We had an amazing week travelling regularly to Edinburgh for Stripped, the comic strand of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, attending the mini comic fair and also contributing to the blog with reviews and interviews. Highlights included interviewing Chris Ware and Joe Sacco.
Teddy had asked us earlier in the summer to submit our top ten graphic novels: choices that would be counted towards a list of the 50 top graphic novels, as voted by a panel of experts. Here’s the clipping, and the online version: http://www.heraldscotland.com/books-poetry/interviews/the-50-greatest-graphic-novels-of-all-time.21864132.
The mini comic fair running over the last weekend of the festival was highly enjoyable and it is encouraging to see so many cartoonists and comic creators displaying quality work. Perhaps even more encouraging was the diversity of visitors. Even though the fair was located off-site: many of the book festival organisers paid a visit as did more than a few non-comic fans.
The concentration of events over the two days meant Charlotte Square was literally swarming with comic creators and comics professionals.
|Picture from the Down The Tubes
photo review of the mini comic fair:
|Our article for The List|
|Drawing of Mary Talbot by Sandra|
Mary Talbot: For me personally, it’s amazing that my first foray into graphic novel writing should be so well received. But for the medium as a whole the award is another accolade, which is brilliant – further recognition of comics as a valid art form. I guess it’s because graphic novels have proliferated over the past ten years or so. There’s an enormous range of high-quality material available these days, in practically every genre and style you could think of. Like Bryan’s Tale of One Bad Rat, both Costa-shortlisted graphic novels don’t just engage existing readers of comics. They have styles that make them readily accessible to a general reader and subject matter that gives them wide appeal.
|Drawing of Bryan Talbot by Sandra|
Metaphrog: Bryan, you have been in the business for many years. What do think of the current interest in graphic novels?
Bryan Talbot: I don’t think it’s current, I think it’s here to stay. As opposed to other times in the form’s history when there have been brief bursts of interest by the general book-reading public, we now have enough quality books in a wide enough gamut of styles and genres to sustain this interest.
Metaphrog: You’ve spoken at EIBF several times already, and EIBF have had a few comics events each year. What do think Stripped means for comics?
Bryan Talbot: It’s yet another example of how graphic novels are becoming increasingly accepted as a valid art form and a timely celebration of the comics medium.
|Drawing of David Fickling by Sandra|
I hope the future holds more comics for everyone. For adults and children but especially children. And I also think comics are perfectly suited to the rush of tablets and devices that we’re all becoming fluent with. Those hi def retina screens were made to portray wonderful artwork and to inspire a new generation of creators. I think this is an exciting time for comics in general and I hope in the years to come The Phoenix will be but one of many brilliant publications delighting people of all ages up and down the country!
|Stephen Collins drawing by Sandra|
One of our contributions to the blog was a short piece on our creative process: http://strippedbookfest.co.uk/post/57056197954/metaphrog-on-making-the-louis-graphic-novels
We very much enjoyed interviewing Stephen Collins (The Gigantic Beard That was Evil) and Garen Ewing (The Rainbow Orchid), and also reviewing several festival events.
Stephen Collins’s interview can be found here: http://strippedbookfest.co.uk/post/55265100346/an-interview-with-stephen-Collins
Garen Ewing’s interview here: http://strippedbookfest.co.uk/post/56509102907/an-interview-with-garen-ewing
For more on-going reviews, please visit the Stripped blog here: http://strippedbookfest.co.uk/