Liquorice is something of a compendium, the beginning of a work in progress, a platform for play, experimentation and reflection. This is an ongoing project, which began with the intention of rigid quarterly issues, but which, reflecting life once again, has become more fluid, honouring subscriptions of four or eight issues.
Begun in 2008, emerging from Streeten's process of creating an autobiographical graphic novel for a Master's Degree, Liquorice is a documentation of the process in the form of a comic-ish, magazine-ish, illustration sketchbook-ish .... creation.
Finding the destination was overshadowing the joy of the journey, Streeten's aim is to reflect and embrace the haphazardness and distractions of the creative process....the graphic novel develops alongside the day to day activity of life: the stopping to make a meal for family and friends, play and chat with children, or read out an interesting bit from a newspaper. Rather than deny this aspect of life Streeten has decided to include it, inviting then 12-year old daughter Sally Plowman to actively participate (in the way a parent is encouraged to actively participate in a child's homework) and including contributions from both Sally and artist husband John Plowman.
It is becoming an unintentional family project, developing from the natural day to day discussion about what one member is doing and the views of the others on what they should do and how. Also reflecting the different relationships which occur within a family, so collaborations between father/daughter, mother/daughter emerge in Issue two alongside the separate contributions.
Liquorice claims to be a work in progress, rather than a finished object, a personal and honest approach, borrowing from an ecclectic mix of genres and forms but shunning the shackles of categorisation.
Early girls' comics featured paper dolls. To that end a paper doll competition runs in each issue. The intention is for this to be open to all. Also echoing comic tradition, a 'free gift' is included with issue 2 onwards.
Reflecting the way the media separates and categorises women, eg women's hour, women's page; Liquorice introduces a Women's Page, a Men's Page and a Children's Page.
Issue One includes an essay on an aspect of the graphic novel, and looks at the gender balance in the graphic novel. This is based on Streeten's academic dissertation research.
Each issue has added or removed elements keeping the chapters of the developing graphic novel a regular feature and the major motivation for Streeten. This adds the dimension of diarising a family, as the members age and develop differing interests.
Many graphic novels have traditionally appeared first in a serialised form. Streeten's aim is for the completed work to be serialised in eight chapters, This started with Issue Two of Liquorice. The book form of the graphic novel, with the title, 'Billy, Me & You' was published in October 2011 by Myriad Editions. It is available to purchase from AMAZON, or from all good bookshops. The focus on the book form delayed the usual production of the Liquorice mag. Increased production will now be resumed!
Liquorice NUMBER ONE was published in November 2008 by Plowman Press.