We are too excited about Posy Simmonds’s Mrs Weber’s Omnibus this October. For now, here is a Guardian interview with Posy from 2010.
‘A graphic novel is like a film. There are close-ups and long-shots. You choose the location and the props. You do the make-up and the lighting and you get the characters to act.’
A couple of months ago Posy Simmonds found herself ensconced in a French hotel suite for 48 hours being interviewed, almost continuously, by TV and radio stations. She was talking about the film version of her graphic novel Tamara Drewe, which was then about to premiere at Cannes and is now about to open in London. Her French is very good, but she still brushed up on her vocabulary to anticipate a few likely questions. “I thought they’d ask what was my favourite scene and so I prepared two answers: the attempt to get the goats to mate – ‘couplement des chèvres’ – which in fact didn’t make the final cut, and the ‘lulling the spouse’ scene – ‘endormir l’épouse’ – which did.”
“Lulling the spouse” was a tactic devised by the detective novelist and inveterate philanderer Nicholas Hardiman, who, along with his long suffering wife Beth, runs the rural writers’ colony at the heart of Tamara Drewe. “Behind it is the idea that to avoid suspicion, you must first arouse it,” Simmonds laughs. “So you tell the spouse, rather unconvincingly, that, unexpectedly, you’re going to be very late this evening and you’ll be at mutual friend X’s house. And then you actually are at X’s house when the anxious spouse rings up, which rather puts them off checking up on you again for a while.”
No wonder Simmonds’s astute facility in anatomising the foibles of her characters has led Tamara Drewe to be described as The Archers on Viagra. It’s a neat line, but in fact her story’s literary antecedent is grander than Ambridge. And as her career has progressed her work has become progressively richer and more serious, if no less entertaining, than even the most convincingly sophisticated soap opera.
For the rest of the interview visit the Guardian