Handbook of Language, Gender, and Sexuality

Handbook coverAlso out this month is a rather different sort of publication that I’ve contributed to. It’s the second edition of an enormous reference tome for students and scholars of gender, sexuality and language. If it’s anything like the first edition, the contributions will all be highly readable scholarship with global reach and relevance. And it’s a snip at £120!

The book is The Handbook of Language, Gender and Sexuality and it’s edited by Susan Ehrlich, Miriam Meyerhoff and Janet Holmes.

My contribution is Chapter 31 Language, Gender and Popular Culture. It contains sections on Popular culture; Magazines, friendship and community; Broadcast talk, gendered styles and professional identities; Talking with the television; Creative engagement: putting gender on the agenda. The last section focuses on cartoons and comics and draws examples from Posy Simmonds and, briefly, from my own Dotter of her Father’s Eyes. Well, fancy that!

 

On the road with Sally Heathcote

Woman'sHourA flurry of activity for the Sally Heathcote team last week!

On Thursday Bryan and I were in London for a visit to Woman’s Hour in Broadcasting House. Our eight-minute slot with Jenni Murray went out live at about 10.30 am. It’s still available for listeners here. Later that day we joined conference goers at Birkbeck College, University of London. The symposium was in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the excellent but little-known BBC drama on the suffrage movement called Shoulder to Shoulder. Listening to the cast and crew reminisce was delightful and I was thrilled to learn who the producer was: the amazing Verity Lambert of Dr Who fame. I had no idea!
Birkbeck 1
On Friday afternoon I presented Sally Heathcote Suffragette. After my talk, which concluded the conference, Bryan and Kate joined me for a brisk signing session in Birkbeck’s Peltz Gallery. There’s been a lovely exhibition of Sally artwork there which sadly ends tomorrow (23rd May 2014).

 

Birkbeck 6Birkbeck 5Birkbeck 4

 

Two more events on Saturday. Signing for one and a half hours solid at Gosh!

Gosh 20 Gosh 13Gosh 7Gosh 24Gosh 8Gosh 15

Then on to an evening event at the Cartoon Museum, chaired by Hannah Berry.
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With Director-Curator Anita O'Brien and naughty Hannah

With Director-Curator Anita O’Brien and naughty Hannah

Photographs by Dianne Barry

With Dianne Barry. Thanks for the photos!

With Dianne Barry. Thanks for the photos!

The tour wasn’t over for Bryan and me. On Sunday we made our way to Norwich for an appearance at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, in the lovely setting of Norwich cathedral hostry.

 

 

 

A green man

A green man

The gates of hell

The gates of hell

4 demons sharing an Uncle Joe's mint ball (I think)

4 demons sharing an Uncle Joe’s mint ball (I think)

 

Before we went for our train home on Monday, Bryan risked permanent neck injury photographing all the ceiling bosses in the cathedral cloister. Here’s a few.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While there, I learned that Norfolk was the birthplace of the heroic Edith Cavell, World War One nurse and humanitarian. Cavell treated soldiers of all nationalities – friend or foe – and took part in an underground network that helped 200 Allied troups to escape from German-occupied Belgium. Shockingly, she was shot by German firing squad on 12th October 1915.

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To BUCKINGHAM PALACE! 100 years on

page 150 bottomToday – 21st May 2014 – marks the centenary of the suffragettes’ attempted entry into Buckingham Palace. By 1914, demonstrations had turned nasty. Some of the demonstrators were armed with clubs and paint bombs, but there were 1,500 police and the crowd on the street was hostile.

BuckHsDemoPolice were suppressing public gatherings by the WSPU, so the deputation to Buckingham Palace involved months of planning in secrecy. A very large empty house in Grosvenor Place, overlooking Buckingham Palace gardens, had been lent to them and 200 women gradually and surreptitiously gathered there (there are interesting first-hand accounts in Antonia Raeburn’s book, The Militant Suffragettes (Michael Joseph 1973)). Then, the day before, the WSPU distributed their customary handbill announcing their plans.To Buckingham Palace

On the day of the demonstration The Times carried a small news item announcing it, then much more substantial coverage of the ‘Suffragist Riot’ the following day. For a horrified observer’s first-hand account, see Campaigning for the Vote: Kate Parry Fry’s Suffrage Diary, edited by Elizabeth Crawford (Francis Boutle 2013).To Buck Palace back
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Sally Heathcote sallies forth

Digital SpywelcomelogoIt’s been a delightful, busy couple of days. Down to London last Thursday for the opening event of Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK, a major new exhibition at the British Library curated by Paul Gravett and John Harris Dunning. Before it began, Kate, Bryan and myself did an interview for Digital Spy, though it was tricky finding a reasonably quiet spot to record, away from the cavernous foyer. The place was filling up fast. I’ll have to go back for a proper look at the exhibition itself. There were so many people that it was hard to get close enough.BL Comics Unmasked launch

BL projectionsigning Sally in FPIn the morning, we called in at Forbidden Planet. Three people signing copies can get a bit complicated, so we had a bit of a production line going on.

Then on to Foyles for more of the same, with some Dotter copies for good measure.

 

Sally’s public appearance was the following evening. The first British Library event linked to the exhibition, marvellously, was the premiere of a biographical film on Bryan combined with the launch of Sally Heathcote, Suffragette. The Graphic Novel Man: the Comics of Bryan Talbot is a lovely tribute created by Digital Story Engine, available to preorder here.  Its first screening, I’m pleased to say, had a rapt BL talk audience. Afterwards I shared the stage with Bryan and Kate for an interview with Rachel Cooke. A lengthy book signing followed – and they sold all their copies of Sally! They had a range of Bryan’s books available and he started to get confused at one point. Someone went away with a James Joyce sketch in Sally and a Sally sketch in Dotter. I do hope he was pleased!BL talk 3BL talk 2

Then on top of all that, I got to read a flotilla of glowing reviews on Sunday!

The Independent

The Observer

The Sunday Express
But Kate’s Ma is furious that her daughter’s only mentioned in its headline (and justifiably so!)

The Skinny

DSC04992Foyles signingPhotographs by Dianne Barry.

 

A graphic novel for the Edinburgh Book Festival

Page1 Ch6It’s official! Project X is announced here! Kate Charlesworth and I have been quietly working on a chapter for a collaborative graphic novel called IDP: 2043 commissioned by the Edinburgh Festival. Denise Mina provided the scenario – after the Great Flood of 2032 – and distributed the six chapters to a team of writers and artists. The list of other contributors is pretty impressive: Pat Mills, Hannah Berry, Irvine Welsh, Dan McDaid, Denise Mina, Barroux, Adam Murphy and Will Morris.

The collaboration began behind the scenes in 2013, as part of the Stripped graphic novel events at the 30th Edinburgh International Book Festival. The story is set in Scotland 30 years on. It’s a dystopian future, where resources are scarce. The initials ‘IDP’ in the title stand for ‘Internally Displaced Persons’.

chicken of DoomDenise asked me to write the concluding chapter, so what could possibly go wrong? Ha! Well, I have to say that when I agreed to contribute it was with some trepidation at joining a group project with a tight deadline. But that was before I knew about the great professional line-up. The book will be launched at the festival in August, when we may finally get to meet one another!

 

Launching Sally Heathcote, Suffragette

FrontCovercroppedMay is going to be a busy month!

Sally‘s official publication date is 1st May, but orders can be placed now. On 2nd May there’s a London launch event in the Conference Centre at the British Library, when we three co-creators will be interviewed by Rachel Cooke from the The Observer (book tickets here). The event begins with a screening of the documentary Graphic Novel Man: The Comics of Bryan Talbot (see the trailer here).

An excerpt from Sally and an interview are scheduled for 4th May in The Observer.

These are some others events lined up in May:
Thursday 8th May
A northeast signing and talk by the creators will be at Waterstone’s, The Bridges, Sunderland at 6pm. Tickets £3 (redeemable against the cost of the book purchased on the night).
12th-23rd May
Sally Heathcote, Suffragette: Remembering Female Suffrage
This exhibition presents artwork from Sally Heathcote, Suffragette by Mary Talbot, Kate Charlesworth and Bryan Talbot.
Accompanying the art will be a collection of artefacts and extracts from the BBC TV series, Shoulder to Shoulder. These representations of Edwardian female activism produced in the early 1970s explore how the first wave was re-remembered at the time of second wave.
The exhibition takes place in the Peltz Gallery, Birkbeck, in the School of Arts, Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD.
Saturday 17th May
We’ll be signing at Gosh! from 2pm to 3pm. That’s 1 Berwick Street, London W1F 0DR.
In the evening we’ll be in the Cartoon Museum for Shoulder to Shoulder: Sally Heathcote Suffragette. This is an illustrated talk starting at 6.30pm. Free but ticketed (book here)
Sunday 18th May
Bryan and I will be introducing Sally at the Norfolk & Norwich Literary Festival at 4.45pm (details here)

Meanwhile, here are some advance reviews and a directors’ commentary that Kate and I put together for the Forbidden Planet blog:
Page 45 review
Forbidden Planet review
Directors’ Commentary
WSPU BADGE

Dotter of her Father’s Eyes – in translation

PolishCoverLoResDotter of her Father’s Eyes is now available in Polish! Recently appearing in print, it’s the third translation to be published so far, joining the Spanish and Serbian editions that came out in 2013.

The title poses something of a challenge for translators, since puns and cultural references don’t transfer easily (if at all) from one language to another. In Polish, it is rendered as “The apple in father’s eye”. The Spanish title means roughly “The girl of his eyes” and apparently resonates well for readers of Spanish. The Serbian translator chose a different solution by opting for the single word “daughters”.

Swedish and Chinese editions are currently in preparation. The Swedish title, after months of deliberation by the editor, is to be Barn av sin faders tid (“Child of her father’s time”) and apparently contains a punning allusion that many Swedes will understand. And the Chinese? That remains to be seen, but whatever they come up with is sure to look great!
SpanishCoverLoResSerbianCoverLoRes

Helen Barnrat on Tumblr: a tribute to The Tale of One Bad Rat

Badrat awakesA student in Ontario has just created a Tumblr page about Helen Barnrat. That’s the character from Bryan’s Tale of One Bad Rat who features in the Beatrix Potter pastiche at the end. The page is available to view here. Laura Stortz, the Canadian student, says she was ‘deeply moved’ by Bad Rat and ‘decided to choose and review the graphic novel as a part of my course’.

IBadRat atHillTopt’s now twenty years since the book first came out, so it’s wonderful that it still retains its appeal and people continue to discover it. A new generation of people, indeed. Crikey!

It’s my favourite graphic novel of all time (at least, it was until Alice in Sunderland came along – now I’m conflicted). Of course, being partly set in the Lake District, it featured prominently in Bryan’s Brainstorm! exhibition in Kendal that formed part of the inaugural Lakes International Comic Art Festival last year. Remember this poster?

ExhibitionPoster

 

And here are some gratuitous shots of my February front garden. An abundance of snowdrops and hellebore:

snowdrops

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Sally Heathcote, Suffragette is on her way!

Sally advance copyMy advance copy of Sally Heathcote, Suffragette has arrived. “It’s girl!” I felt like shouting. But I’ve settled down now. The release date is 1st May 2014, though it can be pre-ordered here.

A sample of Sally artwork is included in an exciting exhibition at the British Library called Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK. It’s curated by Paul Gravett and it will be in the PACCAR Gallery from 2nd May – 19th August 2014.

There will also be a mini-exhibition of artwork from 12 -16th May 2014 at the Peltz Gallery in Birkbeck College, London. This exhibition is in conjunction with an academic conference marking the 40th anniversary of the BBC mini-series ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’. You can watch a clip here:

The conference on Shoulder-to-Shoulder: Female Suffrage, Second-Wave Feminism and Feminist TV Drama in the 1970s will take place on 15 – 16th May 2014 at Birkbeck. It brings together some of the original participants to celebrate this key TV text. I’ll be participating in a panel discussion on ‘Waves of Amnesia and Awakening’ which explores how the women’s movement is being remembered today, as well as how early TV work has almost been lost. If you’re interested in attending, you’ll need to check out Birkbeck’s event calendar.

On the 17th May 2014 (the day after the conference) all three Sally co-creators – Kate, Bryan and myself – will be signing at Gosh! from 2-3pm. Then in the evening we’ll be doing a presentation as part of the Cartoon Museum’s Museums at Night event. Shoulder to Shoulder with Sally Heathcote, Suffragette takes place from 6.30-7.30pm. Details to follow.

Rounding off a busy long weekend, Bryan and I will be off to Norwich on Sunday 18th May, to appear at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Details of that to follow too.