On the road with Red Virgin: events coming up in May

Page33top Red RosaWith the imminent publication of our new book, we already have a string of promotional events lined up for May. The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia is our latest collaboration and on the 5th – its official release date – there’s what promises to be a fascinating evening at the House of Illustration in London. We’ll be in conversation with Kate Evans and Alex Butterworth. Kate’s recent graphic novel is Red Rosa: a graphic biography of Rosa Luxemburg; Alex’s recent book is The World That Never Was: A True Story of Dreamers, Schemers, Anarchists and Secret Agents; between us, we’ll be considering the comics medium and what it can bring to our understanding of history, biography and politics. Follow the links in the titles for details of each of these Butterworth bookevents:

Thursday 5th May, 7pm
The Red Virgin and Red Rosa: Radical Graphic Novels.

The evening before that, Bryan and I will be doing a presentation on the Red Virgin at the Cartoon Museum:

Wednesday 4th May, 6.30pm
The Red Virgin.

Later in the month, I’ll be making two appearances at the Bradford Literature Festival. It’s a litfest that we haven’t attended before – pleased to see that there’s a good number of comics-related events there. On the 21st, I’ll be joining Asia Alfasi, Kripa Joshi, Corinne Pearlman on a panel hosted by Paul Gravett:

Saturday 21st May, 11am
Comix Creatrix: Women on the Cutting Edge of Comics.

Then, on the following day, Bryan will join me to talk about our work in general and our latest collaborative project in particular:

Sunday 22nd May, 12.30pm
The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia.

cache_2463273293I’ve posted about Wonderlands returning to Sunderland already. The UK’s Graphic Novel Expo is happening on the last Saturday in May again, which this year is the 28th. Check out the Wonderlands website for the full schedule and guests, including details of the events mentioned below.

In the morning, Bryan will be on a panel with Karrie Fransman, Woodrow Phoenix and Darryl Cunningham. Chaired by Paul Gravett, it’s about creating graphic novels as writer, artist, letterer, colourist and overall designer:

Sunderland CoC Bid 2021 master logoSaturday 28th May
10.30am Graphic Novel Auteurs.

I’ll be presenting our new book again:

12.30pm The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia.

Later in the afternoon, I’ll join a panel of creators who work in the fields of biography and autobiography, to discuss what it’s like to write fact-based stories. The other panellists are KGrandville-Noelate Charlesworth, Una, Darryl Cunningham and Suzy Varty, with Mel Gibson as chair:

2.30pm Real Life Graphic Novels.

Finally, Bryan will wrap up the day with his ever-evolving talk on the Grandville graphic novel series of steampunk detective thrillers and the venerable, ongoing tradition of anthropomorphic characters in illustration and comics from which they have grown:

4.30pm Grandville and the Anthropomorphic Tradition.

We recently put together a ‘Director’s Commentary’ for FPI’s blog about the process of creating Red Virgin, which is available to view here. I’m sure we’ll be fitting in signings in London and elsewhere during the month. Once I have any details of these, I’ll add them into this post and the Events list.FrontCover

Chinese edition of Dotter of her Father Eyes

Chinese page65 pan3An edition of Dotter of her Father’s Eyes in Simplified Chinese was published last October by Guangxi Normal University Press. I received copies of it this morning. It has a very different look and I’m charmed by it. I don’t read Chinese but, from what I can make out, they haven’t even tried to translate the title, which is probably just as well!

Here it is both with and without its paper band.

Chinese coverChinese cover with band

Chinese page29

Chinese page13 top

So, here’s my schedule at Loncon 3!

LONCON3_logoIn draft, at least. Loncon 3 is the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention and the first to be held in London since 1965. With Bryan among the Guests of Honour, we’re there for the whole shebang.

Here are the panels I’ll be participating in over the long weekend:


Tove Jansson’s Moomins: Their Legacy and Influence

Thursday 12:00 – 13:00

It’s 100 years since the birth of Finnish author/artist Tove Jansson, the award-winning creator of the beloved Moomins. Moomins appeared in novels, illustrated books, comic book strips and today are celebrated with their own theme park called Muumimaailma (Moomin World).

Why did Jansson’s Moomins capture the attention and affection of the panelists, and how do Moomins continue to fire the imagination of new generations despite being nearly seventy years old?

What is the legacy of the Moomins, and how do they continue to influence European comic books today?

Kate Laity (Moderator), Lynda Rucker, Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson, Mary Talbot and Karrie Fransman

Rewriting Gender Defaults

Thursday 18:00 – 19:00

Several recent novels, including Ann Leckie’s “Ancillary Justice”, Kim Stanley Robinson’s “2312”, Kim Westwood’s “The Courier’s New Bicycle”, Deb Taber’s “A Necessary Ill” and Kameron Hurley’s “God’s War”, have tried to imagine futures with increased gender diversity, or changed gender defaults. This panel will discuss how writers in English approach the technical aspects of challenging and disrupting gender binaries: how do issues such as narrative voice or structure affect our impressions of the worlds created? What are the strengths and weaknesses of different choices?

Roz J Kaveney (Moderator), Alex Dally MacFarlane, Julia Rios, Geoff Ryman and Mary Talbot

Revealing the Real World Through Comics

Saturday 11:00 – 12:00

It can be argued that cartoons have a long tradition of grappling with, and commenting on, poltical and domestic problems through editorial cartoons and illustrated satire.

Yet it’s generally considered that the rise of autobiographical comics came about in the 1960s, and has slowly become popular as an means of expression in the intervening decades – especially after Maus won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992.

Why have comic book journalism, graphic memoirs, and tackling social issues through the medium of comic books and cartoons become so popular? What can we reveal about the real through a medium that often uses abstract or surreal images combined with text to tell a story?

And why will they earn awards from the literary scene, when their fictional counterparts rarely get listed?

Maura McHugh (Moderator), June Madeley, Grá Linnaea and Mary Talbot

Grandville@Loncon3Writing and Pitching Comics

Sunday 11:00 – 12:00

A discussion about creating comic books from the writer’s perspective. Breaking into comic book writing can present a unique challenge for new writers, because the route in is usually different than for artists (there are no portfolio reviews for writers).

Then there are basic issues, such as formatting scripts, which aren’t even clearcut.

How do writers craft the pitches that get them jobs as comic book writers? How do they proceed once they get the gig? What’s it like to liaise with artists, colourists, letterers, and editors?

What are the joys and perils of collaborating with so many people?

Maura McHugh (Moderator), Paul Cornell, Mike Carey, Mary Talbot and Debbie Lynn Smith

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.

Edinburgh International Book Festival

Edinburgh Festival logo25th August 2013
Bryan & Mary Talbot: From Judge Dredd to Steampunk via James Joyce
We were in discussion of Dotter of her Father’s Eyes and more in the ScottishPower Studio. Chaired by Teddy Jamieson.

Some reports here:
Edinburgh Spotlight
Stripped blog
Writer Pictures
Forbidden Planet blog (with video)
FPI Joe’s Report
metaphrog blog

1238158_10201625100884364_61757485_n9th Art Award Ceremony

I was also on the judging panel at the 9th Art Award Ceremony in the ScottishPower Studio.
Coverage here:

The Skinny

Edinburgh Festival

1186673_156876051179537_70935387_n1185053_155999674600508_1437255694_nOn the same day, we had a launch party for the Sequential graphic novel app. Available from iTunes.


Sicily 2013

DSCN15945th June
In the morning, Bryan I visited the scuola del fumetto (comics school) in Palermo. Bryan delivered a lecture to the students; afterwards we looked over their work with them.
Then on to a meet-the-Talbots event at the Orto Botanico in the evening, which included my illustrated talk on Dotter, interview and Q&A. Chaired by Mario Benenati

6a00d8341c684553ef019102ee7ac2970c-500wi6th June
Another meet-the-Talbots evening, including my Dotter talk.
talbot-barcellona (in Italian)

7-9th June 2013
Etna Comics Festival, Catania

Scuzzarella-I-Talbot-Mannino-630x353 Then on to the main event, where we appeared for a stage interview with Mario Benenati, Bryan did a lot of signing and sketching and the festival organisers presented him with an award!
etnacomics-2013(in Italian)DSCN1671DSCN1811