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Brush Up! #5 – Breaking Up is Hard to Do

29 September @ 20:00 - 21:00 BST


What happens if your publisher goes bust? Who do you turn to if you haven’t been paid – or your work hasn’t been credited?

We’re back with another in-depth session for all types of comics creators and graphic novelists on what to do when things go wrong and who to turn to. Joining cartoonist and illustrator Dan Berry is Derek Brazell of the Association of Illustrators, Nicola Solomon of the Society of Authors and Patrice Aggs, children’s illustrator and comics creator.

This is the fifth of six sessions in the Brush Up! event series in association with the Cartoon Museum and the SoA Comics Creators Network.

Header image © Woodrow Phoenix

Send your questions in advance

If you would like to send questions in advance, email comics@societyofauthors.org with ‘Comics event – 29 September’ in the subject header. We will prioritise questions sent in advance and try to answer as many as we can from the audience on the day.

What will this session cover?

  • What if your idea is stolen?
  • What if your work is rejected?
  • If you aren’t paid?
  • If you aren’t credited?
  • If the quality of the published work is terrible?
  • If original artwork is not returned/damaged
  • If the publisher goes bust

Who is this session for?

This session is aimed at comics creators and graphic novelists of all types – whether your work is for adults, young adults or children – as well as other authors, artists and storytellers.


  • 5 minutes: Welcome and introductions
  • 35 minutes: Q&A chaired by Dan Berry with Derek Brazell (Association of Illustrators), Nicola Solomon (SoA) and Patrice Aggs on what to do and who to turn to when things go wrong, including questions sent in advance
  • 10 minutes: Live questions from the audience
  • 5 minutes: Summary and closing comments


The line-up

Patrice Aggs – Children’s Illustrator and Comic Creator 

Patrice Aggs has illustrated countless children’s books over the years, and written a few, but her primary passion is comics. Since her early collaboration with Philip Pullman on Count Karlstein, she’s pushed for greater recognition of comics in the publishing world. Patrice has made comics for The Phoenix since its launch, and long-running strips created with her son John: The Boss, Zara’s Crown and Zara’s Masterpiece.

Patrice is currently working with Joe Brady on the sequel to No Country, a comic drawing attention to an urgent untold story. Her lockdown was spent writing a graphic memoir of 1960s Alabama, from a world full of untold stories.

Twitter: @PatriceAggs

Dan Berry (Chair) – Cartoonist, Illustrator & Podcaster 

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.

Twitter: @thingsbydan

Derek Brazell – Publications & Membership Manager, Association of Illustrators

Publications & Membership Manager at the Association of Illustrators, Derek Brazell advises members on contracts and licensing, works on the organisation’s campaigning for illustrators rights and produces Varoom illustration magazine. He has regularly spoken in the UK and at international book fairs on a variety of areas impacting illustrators. His book on business for illustrators, Becoming A Successful Illustrator (2nd ed 2017), was co-authored with Jo Davies and their Understanding Illustration, also published by Bloomsbury came out in 2014.

As an illustrator, Derek created a string of successful picture books for children, including his first picture book Cleversticks, published in 1992 and still in print, and Lima’s Red Hot Chilli for Mantra Lingua.

Nicola Solomon – Chief Executive, Society of Authors

Nicola Solomon is a solicitor with years of expertise in advising creators. Her role encompasses protecting authors’ interests in negotiations/disputes with publishers and agents, advising individual authors and campaigning for authors’ rights, as well as for the wider cultural environment. Nicola is an expert in the publishing industry and the associated law, from copyright and defamation, to privacy, data protection and contract.

She is a Deputy District Judge and sits on the board of the International Authors’ Forum and the British Copyright Council and the Creators’ Rights Alliance.

About The Cartoon Museum

The Cartoon Museum champions cartoon and comic art, highlighting its importance to culture and society. Since 2006 it has received 420k visitors, and built a prominent national collection of 4,300 cartoons, comics and caricatures, and a library of 18k items. The Cartoon Museum runs a well-attended school programme and sell-out school holiday workshops, and over 50k children and adults have attended cartooning, comics and animation workshops at the museum.

To support The Cartoon Museum, please visit cartoonmuseum.org


Book your place using the registration form below.

The event is free to attend but, if you can afford it, we recommend a minimum £5 donation to the Authors’ Contingency Fund to help us support authors facing financial hardship during the health crisis. DONATE HERE



We'll send you a link to join us on Zoom and reminders before the event.

13 Going


29 September
20:00 - 21:00 BST
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