My Best of Year choices for 2013

FPI have been running a December best-of-year series on their blog for some years now. This time around, they had so many submissions that it’s running over into January! Contributors are asked to pick three favourites from comics/graphic novels, books, television and film and say a little about them. They’re also invited to reflect on the past year more personally and to look to the creative year ahead. Take a look at my contribution, posted here today.

Brainstorm! The Art of Bryan Talbot

exhibition1ExhibitionPosterThe Brainstorm! exhibition at the Wildman Gallery in Kendal is open until 10th November 2013. It’s one of the best curated exhibitions I’ve seen. Go along if you can. Meanwhile, here’s a photographic tour of the exhibition.

If you can make it to the gallery, you will also be able to have a sneak preview of a Bryan Talbot documentary by Digital Story Engine. The exclusive video presentation, which includes an introduction by legendary science-fiction author Michael Moorcock, offers fans their first glimpse of the extensive celebration of Bryan’s work to be released in 2014!



Curated by Sharon Tait. Photographs by Paul Atherton, Dianne Barry and Kate Charlesworth.

Helen Perkins at Cumbria Live.
Viv Walker at Kendal College.

The first Lakes Comic Art Festival ran “like a well oiled machine”. Reviews

“One day all comic book shows will be like this”.
Comics Clock TowerHere are some post-festival articles welling with enthusiasm for the weekend, though Dan Smith, writing for Huffington Post, laments the lack of a female “underground legend”. He evidently wasn’t in the packed library audience for the talk by Trina Robbins.

North-West Evening Mail

Garry Gray at Bleeding Cool

Dan Smith at Huffington Post

Jeremy Briggs at

Jean-Paul Malone at The Slow Bullet (Added on 27th October)

Laura Sneddon at The Beat (Added on 29th October)

Will Trina write about it in her blog when she’s back home in San Francisco? I hope so!

And the next festival is in preparation! The splendid Julie Tait and her heroic team have already started organising, with the dates set for 17th – 19th October 2014.

Brewery Arts CentreKendal batman
Photographs courtesy of Kate Charlesworth and Dianne Barry.

A weekend at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival

Lakes fest 1What an amazing weekend it was over in Kendal! Not even the rain could dampen our spirits. What were the high points for me? It’s hard to say. It was wonderful to catch up with Trina Robbins and Steve Leialoha. It was a great pleasure to spend time with Joe Sacco and Amalie. Great getting to know José Muñoz and Fiorella, who we even got to take home with us afterwards! There were so many stimulating talks and presentations – I just wish I could have attended more of them, but there were so many lovely people to talk to as well.

Lakes fest 2I particularly enjoyed doing the Sally Heathcote, Suffragette presentation with Bryan and Kate. The audience in the library did too, I think! It’s the first time we’ve talked about Sally Lakes fest 3publicly, as a creative team.

Overall, just hanging out with so many comics creators and enthusiasts for a weekend was a delight. Thanks to the people of Kendal! Hurrah for the organisers of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival and all its sponsors!

DSC00108Here’s some pre-festival coverage in The Guardian. Laura Sneddon gives women writers and artists more-than-equal billing, which is, to say the least, unusual! The BBC news website for England also gave the festival some great coverage on the day it began.

Photographs by courtesy of Kate Charlesworth and Dianne Barry.

Dan Franklin and Posy Simmonds seemed to enjoy the desserts

Dan Franklin and Posy Simmonds seemed to enjoy the desserts

Kate Charlesworth finally met Dan Franklin, our publisher for Sally Heathcote, Suffragette

Kate Charlesworth finally met Dan Franklin, our publisher for Sally Heathcote, Suffragette


The Lakes International Comic Art Festival

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 17.44.0418-20th October 2013
Kendal, Cumbria
Bryan and I are founder patrons of this European-style comics festival, along with acclaimed artist Sean Phillips. It’s the first of its kind in Britain and we’re really excited about it! Check it out here:

Saturday 19th October
This is My Life – The Art of Memoir
I will be in a panel discussion with other graphic memoir creators: Al Davison (The Spiral Cage), Katie Green (Lighter than my Shadow) and Nye Wright (Things to Do in a Retirement Home Trailer Park). Chaired by Nicola Streeten (Billy, Me and You)
Brewery Arts Centre, Screen Two. 2pm. £7.

Making History: Sally Heathcote, Suffragette
I will also be presenting our forthcoming new graphic novel, Sally Heathcote, Suffragette, with co-creators Bryan Talbot and Kate Charlesworth. Chaired by Dr Mel Gibson.
Kendal Library. 4.30pm. Free entry but ticketed.

Wildman Gallery, Kendal

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 17.46.584th October – 10th November 2013

Brainstorm! The Art of Bryan Talbot

In conjunction with the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal, there is an exhibition of Bryan’s lifetime of work at the Wildman Gallery. It includes about eight pages each from the two books we’ve collaborated on: Dotter of her Father’s Eyes and Sally Heathcote, Suffragette. (scroll down)