How the comic scene has changed since our beginnings! It’s wonderful to see the small press and independents thriving.
Posts by Metaphrog :
- 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 Authors in Residence
- Graphic Novel Mentoring
- Graphic novel tips
- 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
Absolutely delighted to learn that The Little Mermaid has won the Excelsior Award Junior 2018. The winner each year is chosen by the young readers from a shortlist of books: http://www.excelsiorawardjunior.co.uk/shortlist2018.html
“The Excelsior Award Junior is the only nationwide book award for graphic novels and manga – where kids aged 8-11 decide the winner by rating each book as they read it!”
We were commissioned by the Dick Institute, in Kilmarnock, to create two illustrations for their current library campaign. Sandra produced the artwork last summer to a precise brief: the images had to be bold and punchy black and white graphics that were at once inviting and unexpected. She proposed several versions of artwork during the rough stages, and our client chose the two below. We’re delighted to learn that the campaign has been a success: it was unrolled in several libraries and and has actually increased footfall. The images were featured on leaflets, posters and bus shelters as well as on social media.
We’re thrilled that The Little Mermaid is shortlisted for The Excelsior Award Junior 2018! You can see the full shortlist here:
Great news! The first printing of the Little Mermaid graphic novel has rapidly sold out and our publisher Papercutz are rushing into a 2nd printing before Christmas.
The quarter-bound title was released in April 2017 to great acclaim. Promotion included a north American tour and several high profile UK events, including The Edinburgh International Book Festival, Thought Bubble and The Lakes International Comic Art Festival. November will see The Dark Side of Fairy Tales exhibition at the award-winning Glad Café in Glasgow, Scotland, where prints from the graphic novels will be on show.
Praise for The Little Mermaid:
“Profound and moving… Andersen fans will be mesmerized, and newcomers will want to see what they’ve been missing.”
— School Library Journal ★ Starred Review
“A graceful, lyrical adaptation.”
“An arresting graphic novel… a beguiling sense of wonder permeate this radiant little book.”
— The Guardian
“A haunting story, magical and tinged with sadness, beautifully illustrated and lovingly retold in graphic novel form by the ever-brilliant Metaphrog.”
— Bryan and Mary Talbot, Costa Book Award winners
We had an absolutely wonderful time at The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2017 and it was an honour to be guests once again this year. We kicked off on Saturday morning with a talk about our new graphic novel The Little Mermaid, chaired by Costa award-winning Mary Talbot, followed by a signing in the Page 45 room (huge thanks to Stephen Holland and Jonathan Rigby for making us so very welcome!). You can read Mary Talbot’s blog about the festival here and Page 45’s report here.
The day involved a fair bit of cloning, because we were also looking after our publisher’s table, NBM/Papercutz, who were exhibiting at The Lakes for the first time this year. A big thanks to our very kind and generous neigbours Jenny Winetrobe and Welsh Eldorado Press for looking after things while we were away multitasking. In the afternoon we also had great fun doing a kid’s event in Kendal library, chaired by the lovely Mel Gibson. By Sunday lunchtime, we had already sold out of The Little Mermaid. So thank you to everyone who picked up a copy and apologies to people who came in the afternoon looking for the book (it is of course available on our website).
With all this, we missed quite a lot of of the numerous events and exhibitions over the weekend – there was so much going on – but we did manage to catch a few things: Sandra saw the fascinating talk on the birth of the graphic novel by Benoît Peeters, chaired by John McShane, which centered on the work of Rodolphe Töpffer. Töpffer (1799-1946) is believed to be the father of the modern graphic novel, and to have written the first ever book on the subject: “How to Create Graphic Novels”. The Lakes festival have published the book, translated, edited and introduced by John McShane. John McShane was also responsible for curating the excellent Will Eisner exhibition upstairs in the Brewery Arts Center. Downstairs we also saw Fumio Obata‘s exhibition on Fukushima, but we kicked ourselves for missing the Archipelagogo exhibition, which looked fantastic.
Artwork for The Little Mermaid was also part of the windows trail, at Scratch Creative/Cordwainer’s Studio, right between the train station and The Town Hall.
A really massive thanks to Julie , Sharon and Carole Tait, Jonathan Valelly and the whole team and volunteers at The Lakes International Comic Art Festival, who not only looked after us wonderfully, but made this year’s festival such a success! Their work is so important, it’s what the UK comic scene has been waiting for for decades. Being integrated right into the heart of the Kendal community, it attracts people and families from the whole surrounding region, and not just people who already like comics. In the Clock Tower and at our events we met a lot of people who were not the usual readers of graphic novels but had come to see what the festival was all about, out of curiousity and interest, and these people even bought comics. The festival also works extremely hard to build bridges with the international comic community – this year there were guests from 9 different countries, and the festival is partnered with several organisations internationally (including Toronto Comic Arts Festival). This year they announced a whole bunch of exciting new partnerships, one of which is the Myriad Edition First Graphic Novel Competition which will help launch new talents. The announcements were made at a special reception on Saturday night, to which exhibitors and guests were invited – and at which everyone could help themselves to drinks and pizza. (It was very thoughtful of the festival to do this: after a long day exhibiting, it was well extremely well received!)
Our very best and warmest wishes to the festival. We look forward to being involved in its continued growth in the coming years!
Creative Scotland announced this month’s open project fund awards today. We are honoured and delighted to have been awarded £32,000 towards creating our next graphic novel. This new fairy tale adaptation will follow on from the success of The Red Shoes and Other Tales and The Little Mermaid. The book will be published by Papercutz as the third volume in the collection, its title to be revealed at a later date. Having recently returned from an American tour, also supported by Creative Scotland, and several high profile UK public appearances to promote the release of The Little Mermaid, we are thrilled to be getting started on a third fairy tale volume.
“We are honoured to have been awarded funding from Creative Scotland for the creation of our next graphic novel: a new fairy tale adaptation to follow on from The Red Shoes and Other Tales and The Little Mermaid. Fairy tales are extremely powerful, tapping in to the very origins of stories. They tell us about ourselves and others and, in these uncertain times, they can provide us with necessary truths and perhaps even remind us what it means to be human. In reimagining our favourite tales as graphic novels we hope to create an immersive, lasting reading experience.” John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs aka Metaphrog
Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland.
The BBC interviewed us on the news programme Reporting Scotland (23/06/17) about how we feel about our position as a Franco-Scottish couple in the midst of Brexit negotiations, and after the government’s first announcement of how it might treat the 3.5 Million EU nationals living here. Sandra is French and has been established in the UK for 23 years, and Brexit has affected us personally.
Had a fantastic time launching The Little Mermaid graphic novel at Waterstones on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow! Great turn out, and a very enjoyable evening. Special thanks to Paddy who even brought Sandra flowers – what a gentleman! Sandra created colour sketches in every book and we even left a stock of sketched and signed books for people to pick up after our visit.
|John Jennings, Molly Ostertag, Fanny Britt and us!|
Next up was NBM Publishing 40th Anniversary Celebration!, a panel with NBM founder Terry Nantier, Rick Geary, Larry Hancock, ourselves and Michael Cherkas. The panel was moderated by Mark Askwith and covered NBM’s history as well as providing a glimpse of their exciting future projects.
|Thanks Papercutz for a wonderful dinner in Toronto! Clockwise from top of
table: Terry Nantier, Larry Hancock, Sandrine Revel, Sandra and John,
Sven Larsen, Catherine Marjoribanks, Marc Askwith, Anima and Rick Geary
Mark also created a video of TCAF for Inner Space on Space Channel and interviewed creators, including us both, as we share our views on the festival: http://www.space.ca/show/innerspace/clip/tcaf-wrap/1126376/1027/
Finally, we were invited to host a special spotlight event for kids, which was great fun and entertained parents too. And, it was wonderful to meet so many creators over the weekend and we had the pleasure of chatting at length with Aimee de Jongh (The Return of the Honey Buzzard), Jason (I Killed Adolf Hitler), Sandrine Revel (Glenn Gould), Gabrielle Bell (Everything is Flammable) Neil Slorance (Dungeon Fun) and Dave McKean (Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash). We also caught up with comic luminaries Heidi MacDonald, Calvin Reid and Tom Spurgeon and publishers Chris Pitzer (AdHouse Books) and Chris Staros (Top Shelf).
|Sandra with Sandrine Revel and Jason|
|John talking to Dave McKean|
|With Sven Larsen from Papercutz and Gabrielle Bell|
Straight after TCAF we were flying to Washington DC for a signing at Big Planet Comics in Bethesda.
We headed straight to our publisher’s office for a visit. Although we have known Terry Nantier for many years, it was fantastic to finally meet the rest of the team: Jim Salicrup, Jeff Whitman and Michelle Hart.
Outside was pouring with rain by this point, but we had great fun with the kids! They were really enthusiastic and had really smart questions. Having done hundreds of events in the UK, we were really delighted to have the opportunity to visit a US school. Big thanks to Thomas Knowlton at NYPL for making this visit possible, and to librarian Basia Tov at Battery Park City School for making us feel so welcome! Thanks Thomas also for taking pictures, some of these are below!
|With Tom Hart and some of the students of SAW|
Thanks to Papercutz, especially Sven Larsen who helped us put this tour together, and Terry Nantier for his support (and for dinner and breakfast in Toronto!). Also thanks to all the store managers and staff. And a huge thanks to our good friends David and Betsy Bennett for their hospitality in Bethesda!
We documented the trip on instagram and all photos can be view here: https://www.instagram.com/Metaphrog_Graphic_Novels/