I was privileged recently, to be a guest at Stripped, part of the Edinburgh Book Festival’s celebration of comics and graphic novels where I gave zombie drawing workshops for blood-thirsty kids, discussed my latest Cape published graphic novel, Montague Terrace and was part of a celebratory panel on the history of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic (discuss?), 2000AD. Not only was it a great atmosphere and celebration of storytelling, but it was also rewarding to see comics given the floor space alongside more established authors, who, let’s face it, can’t even draw.
On Friday night, wearing my zombie illustrator’s hat from the Darren Shan Zom-B book series of I’m currently working on, I gave a master class in the best ways to draw half eaten teachers and undead friends to an enthusiastic lot of eager and positively sick kids. I even got the occasional parent and events organiser to dust off previously deceased drawing skills in our ‘drawing gore in black and white therapy session’. This was great fun and the kids produced some truly disgustingly gruesome artwork.
An hour later and dodging past Monty ‘The Don’ Don in the star-studded Author’s yurt, I donned my Cape cape and Montague Terrace hat to share the stage with Harker author Roger Gibson for a conversation on how we both represent and are influenced by London in our respective books. Despite only having just met, it was a good discussion on our shared and differing inspirations, from classic film to 70s Cop shows.
And after a Saturday watching the great Judith Kerr in conversation, scooting around the buzzing city with my wife and son and catching a Leonardo Davinci exhibition, I wound up on the Sunday as part of a panel including fellow Cape authors Robbie Morrison and Jim Murray, creators of recently published Drowntown and writer Dan Abnett to discuss the history of 2000 AD, hosted by former Tharg, David Bishop. A good turn out, some laughs were had and books were signed. Though no 9th Art graphic novel prizes were won. Next year maybe?
A big thank you to all the organisers, the events managers, Robbie and Deb for the stories, everyone I spoke (rambled) to and the guy at the hotel who recommended the Whiskey for making it a truly memorable event.
Jonathan Cape now have deluxe digital versions of our graphic novels available on Sequential. This new digital graphic novel storefront is launching with nine Cape graphic novelists, including work from Bryan and Mary Talbot, Rutu Modan, Joff Winterhart, Sarah Herman, Shirley Hughes, Paolo Parisi, Alison Bechdel and Emma Rendel. Sequential is free to download from itunes.
Hurrah! We’re very happy to announce that Stephen Collins has scooped up the 9th Art Award beating an incredible selection of shortlisted titles. The 9th Art Award is given to the year’s best English language graphic novel and was announced at a ceremony during the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
Here’s a video of Stephen accepting the award and a photograph of him with a hamper of Scottish comics goodness. (We’re totes jealous about the hamper…)
3 SECONDS - The time it takes for light to travel 900,000 kilometres.
3 SECONDS - A murder mystery graphic novel.
3 SECONDS - An HTML 5 game of zooms.
If you love a good mystery, you’re going to love our latest graphic novel, 3” by Marc-Antoine Mathieu. It’s essentially a murder mystery but the mystery isn’t as easily solved as you might think.
That’s where you come in.
Click the link below to start solving the mystery… you’re going to need all your investigational skills to crack the case.
You lucky people. Hannah Berry has just posted a comic online - in it’s entirety - for you to read. Exciting times!
French publishers Casterman created a book to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their imprint Écritures. La Villa Sur La Falaise was made up of work from ten graphic novelists from around the world: Jirô Taniguchi, Nate Powell, Cati Baur, Fred Bernard, Isabel Kreitz, Gabrielle Piquet, Davide Reviati, Sylvain Saulne, Kan Takahama, and m’self. We were all given the beginning of a story written by French author Benoît Sokal and challenged to finish it.
I was actually rather pleased with my contribution, and it saddened me that no one in the UK could read it. So I decided to rectify that.
Head over to Hannah’s website to read the whole thing.
‘I entered the graphic short story prize for the first time when I was still on my art degree. It was when the competition was still a two page comic. I was a runner up, and then I entered every year from then on. Mainly because it was good practice rather than that I had a particularly good story to tell. But after I graduated I began to formulate an idea for a graphic novel I wanted to write, and I figured winning the prize would be a great way to get some attention and make this happen. The story I entered ‘Love in a very cold Climate’ now forms the prologue to my graphic novel ‘The Encyclopedia of Early Earth’. I think it is fair to say that winning the prize literally launched my career.
Jonathan Cape are now publishing my graphic novel, and it is coming out simultaneously in the US, Canada and Germany. Following the story appearing in the paper I got a book agent and everything then happened very, very, fast. Being in the paper was great because, although I had appeared in small publications and anthologies, none of them were the kind of thing that people outside the illustration/comics scene would have really known about. It was cool that my mum could go into the newsagents and buy a copy (or six!).
I couldn’t recommend entering the prize enough. It was the most important thing that has happened to me. I entered three times before winning, and I would tell anyone to keep trying! It’s hard to fit a complete story into four pages, and still have some character development, and I think it took me that many tries to get close!’
The Encyclopedia of Early Earth is published by Isabel Greenberg on Oct 03rd.
More information about the Jonathan Cape/Observer/Comica Short Story competition here: http://www.vintage-books.co.uk/Graphicshortstoryprize/