condition.

With honesty, empathy and awareness sprinkled with my certain style of humour, I hope this book will be a guide and support to those- and their loved ones- navigating health, healing, the medical system, therapists, annoying self-help gurus (usually white, privileged, lucky-enough peeps) to gently learn to accept the unacceptable, trust one’s instincts and be kinder to oneself on this incredibly difficult path.

In a world that worships independence, ambition and status, pain teaches us what truly is of value”.

Sample page

Holly will have a virtual table at Canzine

Canzine, the festival of zines, comics and underground print, is going virtual this year!

Thousands of visitors can explore the 18 lands of Canzine World, including fantastical places such as Librarian’s Lagoon, Punks Path, Sci-Fi Shore, and Riot Grrrl River. In each land, you’ll find vendors selling their wares just like they would in a regular in-person Canzine, but with a virtual twist.

With a built-in transaction platform, we’re making sure COVID-19 doesn’t mean that visitors and 350+ vendors miss out on the biggest zine and comics fair in Canada. Along with our Zine Awards celebration, live panel, and other events, visitors can unlock special content in each land, including indie videogames, special archives, and other exciting surprises”.

Holly English
Byron Bay, Australia
Ph: (61 2) 6685 3969