"I wanted to write something about appreciating kindness and the little things that are easily forgotten."

The Nottingham-based animator and cartoonist Philippa Rice is the creator of My Cardboard Life, a collage-based webcomic. She lives with illustrator Luke Pearson. Her graphic novel Soppy - which draws on her own mini comics - is based on their life together

What were the origins of Soppy?

For a long time I would draw diary comics in my sketchbook just so that I could remember what I'd been up to or silly things that happened. They were rough because I never drew them to show anyone, but I did draw some nicer ones a few times, with red and black pens and really I did these for Luke. When I put them online they got a great reception so I did a few more and kept building it up from there. When I expanded it to make a whole book I used some of my old diary comics to get ideas and started drawing rough diary comics every day again so I could pick out bits for the book.

Do we pay enough attention to the domestic in comic strips?

I think so. There are a lot of comics with some element of domestic life. It's nice to read comics that you can relate to. The fun thing about reading diary comics is that you get to snoop into someone else's life. You can read comic strips from a long time ago or about someone in a totally different situation, and even though some of the domestic things will be totally different to your own life, there are lots of similarities too.

According to Tolstoy, "all happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." What is the challenge of trying to tell a story about contentment.

Good stories do need some amount of conflict to make them interesting. I think with Soppy it's not so much a story as a collection of moments, and the challenge for me was not to make them too cloying even though I wanted the overall sentiment to be happy. There are lots of romance stories that centre around drama but I wanted to write something about appreciating kindness and the little things that are easily forgotten.

What is your favourite thing to draw?

In general I love drawing any kind of small cute animal especially if it's kind of pathetic looking. I didn't get to do a lot of that with Soppy but I did get in a few background teddy bears, ornaments and figurines from around the house.

(Complete this sentence) Love is ... ?

Getting up early to go out and buy an apple turnover for your sweetheart's breakfast. (I'm not saying I would do that but I'm hoping someone will read this and do it for me. Please.) 

Soppy by Philippa Rice is published on Thursday by Square Peg, priced £10.99. Visit philippajrice.com/ for more information. Next week Philippa, Richard McGuire, Kate Charlesworth and Will Morris tells Graphic Content why they love comics.