Launching Traces of the Great War

Coming up in October: British and French editions of this ambitious international anthology commemorating the end of the first world war. Our contribution is a four-pager entitled ‘Make Germany Pay!’ For it I returned to two sources for Sally Heathcote Suffragette, the memoirs of two leaders of the Women’s Social and Political Union: Emmeline and Fred Pethick-Lawrence. Fred and Em were pacifists throughout the Great War. After it, Em campaigned tirelessly against the punitive conditions of the Armistice and the continued hunger blockade of Germany leading up to it.

We’ll be involved in launch events for both editions. The first is in France at the 7th Salon du Livre d’Albert et du Pays du Coquelicot (the land of the red poppy, ie Picardy). That takes place on 6-7th October. The second is at the 6th Lakes International Comic Art Festival which runs from 12-14th October. There are events and exhibitions of artwork at both festivals.

These are the launch events we’re involved in (that we know about so far!):

Saturday 6th October
3pm Quelles sources aujourd’hui pour parler de la Grande Guerre? (What sources today to talk about the Great War?)
with Mary Talbot, Kris, Jean David Morvan & Joe Kelly

Friday 12th
11.30 Reimagining history …writers and comic creators (Panel 1, Friday Sessions)
Panellists: Mary Talbot, Orijit Sen, Joe Kelly and Charlie Adlard. Chair: Nataša Lacković

Saturday 13th
4pm Traces of the Great War – The Official UK Launch (hosted by Nataša Lacković & Pascal Meriaux)

The anthology is a collaboration between the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, Kendal, and the Amiens BD festival On a Marché sur la Bulle. It’s commissioned by 14-18 NOW and La Mission du Centenaire de la Première Guerre Mondiale.

An eye for an eye and the world only ends up blind.
Mahatma Ghandi

The 16th Arras Book Fair: Colères du Présent on 1st May

We’ve recently returned from a unique French book fair that takes place on the 1st of May every year in Pas de Calais’ capital, Arras. It’s the second time we’ve been invited, this time on the strength of the French edition of The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia; Louise Michel La Vierge Rouge. We were signing copies for several hours in one of the publishers’ marquees in the Grand’Place, one of the two large cobbled squares in the city centre. The other, the Place des Héros, is overlooked by their fine city hall, its distinctive belfry housing a carillon that rings out prettily every half an hour.

Another BD guest who was kept busy in there was Julie Minoh. She’s the creator of the award-winning Le bleu est une couleur chaude (the English title is Blue is the warmest colour, presumably after the film, though it first appeared as Blue Angel).

She’s delightful.







In the adjacent Grand’Place there were lots of stalls like these:

A couple of days previously, we’d been signing at the Librairie les lisières, an independent bookshop in nearby Roubaix. We we were also interviewed there about Louise Michel La Vierge Rouge. Afterwards we were taken to see a column close by with a likeness of Louise Michel on it. She’s represented mourning the passing of Louise Auguste Blanqui, the French socialist, revolutionary theorist and activist, who was a major influence on her. Below is an illustration from a 1881 newspaper, possibly American, purporting to show her delivering an oration at his funeral. She may well have done so. The only other mention of it that I’ve been able to find is a similar illustration from Le Monde Illustré, located in the Musée de l’histoire vivante in Montreuil, Paris (thanks to my cousin Martin Crookston for directing me to it).