East Wood Comics was a groundbreaking literary heritage project in and around Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, the birthplace and childhood home of D.H. Lawrence. 24 talented young writers and artists developed original stories inspired by Lawrence, a brilliant but controversial figure of local history. They were mentored by three amazing graphic novelists – David Hine, Luke Healey and Rachael Ball. The final stories were published by graphic novel publisher SelfMadeHero, and made available to the public for free as a boxed-set of six comics. The comics were launched at Page 45 comics bookshop in Nottingham in the October 2019; and continue to be used by the D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum as a flagship education resource.
Participants developed research skills and knowledge of local history through working closely with heritage partners, which included handling incredible artefacts – diaries, letters, sketchbooks, paintings – in the D.H. Lawrence Collection in the Special Manuscripts and Collections archive at University of Nottingham. They also curated an exhibition at the D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum and created a public art installation in Eastwood.
The project culminated in a two-day symposium at Nottingham Trent University. The symposium brought together other brilliant creative heritage learning projects from literary heritage organisations across the world, to share practice and outcomes. Participating organisations included Milton’s Cottage, Chatsworth House, Newstead Abbey, Richard III Visitor Centre, Nottingham Castle and the Britton-Pears Foundation.