We were delighted to be on the BBC Radio Scotland’s The Janice Forsyth Show yesterday talking about our new graphic novel The Little Mermaid. You can listen again here – our segment is at 1h40min: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08jf6ll
We’ve written a feature for The National newspaper about the graphic memoir Rosalie Lightning by Tom Hart. It’s an incredibly powerful book about the loss of a child: Rosalie Lightning died just before turning two from unexplained causes. Rosalie loved one of our own books, Louis – Night Salad, and Tom integrates this and her other loves, including My Neighbor Totoro, into his graphic novel. We felt very moved, and wanted to respond in some way. Our best wishes to Tom Hart and Leela Corman, who now have a daughter, Molly Rose. Here’s a link to the online version of the article: http://www.thenational.scot/culture/drawing-on-grief-how-comic-creator-tom-hart-paid-powerful-tribute-to-his-late-daughter-rosalie-lightning.18143
We are delighted to have been named Patrons of Reading at Northfield Academy. It’s the first time that graphic novelists have been selected for such a role, and we’re really pleased that Northfield Academy chose us.
Over the next three years, we’ll be encouraging pupils to read more graphic novels, which in turn, we feel, will encourage them to read more in general. We’ll be starting our patronage with a series of workshops in January 2014.
Here’s an article from The Evening Express announcing the news.
Evening Express article 28/11/2013
The partnership even received a mention in the Scottish Parliament!
Scottish Parliament mention of our partnership with Northfield Academy as Patrons of Reading
Neil Hendry, head teacher of Northfield Academy said: “We are delighted that the talented duo from Metaphrog has agreed to work with the school in this special reading initiative. By working in partnership with Metaphrog over the next three years we hope pupils will be inspired and encouraged to read and be creative through the style and illustrations of graphic novels.”
School Librarian Mandy Wilson added: “Metaphrog’s first visit to the school will be in January  and pupils and staff can’t wait to start working with them in what will be a very exciting project.”
Many thanks to Mandy for thinking of us for this exciting role! The brilliant children’s authors who are already Patrons of Reading in Scotland are Barry Hutchison, Linda Strachan, Cathy MacPhail, Nicola Morgan, Victoria Campbell and Lynne Rickards. Delighted to be joining such great company.
In other news, we have just returned from a two week event tour. Firstly, we were in the Netherlands, at the Eindhoven International School, where we delivered a series of workshops and also an in-depth lecture on Persepolis. The school has one of the best libraries we have ever seen – including a fabulous graphic novel section – and International Human Rights Declaration #19 imprinted on its wall.
The library at the Eindhoven International School
Secondly we were busy for Book Week Scotland 2013. Now in its second year Book Week Scotland has hundreds of fantastic events all over Scotland, and we delivered nine graphic novel workshops in schools and libraries in Glasgow, Wester Hailes, MacDuff, Dyce and Dundee in the space of six days.
Metaphrog workshop session in Aberdeenshire
We always love travelling and had a fantastic time – and returned inspired and ready to write and draw new stories!
Gavin Lees has written a fantastic review of Louis – Night Salad in The Comics Journal. Here’s a short extract, from the beginning and from the end of the review:
In the hands of Franco-Scottish duo Metaphrog (aka John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs — reductively, he writes and she draws, but the collaboration is much tighter than that), the children’s adventure-strip becomes an altogether more adult experience. They sublimate Pynchonesque paranoia and hallucinatory symbolism into the bright, primary-colored world of Louis: a cute, blank-featured everyman…
That Louis’s concerns are universal and his adventures a reflection of modern world make his tales like contemporary fables. Metaphrog manage to bridge the gap between innocence and experience with real insight, making Night Salad something that can stand alongside Kafka’s short stories — deceptively simple tales that manage to pierce directly to the heart of the human condition.