30 Under 30: Gill Hatcher

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Gill Hatcher holds a copy of Beginners Guide to Being Outside at a ComicCon

Who amongst us doesn’t doodle? We do doodle, you too – you do doodle too (classic Buffy reference, hey). But have you ever considered going beyond doodles into drawing, and then beyond that into publishing your art for the world to see?

It’s not something that 28 year old Gill Hatcher, from Wishaw, ever really saw herself doing when she was young. She assumed that she would go to uni, get a job, and that would be it. Drawing was just something for fun.

‘I started drawing in school. I would draw silly comics just to make my friends laugh. Then, when I went to Glasgow for uni, I realised that people were making and publishing zines and I thought, “I could do that!”’

Gill is the founder of an AMAZING collection called Team Girl Comic, a project that brings together women cartoonists in Glasgow to publish their work an a totally badass anthology. It sounds like a major feminist initiative but it was really just an effort to make friends, Gill says.

‘I actually just wanted more female friends who made comics. There was no master plan, just this idea of “this would be fun”. It just kept going, and as people brought different perspectives it evolved.’

Gill Hatcher holds up an issue of Team Girl ComicThe comic is self-funding, thanks to a wee kickstarter campaign for the fifth issue; all of the profits from one issue go straight into making the next, and giving female cartoonists, especially those who are just starting out, a platform to express themselves. ‘It takes a lot to make the leap from drawing for yourself to drawing for the world,’ Gill explains.

Because of that, she says that self-confidence and self-belief are struggles that many women in the industry face, as she knows personally. In addition to Team Girl Comic, Gill has published on her own, most notably The Beginners Guide to Being Outside in 2014, which was nominated for a British Comic Award and a Scottish Independent Comic Book Award, and The Seagull Appreciation Society in 2015, which was nominated for a Scottish Indie Comic Book Award.

(We also totally have our eye on a wee double-bill horror comic with Adam J Smith of Khaki Shorts Comic because oohh…)

Cover art for Beginners Guide to Being Outside by Gill Hatcher, copyright 2014.In case you were wondering, Gill does all of her artwork on her own time. She’s also a full-time design researcher, and was working on a PhD in sustainable design when she launched TGC because why not!?

In her day job, Gill is looking at how to use humour in the design process for engineers (how cool is that!?), but she says any time outside of work is for comics.

‘In Glasgow in particular it’s a really exciting time to make comics, and in Scotland in general. There are so many cons, events, collaborations… The good thing is you can make comics anywhere. That said, there’s an appeal to being in this community.’

At the moment, Gill’s spare time is devoted to preparing TGC’s 12 issue (out tomorrow!!), publishing a collection of humour comics with Adam J Smith called Adam and Gill’s Trivia Game, and working on her second short graphic novel.

We cannot wait!

You can catch Gill at the Glasgow Comic Con which starts this Saturday, so go get your tickets now!  If you can’t make that, you can follow her on Twitter @GillComics, or check out more of her work on her website (and maybe pick yourself up something at the shop)

*Illustration – Cover art for Beginners Guide to Being Outside, © Gill Hatcher, 2014.

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