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.
About The Roles We Playby Sabba Khan :
"Winner of the Jhalak Prize 2022, Sabba Khan’s The Roles We Play is a tender, considered take on family, faith and belonging. Sabba is a second generation Azad Kashmiri immigrant, an architect and an artist. Conjuring auto-bio trailblazers like Alison Bechdel and Craig Thompson’s Blankets, this is a thing of beauty."
About The High Desertby James Spooner :
"Founder of the Afro-punk movement, James Spooner has always been searching for a place to see himself in his passions. In this coming of age graphic novel, his love of punk music gives him something to hold on to when he moves to California’s The High Desert. There he has to deal with Nazi punks, his classmate’s troubled home lives and racism both overt and internalised. Told in black and white images, this book references seminal punk and hardcore bands like Black Flag, Minor Threat and Bad Brains."
About Ducksby Kate Beaton :
"You may know Kate Beaton for her humorous comics strip 'Hark! A Vagrant' or her children's books 'The Princess and the Pony' and 'King Baby'. Ducks is an auto-bio graphic novel recounting the 2 years she spent working in the Canadian oil sands, an environment where men outnumber women 50 to 1, to save up enough money to pay off her student loans. It’s incredibly nuanced, thorough and thoughtful. It explores class, sexism, isolation, loneliness and family with depth and grace. I’ll be thinking about it for the rest of my life."
About In: The Graphic Novelby Will McPhail :
"All my favourite books either make me laugh so hard I think I’m going to throw up or cry so hard I think I’m going to die. This did both and I will never forgive him."
About Alisonby Lizzy Stewart :
"Alison's chance encounter with artist enfant terrible Patrick turns her world upside down, causing her to leave her working class Dorset roots for the bohemian art scene of 70s London. A gorgeous tale about forging your own path and the people who shape your life. "
About Asterios Polypby David Mazzucchelli :
"David Mazuccelli is a master of the comics page. The art in this book is breathtaking and every time I dip into it, I find something new to be impressed by. It tells the engrossing story of one man's search for love, meaning, sanity, and perfect architectural proportions. A masterpiece! "
About The Nao of Brownby Glyn Dillon :
"Twenty-eight year old Nao Brown is plauged with violent urges caused by her Obsessesive Compulsive Disorder. She battles these thoughts whilst trying to get her illustration career off the ground, to learn meditation and to find true, perfect love. Interspersed through Nao's story, told in gorgeous water colour, is the fantasy tale of half-man half-tree Pictor."
About Upgrade Soulby Ezra Claytan Daniels :
"For their 45th anniversary, Hank and Molly Nonnar undertake an experimental rejuvenation procedure that promises to make them smarter and stronger. Instead, they are faced with the botched results of an experiment gone haywire: physically stunted but intellectually superior versions of themselves. This book asks philosophical questions about what makes us who we are and what it means to love someone when a ‘better’ version of them exists.
About Making Comicsby Lynda Barry :
"If you’ve ever wanted to write or draw but don’t know where to start, Lynda Barry will make you believe you can do it! Lynda Barry’s work completely changed how I think about art, not just how I approach making things. This book is supportive, gentle and life changing. She’s my hero!"
About Understanding Comicsby Scott McCloud :
"A comic about comics! Published in 1993 Scott McLoud’s Understanding Comics became a touchstone of comics theory and it remains an accessible starting point for anyone trying to understand the medium."