- 2 day comic workshops with KS2s in Newport
- 20th Anniversary of our 1st Comic
- 6 track
- album review
- American Tour
- award nomination
- Aye Write!
- Book Week Scotland 2012
- Cherry Red
- comics in the classroom
- Creative Scotland
- Edwin Morgan comic adaptation
- Galashiels Museum comic workshops
- Graphic Novel Mentoring
- Graphic novel tips
- graphic novel workshops
- ipad game illustrations for Kelvingrove Museum
- Islay Book Festival
- Kelvingrove Museum comic workshops
- Life-size illustrations for Borders Textile Towerhouse
- Louis animation
- Mark E Smith
- National Library of Scotland events
- new LP 2013
- Olympia Building Workshops with P7s
- Patrons of Reading
- Pig series Illustrations
- Rosalie Lightning
- short stories
- The Fall
- The Fall Re-Mit music review
- The Infinite Corpse
- The Lakes Comic Art Festival Festival
- The Little Mermaid
- The Red Shoes and Other Tales
- The Red Shoes and Other Tales Deleted Scenes
- The Remainderer
- Time To Shine: Graphic Novel
- Tour for Guernsey Book Week
- visit to International School Eindhoven
- Waterstones Launch Party
- Winter's Tales comic
- work in progress
- Writer in Residence EIBF
We’re really looking forward to being part of the Wonderlands Graphic Novel Expo on May 30th. This one day event in Sunderland University’s City Space will be a celebration of comics in their book form, with panels, workshops and publisher hall. Patron Bryan Talbot, author of the Grandville series and (along with Mary Talbot) Costa winner Dotter of her Father’s Eyes worked on developing the programme, and the whole event is organised by Sunderland Mac Trust.
We’ll be kicking off the day on the Young Adult Graphic Novels panel, along with Benjamin Read, Paul Register and chaired by Dr Mel Gibson. We will also run a comic workshop suitable for age 12 up to adults.
Posy Simmons, Steve Bell and Dave Gibbons are headlining the show, as well as of course, Bryan and Mary Talbot. Check out the excellent programme on the Wonderlands website, including guests Hunt Emerson, Dylan Horrocks, Woodrow Phoenix, Kate Charlesworth, Darryl Cunningham, Paul Gravett, Paul B Rainey, Ian Culbard, Ian Edington, Al Davidson, Stephen White, Kev F Sutherland… and publishers Emma Hayley, Dan Franklin and Ben Smith who will be discussing the current and future state of graphic novels.
Once again it’s been a busy few weeks and we’ve had great fun travelling around visiting places as far afield as Helsinki and giving talks and delivering workshops at The Lakes International Comic Art Festival and Craigmillar Book Festival among others. Last week was Book Week Scotland 2014 and we did a string of events in schools and libraries up north.
|With pupils at the Craigmillar Book Festival|
First stop was Portlethen on Monday 24th November for two sessions with 13-14 year olds. We then went on to Aberdeen, to Northfield Academy, where we are Patrons of Reading until 2016. We have been going there regularly since we were appointed in 2013, and this time we delivered a series of very hands-on workshops over two days, with the younger pupils.
|Sandra’s Xmas character to inspire the pupils|
|Post session photo with pupils of Northfield Academy|
|Some pre-Xmas pychopathicness, in pink|
|With librarian Mandy Wilson and head teacher
Neil Hendry – Northfield Academy
Next stop was Meldrum where we gave two talks to a total of 300 students!
|One of the Meldrum events|
We then briefly came back to Glasgow before heading to Oban on the Friday for two events, one in a school and the other, an open event, in Oban Library.
|Oban school event|
|Oban Library event, pictured with the librarians|
All in all: a packed week!
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/
We’re delighted to announce that we have been included on Canongate’s Future 40 list of storytellers.
Canongate’s 40th birthday list celebrates the best of contemporary Scottish storytellers – with 40 multi-disciplinary creatives they’re banking on defining the next four decades.
Delighted to be included and to be in such good company. The list also includes: Tom Gauld, Will Morris, William Goldsmith and Team Girl Comics, for graphic novels, Kirsty Logan for Short Stories/Journalism, Ryan Van Winkle for poetry, RM Hubbert, James Graham (The Twilight Sad) for music and many more.
Announced in The Skinny today, you can see the full list here: http://www.theskinny.co.uk/books/features/305874-canongates_future_40
To see how the entrants were selected go here: http://www.theskinny.co.uk/books/features/305779-the_future_storytelling_canongates_40
And Canongate will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a party on Sept 19th: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/7665881859/efblike
“To celebrate our 40th anniversary Canongate brings together some of the best storytellers we know. Authors Michel Faber, Matt Haig, Alasdair Gray and Michael Smith will be joined by poet and ex Arab Strap musician Aidan Moffat and R M Hubbert, Rick Redbeard from The Phantom Band and very special guests. Jeremy Dyson (League of Gentleman, Psychoville, Ghost Stories), will take us over to the dark side with his twisted tales and classical pianist James Rhodes, whose debut album, Razor Blades, Little Pills and Big Pianos reached No 1 in the iTunes classical chart, will give an exclusive performance. The event will also showcase original films featuring Tilda Swinton, Miranda July and the late Gil Scott Heron, plus live art and bibliotherapy by Ella Bertoud, author of The Novel Cure. Hosted by South Bank Associate Artist and official poet for the London Olympics Lemn Sissay, we hope you can join us for what promises to be a highly memorable and enjoyable evening and be part of Canongate’s journey to the other side.”