We here at Cape are THRILLED that we’ve got not one but (count ‘em) TWO graphic works on the Costa Book Awards shortlists: one of the country’s biggest literary prizes. This is the first time that graphic works have ever been shortlisted for the prize!
Bryan and Mary Talbot’s fabulous biography-cum-memoir, Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes, has been shortlisted in the Biography Award category, while Joff Winterhart’s hilarious and moving Days of the Bagnold Summer has been shortlisted in the Novel Award category.
Dan Franklin is the big daddy here at Cape and the guy who started us off publishing comics, with Raymond Briggs’ heartbreaking, brilliant, [insert any lavish adjective here you please] Ethel & Ernest in 1998. He said, ‘This is a watershed moment, I think, in the recognition of the graphic novel as a valid literary form, perhaps even more important than when Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan won the Guardian First Book Award. Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes is a brilliant collaboration between Mary and Bryan Talbot, writer and artist. And while Bryan is one of the most distinguished veterans on the Cape list, the prodigious Joff Winterhart entered the first pages of Days of the Bagnold Summer for our annual graphic short story competition and we commissioned him to turn it into a book.’
Bravo to that and massive congratulations to Bryan, Mary and Joff!
We’ve got five pairs of tickets to give away for Bryan & Mary Talbot’s Comica Festival event tomorrow. Just like this post and we’ll enter you into a prize draw and notify the winners first thing tomorrow.
Comica Festival at Foyles proudly presents the world premiere of Grandville Bête Noire, the third episode in Bryan Talbot’s phenomenal Grandville series of anthropomorphic steampunk romance thrillers starring Inspector Le Brock.
In his interview with writer, critic and cultural historian Kim Newman, Bryan will be joined by his wife Mary Talbot, writer and co-creator of Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes, part autobiographical family history, part biography of James Joyce’s daughter Lucia. There will also be a trailer and exclusive sneak peak at the forthcoming Bryan Talbot documentary.
Be among the first on the planet to get hold of this latest Grandville book and get your copy signed and personalised with a sketch by Bryan at the book signing following the interview.
Tickets: £8.00 online or on the door
Where: Foyles, 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0EB
When: Friday, November 9, 2012 6pm for 6.30pm start
No badger does it better…
On November 14th, Bristol Festival of Ideas will be hosting COMIC CREATIONS: An Evening with Jonathan Cape Graphic Novels.
It’s an impressive line-up, with a rare appearance from Alison Bechdel as well as lots of Cape staples such as Bryan and Mary Talbot and Simone Lia, in addition to newer authors such as Joff Winterhart and Karrie Fransman. There promises to be something to suit everyone’s taste!
Essentially a one night comic festival, there will be lots of events taking place throughout the evening - there are talks on a variety of topics, signings and a live drawing event too.
Dotter of her Father’s Eyes presents two coming-of-age stories, taking place at different points in the twentieth century. By intertwining these stories, I explore aspects of social history: gender politics and social expectations, shifting notions about ‘acceptable’ behaviour.
The idea for the book started when I took early retirement, giving me more time to write. Bryan suggested I try my hand at autobiographical writing, producing a graphic novel script that he would illustrate. Some previous plans of his for a collaboration had sadly fallen through, with the untimely death of the Australian narrative poet, Dorothy Porter. He suggested a couple of draft titles: ‘James Joyce and Me’ and ‘What a Piece of Work’ (actually the title of one of Porter’s books). To be honest, I was a bit bemused at the prospect of autobiography. ‘Whoever would want to know?’ I thought, ‘So, my father was a Joycean scholar, so what?’ I gave it some thought anyway and, vaguely aware that Joyce had a daughter, I looked into that as a possible angle. As it happened a biography of Lucia Joyce had come out not long before (Carol Shloss’s Lucia Joyce: To Dance at the Wake, published Farrar Straus Giroux). I was blown away by the tragedy of Lucia’s story – that was what I was interested in writing about. It’s that biography that I’m reading in this train journey scene, part of the opening sequence.
Last week Bryan Talbot scooped prestigious SNCF award for the French edition ofGrandville Mon Amour.
Bryan won the Prix SNCF for best graphic novel at a ceremony at the Gare de Lyon, Paris on Tuesday 29th May.
Voted for by the general public, this is a national award given by the French railway company for the best in crime fiction.
“They give an award for best novel and best short film,” Bryan told us. “This is the first year they’ve introduced the bande dessinée category and it was won by Grandville Mon Amour out of a long list of 50 and a shortlist of five.”
[Photo courtesy of the Milady blog.]
—Bryan Talbot on Joe Sacco, from the Guardian
Grandville Bete Noir is the third stand-alone volume in the Grandville series. At Toad Hall, lair of multibillionaire Baron Aristotle Krapaud, a cabal of industrialists and fat cats plot the violent overthrow of the French state by the intervention of horribly beweaponed automaton soldiers. Meanwhile, the brutal murder of a famous Parisian artist, mysteriously stabbed to death in his locked and guarded studio, is subject to the investigations of the tenacious Detective Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard, placing him and his faithful adjunct, Detective Sergeant Roderick Ratzi, in pursuit of the mysterious masked assassin stalking the cut-throat commercial world of the Grandville art scene. LeBrock battles against outrageous odds in this funny, high octane thriller, an adventure shot through with both high art and comic book references, a glorious illegitimate offspring of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Ian Fleming – with animals! You’ll have to wait until December though.
Tonight the British Library are hosting a wondrous event dedicated to the art of illustration and some of the finest illustrators working today. Illuminate! will showcase an eclectic mixture of graphic novelists, cartoonists, children’s book illustrators, calligraphers – you name it.
Among many others, the pop-up exhibition will include work by Cape’s very own Bryan Talbot and Hannah Berry. The evening will also feature an event with Posy Simmonds and a workshop lead by upcoming Cape artist and winner of last year’s Cape/Observer/Comica Graphic Short Story Prize, Isabel Greenberg. Karrie Fransman, from our sister imprint Square Peg, will also be running a workshop on illuminated manuscripts. Not to mention Mr Scruff, whose work will be exhibited, and who’ll also be the DJ for the night.
All this plus a special screening of Oscar-nominated animated film The Secret of Kells; the world’s largest comic; masterclasses; bar and more. All in all, it promises to be a very special night.
This event is in association with House of Illustration and is part of the British Library’s Spring Festival, a five-day celebration of creativity, fashion and design.