Becky Palmer

Doctoral Researcher

Centre for Children's Book Studies

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Illustration, drawing and book art

Courses taught: Children's Book Illustration

Becky is an illustrator with particular interest in the relationship between comics and picturebooks.

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Becky is an illustrator and author of comics and picturebooks. She began her academic training as a student of literature and art history at the University of York, but continued to make paintings, drawings and comics alongside her studies.

In 2012, she graduated with a Masters degree in Children’s Book Illustration from Anglia Ruskin University. Her graduation show work led to her being one of two students selected for the inaugural Sebastian Walker award.

In the same year, she began publishing her own and other people’s comics in LOAf Magazine, an irregular anthology for children and adults. Her first graphic novel, La Soupière Magique, was published by Éditions Sarbacane in 2014. She teaches narrative illustration at Anglia Ruskin and Worcester University.

Research interests

Project synopsis:

An increasing acknowledgement of and interest in the relationship between comics and picturebooks is evident in current scholarship, which seeks to draw together two strands of interest that have until recently developed as separate branches of research. This growing awareness of the overlap reflects an increasing cross-fertilisation of the two forms in books by author/illustrators and publishers pushing the boundaries in practice and commercial output.  The ‘hybrids’ that result from this increasing creative freedom combine conventions of form and genre borrowed from comics and picturebooks, as well as other visual and verbal media.

Becky's study examines how conventions that have evolved to communicate effectively in one setting can be used as mechanisms for storytelling in a different context. Taking reflective, experimental practice as a method for research, she uses the process of combining the conventions of comics and picturebooks as a site for developing a nuanced understanding of the pragmatics of multimodal narrative.  In doing so, her study demonstrates and analyses the analogical processes involved in making, reading and categorising such literature.

Selected recent publications

Palmer, B (2014).  ‘Combining the rhythms of comics and picturebooks: thoughts and experiments’. Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 5(3): 297-310.

Palmer, B (2014) La Soupière Magique. Paris: Éditions Sarbacane.