Welcome to the official website of Bryan Talbot: writer and artist of comics, graphic novels and illustrations
4th May 2013 update: check out the review of Bryan and Mary at the Hexham Book Festival by Marian Sheck over on Kyeo.
29th April 2013 update: Bryan will be a guest at the steampunk con Tiffin on the Trinc in Hartlepool. I'll actually be firing off one of the ship's cannons at some point, as well as giving a presentation "How I create a graphic novel".
Pop over to the Grandville miniatures site for more info and to feast your eyes on the figures from all angles - and also to purchase some of them! Personally I am itching for the production to be completed so I can get my hands on them and get them painted!
I've also been hard at work updating the Bryan Talbot online shop with the first ever original artwork from Dotter of her Father's Eyes released for sale!
2nd April 2013 update: A fellow fan of Bryan's - the exceptionally talented Sarah Dunkerton had the muse strike, and just had to sit down and draw some pictures of Billie from Grandville: Bête Noire on her kick-ass steampunk motorbike: and she felt she had to share the fan art with us here on the site!
I've always said there's something special about us fans of Bryan's!
Also see the Scottish Book Trusts Book Talk on Dotter.
30th March 2013 update: Breaking news! - Grandville Bête Noire is nominated for a Hugo award!
Also check out a great review of Cherubs from the Krypto Dies site: "Without giving a lot away, I'll just say that this was a FUN novel to read."
Also, a fellow fan sent me an update of the "You Are Torquemada" flash Diceman game he created: this is an amazing Flash version of the old 2000ad Diceman Nemesis / Torquemada game that Bryan drew, and the creator Paul Ferguson deserves more recognition - so I am trying to get it for him!
21st March 2013 update: an interview with Bryan from Travelling Man.
Email your answers to email@example.com by 11am on Monday 18 March
5th March 2013 update: as you probably know, Bryan is a Founder of the Lakes International Comics Festival. and so: here is their latest press release on the big name guests already signed up:
Lakes International Comic Art Festival announces first big name guests
Some of the biggest names in comic art will be heading to the inaugural Lakes International Comic Art Festival later this year.
Festival organisers have announced some of the guests of honour who will be appearing at the event which will run from 18-20 October 2013 in Kendal in Cumbria.
The first guests revealed by the festival include writers and artists from the United States, Argentina, Spain and the UK, working in a wide range of different genres.
The event, which is modelled on the European style comic art festivals, has a guest list running to more than 40 writers and artists. Organisers plan to reveal more names over the next few months, in the run up to tickets going on sale in May.
American writer Ed Brubaker is making his first visit to a British comic art event. He is famous for his work on comics like Captain America, Batman, Catwoman, Uncanny X-Men and Daredevil, as well as the creator owned comics Criminal and Fatale. He has won four Eisner awards, the comic industry's equivalent of the Oscars.
Artist Sean Phillips, a founder patron of the new festival, has been working with Ed Brubaker for about 12 years, most recently on Criminal and Fatale. He says: "I find Ed's work believable. We do crime fiction so there are obviously things like armoured car heists, pickpockets and other crime plots.
"But the important bit is the characters and how they react to their situations. And the way the characters created by Ed react is always believable. You have to be able to care about what happens to the characters and that is what he does really well."
Another guest at the festival, the highly rated Argentine artist Jose Muñoz, has had a strong influence on a number of other leading comic artists. Muñoz is noted for his influential black and white artwork and his graphic novel series Alack Sinner was the inspiration for Frank Miller's Sin City comic series.
Another US writer and artist who will be flying over for the festival is Joe Sacco. He writes and draws international political reportage in a comic book format, providing an insight into the complex issues of global politics while telling the stories of some of the ordinary people living in war torn areas like Sarajevo, Chechnya and Palestine.
Festival patron Bryan Talbot says: "Joe was trained as a journalist and singlehandedly created the genre of reportage in graphic novel form. Immersing himself in a situation, his in-depth reports use the medium of sequential art to its full advantage. His books, such as Palestine, Safe Area Gorazde or his recent Footnotes in Gaza, follow his investigations and interviews, explaining the history, politics and dynamics of the situation as he goes along."
Judge Dredd fans will be particularly looking forward to meeting British writer John Wagner and Spanish artist Carlos Ezquerra, who are the co-creators of the famous law maker. They have both created many other characters for 2000AD including Strontium Dog. John is also credited as being one of the people who revitalised British comics in the 1970s.
The work of another guest, cartoonist Posy Simmonds, could not be more different. She satirises the English middle classes, particularly those of a literary bent. Her cartoons for The Guardian, Gemma Bovery and Tamara Drewe, have both been turned into books. Tamara Drewe won the Prix Des Critiques in 2009 and was made into a feature film in 2010. She has also written and drawn several books for children.
Two British comic creators coming to the festival recently won prestigious awards at Europe's biggest comic art festival in Angouleme.
Glyn Dillon won the the Prix Spécial du Jury for The Nao of Brown, the story of a half Japanese, half English woman who suffers from violent morbid obsessions and a racing, unruly mind. He has had a wide ranging career, including working as a storyboard artist and concept designer for both film and television.
Jon McNaught was the first Briton to win the Prix Révélation, The Best Newcomer Award, at Angouleme, for his first full-length book Automne (entitled Dockwood in English).
Artist Doug Braithwaite began his career in comics 25 years ago working for Marvel UK and 2000AD. He has worked on many of the industry's flagship titles, and has drawn just about every major character for both Marvel and DC comics. His recent work includes Secret Invasion: Thor, Wolverine Origins, and the award winning Justice series for DC comics. He is currently working on the creator owned series Storm Dogs with writer David Hine.
Another British writer who will star at the inaugural festival is Andy Diggle. He is currently working on Superman and writing stories for Dr Who, Thief of Thieves and a new supernatural comic Uncanny. Andy has recently launched his own thriller called Snapshot with artist Jock. He has also been nominated for the prestigious Eisner Award for co-creating the New York Times best-selling action thriller The Losers, which was turned into a film.
Andy says: "The wider world is finally waking up to the richness, vibrancy and immediacy of the comics medium in all its diverse genres. Comics aren't just great art and great entertainment - they're also educational. Multiple studies have shown that kids who read comics have improved literacy, and go on to read more prose in a wider range of styles and genres than kids who don't.
"So it's great to see a European-style comics festival come to the North-West, bringing the joy of comics to a whole new audience. As for myself, I'm looking forward to meeting the fans - and the other creators. Festival Director Julie Tait has pulled together an amazing line-up of talent, especially considering it's the inaugural festival. Long may it continue!"
These first nine guests of honour join founder patrons Bryan and Mary Talbot, who won the biography category in the Costa Book Awards earlier this year, and Sean Phillips.
Bryan Talbot has also created a special festival poster which features Kendal's town hall a lake and references to 28 different comic art characters.
The festival will include events where people will be able hear from writers and artists, panel discussions, special live drawing events, films, several exhibitions, workshops and a kids' zone. Authors and artists will be signing copies of their work and there will be a marketplace to buy comics and comic art. There will also be some free events and exhibitions.
Festival Director Julie Tait says: "We're very excited to give people their first real taste of the guest list for our new festival. We have a great line up which includes top creators from the UK, Europe and further afield who are recognised as leading lights or exciting new talent - all are pioneers in some shape or form.
"We'll be revealing more big names over the next few months. We know people are eager to find out who all our guests are but we want to keep people in suspense for a bit longer!
"The festival will include a wide range of events, including some which are free. We want The Lakes International Comic Art Festival to appeal not just to the people who are already big comic art fans but also to help bring new audiences to this fantastic and versatile medium."
More details about the new event are available at www.comicartfestival.com. It is also possible to keep up to date with plans for the festival by following @comicartfest on Twitter or by liking the Lakes International Comic Art Festival Facebook page.
For media information please contact Paul or Karen Gardner on 015394-42436, 07766-906561 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The founder partners of the event are the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal College, South Lakeland District Council and Osprey Communications. Founder supporters are Curious Road, Designworks and Jonathan Cape. The festival is also supported by Kendal Library and publishers Myriad Editions, Nobrow, Blank Slate, Knockabout and Selfmadehero.
4th March 2013 update: A couple of really excellent updates here for you:
The first half of Bryan's talk "The Use of Style and Storytelling Technique in The Tale of One Bad Rat" in the form of text and pictures is now online. Bryan said: "I've done this talk well over a hundred times, all over the world, from China to Brazil and the United States, and all over Europe and the UK. As I no longer present it, it's appropriate that it's now documented. This is just the first half of the talk." I will post the second half as soon as the inestimable Mr Talbot sends it over to me.
Secondly there is Bryan's other talk on The Anthropomorphic Tradition in Comics - which covers the historical antecedents and forerunners of the redoubtable LeBrock from Grandville.
Incidentally - allow me to interject at this point: it is all down to Bryan that my 8 year old son understands the word and concept of "anthropomorphic"... - understand it? - heck - he uses it in conversation!
1st March 2013 update: Bryan recommends - Peter Pan
For the first time in English, in one omnibus edition, Soaring Penguin Press will be publishing Régis Loisel's adult epic series, Peter Pan. This 372-page, full colour hardback (retailing for £29.99) will tell the entire story of how Peter, a young boy on the streets of Dickensian London, became Peter Pan.This omnibus edition collects the complete 6 volume bande dessinee series lovingly created by Loisel from 1990 to 2004. This series has never before been seen in the UK, and has never been collected in English.
To support this exciting publishing venture, Soaring Penguin Press has created an Indiegogo campaign: Everyday for the 45 days of the campaign, a page from the book will be added to the gallery.
Régis Loisel will be attending the BD and Comics Passion festival at Intitut francais May 30th to June 2nd, as guest of honour.
8th February 2013 update: have you checked out the Forbidden Planet blog recently? - well then you should! - they do a lot of work supporting the UK comics industry - and they're nice people too! - I used to have a Saturday job at the Birmingham store with the main blogger there!
6th February 2013 update: Cherubs is now available from Dark Horse Digital! - and you can also peruse all of Bryan's work that is available for digital download.
22nd January 2013 update: Bryan and Mary just got interviewed on Radio 4 about Dotter and the Costa book prize category win.
18th January 2013 update:
Announcing - the Lakes International Comics Festival: A new festival to celebrate comic art
A new festival has been launched to celebrate the very best comic art from across the world, from cartoon strips to superhero comics and manga to non-fiction graphic novels.
The Lakes International Comic Art Festival will run from 18-20 October 2013 in Kendal in Cumbria.
The founder patrons of the new festival include Bryan and Mary Talbot who won the biography category in the Costa Book Awards earlier this month. They are joined by another internationally renowned comic artist Sean Phillips.
The launch of the new festival comes at a time when there is a growing buzz about comic art. Graphic novels have been taken increasingly seriously over the last twenty years.
Dotter of Her Father's Eyes, written by academic Mary Talbot and illustrated by her husband Bryan, was the first graphic novel to win the biography category in the Costa Awards. The Chair of the 2013 Man Booker Prize has also encouraged entries by authors of graphic novels.
Bryan Talbot's work also includes Batman, Judge Dredd, Alice in Sunderland and his Grandville series of detective thrillers. He also wrote and drew A Tale of One Bad Rat, which is set in the Lake District.
He says: "The UK is one of the only countries in Europe that doesn't have an international comic festival, celebrating the whole range of this versatile and exciting medium. This is the golden age of graphic novels, with more, and better, comic art being produced today than ever before. The Lakes International Comic Art festival is therefore a concept whose time has come.
"The medium of comics, or sequential art, is as valid an art form as any other and is capable of dealing with any subject and any genre in its own unique way, a way that is direct and accessible. The best graphic novels are comparable to the best in prose, film or drama."
The festival will include events where people will be able hear from some of the biggest names in comic art, panel discussions, films, exhibitions and workshops. Authors and artists will also be signing copies of their work and there will be a marketplace to buy comics and comic art.
Sean Phillips, who lives in Cumbria, has also worked as an artist on comics such as Batman and Hellblazer, and more recently on crime genre comics Criminal and Fatale. He says: "It's great to be involved with any festival that is interested in promoting the vast range of comics out there.
"Comics is a medium, not a genre. It's not just superheroes and the Beano, and this festival is a good chance to see that there are comics for everyone, no matter what their interests are. Comics can be used to tell any type of story in any genre, and that should be celebrated."
The festival is the brainchild of Julie Tait and her 14 year old comic fan son Finn who live in Kendal. Julie said: "The Lakes International Comic Art Festival will celebrate this exciting and vibrant art form, which is gaining a growing number of fans of all ages.
"For me, the fusion of great art and great writing is dynamite. It makes it a very exciting, inspiring and challenging art form to be promoting, celebrating and encouraging."
The event's founders have looked to the comic art festivals held on the continent for inspiration, including Europe's largest celebration of the art form at Angouleme in France, which takes place later this month.
Julie says: "In countries like France there's a real appreciation of comics as an art form and our aim is to create something of the atmosphere at comic art festivals like the one in Angouleme. There will be plenty for the real enthusiasts but we also hope it will help to introduce a new audience to comic art."
Julie also runs the team behind the Lakes Alive outdoor arts festival. Speaking about her latest venture she says: "There's a real enthusiasm in the Lake District and across Cumbria for new, contemporary cultural events. We believe this new festival will provide something that is inspiring, exciting and creative for local people to enjoy, as well as bringing in audiences from outside the area."
The festival will take place at a number of venues across Kendal including the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal College and the Town Hall.
More details about the new event will be available at www.comicartfestival.com and the blog at www.thelakesinternationalcomicartfestival.wordpress.com. It is also possible to keep up to date with plans for the festival by following @comicartfest on Twitter or by liking the Lakes International Comic Art Festival Facebook page.
The new festival will be created and presented by Lakes Arts Festivals Ltd, a not-for-profit company.
For media information please contact Paul or Karen Gardner on 015394-42436, 07766-906561
Notes to editors
- Images of Bryan and Mary Talbot and Sean Phillips are available on request together with examples of their work.
- The founding partners and supporters of the new festival are the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal College, Osprey Communications, Design Works and Curious Road.
And here is Bryan talking about the festival in a podcast:
15th January 2013 update: Bryan emailed me this image and said "this is what the window of the Glasgow graphic novel shop, Plan B, currently looks like. Owner and artist Pete Renshaw painted it to celebrate Dotter winning the Costa Biography Award."
Also see Mary Talbot's recent interview in the Metro: "Comics aren't 'growing up': they've been adult for years."
4th January 2013 update: Bryan and Mary were interviewed on live national UK TV news last night - and their interview is presented below for your viewing pleasure!
And also see the accompanying article - Does Costa win signal British comics comeback - written by none other than Eddie Campbells daughter Hayley!
2nd January 2013 update: Breaking news: Bryan and Mary have won the Costa Book Prize biography category! - this means they go forward for consideration for the main prize! - see the article on the Guardian for more.
As is now traditional on the Bryan Talbot fanpage, I have archived off a lot of the old announcements that were made here on the homepage of the site to the old announcements page. I never like to delete these because:
a) they took a lot of work to compile, create and upload and I hate to delete work, even if it is for the very valid reason that it is out of date! - and:
b) a lot of fellow Talbot fans ask if I can keep them live as they contain links to events / articles / images / info that might not exist anywhere else.
So: being a firm proponent of good netiquette I keep them live, albeit on an explicitly archived page.
Other stuff to mention:
I have changed the way that I add updates to the site after Bryan commented that it was very easy to confuse the date that an item was added to the site with the date that an event was happening. I hope I have avoided it via the simple expedient of adding "update" to the dateline on each one.. - let me know if it's worked via the usual channels of email, Twitter or Facebook.
Don't forget to listen to Front Row on Radio 4 tonight when they will announce the winners of the individual categories of the Costa Book Award!
See the excellent review of Cherubs by Bryan Talbot and Mark Stafford from Ashleigh Mayes at Krypto Dies.
Paul Register (organiser of the outstanding Stan Lee Excelsior Award) sent the following image and explanation: "Staff at our school are encouraged to put up a 'Currently Reading...' poster on our room doors (and most do). This is what our Headteacher has got on his door! ;-)"
Grandville made Ian Rankin's Book of the Year list! - "Grandville: Bête Noire (Jonathan Cape £16.99) is the third in Bryan Talbot's series of anthropomorphic steam-punk graphic novels, featuring Detective Inspector LeBrock. The art is stunning, the story ingenious, and the in-jokes delicious, as our badger hero visits Paris to solve a series of art murders, including the demise of a crow called Gustave Corbeau."
Dotter also made the Spectator Tribune lists of top 10 comics of the year!
Sunday December 16th 2012: Dotter of her Father's Eyes is now available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod!
Also - don't forget to listen to Front Row on Radio 4on Wednesday January 2nd 2013when they will announce the winners of the individual categories of the Costa Book Award!
Saturday December 15th 2012: Bryan will be giving the latest version of his presentation "Grandville and the Anthropomorphic Tradition" at Northumbria University on 21 January at 6.30pm.
Business and Law Building, City Campus East, Falconer Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 2SW - 0191 232 6002
Admission is free and it's open to the public.
Tuesday 11th December 2012: The Telegraph has an excellent article on Bryan: A page in the life: Bryan Talbot Have graphic novels come of age? Tim Martin meets the dazzling and tireless exponent of the form, Bryan Talbot.
Overall I have to say that it looks like Bryan is finally getting the national, mainstream attention and plaudits he deserves - and what I have hoped this site has tried to help achieve for 16 years now!
Dotter of her father's eyes is also on the Guardians list of best memoirs of the year!
Sunday 9th December 2012: Dotter of her Father's eyes made The Independent's top memoirs of the year, cheek-by-jowl with Salman Rushdie!
"This is a sad and stunning book which reflects the literary heights to which the graphic novel can rise."
The book also made MTV Geek's Best Graphic Novels of 2012 list:
"The brilliant thing about Mary Talbots memoir - which jumps between her own childhood relationship with her father, and that of James Joyce and his daughter Lucia - is that it never dips into melodrama, or easy, cathartic answers. Instead, it says more about how emotional neglect can be as damaging – and life-changing - as abuse, or encouragement. A smart, beautiful piece of work that should be read by anyone who ever had (or has) a father."
The very nice publishers of Steampunk: An Illustrated History of Fantastical Fiction, Fanciful Film and Other Victorian Visionsasked if I would be interested in getting a copy to review for the site, and of course I replied "hell yes!". There's a good chapter on Bryan and all of the steampunk influences in his work, and the book is just gorgeous: hardback, glossy, vastly comprehensive and a perfect gift for any Steampunkian you might know!
Saturday November 24th 2012: Bryan will be in London to promote Grandville Bête Noire, signing at Forbidden Planet, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR on Saturday 1st December 1.00 - 2.00pm and at The London Comic Mart,
The Royal National Hotel, Bedford Way, London WC1 Sunday, December 2 from noon to 4:00pm.
Also, the free newspaper the Metro did a wonderful write-up of Grandville: Bête Noire! And finally: a fellow fan blogged about Luther Arkwright: check out Ross Kitson's "Luther Arkwright- my first journey into Steampunk?"
Wednesday November 21st 2012: so much news this week that there is a mid-week update!
Bryan will attend Canny Comic Con "a free little festival of comics and sequential art" - Saturday 8th December in Newcastle City Library
The wonderful Don't Panic site featured another excellent interview with Bryan.
And: saving the best to last, Bryan and Mary have been nominated for a Costa Book Award! - theirs is one of the first ever graphic novels to be so nominated! - also see the Guardians write-up, and the BBCs, the Telegraph and the Independent.
This is just amazing because no graphic novel has ever been nominated for this prestigous award before!
Friday November 16th 2012: The new edition of Geek Syndicate features not only a review of Grandville Bête Noire but also an interview with Bryan.
Also, Rebellion the 2000ad publishers have a new line of t-shirts out - including a Nemesis one with Bryan's art on it!
Sunday October 28th 2012: much as I am wary of starting to talk about the fourth and fifth Grandville graphic novels, when the third one is not yet published (but see the review below!), it inevitably came up in conversation with Bryan and he said: "I'm actually currently scripting the fifth volume and will be starting to draw the fourth very soon. You can add that Grandville: Nöel is the strongest story yet and that the fifth one will blow any Grandville fan's mind!"
Bryan also mentioned that in the doughface march in Grandville: Bête Noire, you can also see references to Tiff & Tordu (the 2 on the left in panel 2 p 60) and Blondin and Cirage (the black and white kids in panel 3 Page 61) who are from 2 old Belgian comic strips, and also in panel 3 page 60, Ally Sloper, Little Lulu, smurfs, Archie and Jughead and Bette Noir in black).
January marks the publication date of the complete Cherubs! By Dark Horse Comics. This lovely hardback collects the previously published first part of the supernatural comedy adventure, "Paradise Lost", with the longer, unpublished second half, "Hell on Earth".
With script and layouts by Bryan and artwork by the incredible Mark Stafford, Cherubs! is a hilarious and exciting horror romp, described by Joe Gordon on the Forbidden Planet International blog as "pants-wettingly funny". Introduction by (a) MEL GIBSON and afterword by THE (Paul) POPE!
An original graphic novel with script and layouts by Eisner-award winner Bryan Talbot and art by the hottest Brit Indy artist, Mark Stafford, CHERUBS! is a totally irreverent, fast-paced supernatural comedy-adventure that's heaven-sent and hell-bent!
Put in the frame for the first murder in Heaven, the outrageous celestial rugrats pursue the renegade archangel Abbadon to New York on the eve of the Apocalypse! Befriended by Mary, an exotic dancer, and pursued by unstoppable Seraphim terminators, they alone stand against the Devil and his hordes as he prepares to stalk the earth once more!
Vampires! Demons! Zombies! Werewolves! Fairy hookers! The descent into Hell! Fluffy the Vampire Slayer! The Doggy-Do Gang! Almighty God! What¹s not to like?
All of the older announcements of news and events have been moved to the old announcements page.