Sunday 11 November 2012

News: Graphic Novel News From The Past Week

Another very busy week at work has kept me away from blogging about the various news items and press releases that have come my way recently, so I thought I would package them all together in this one post.

Judge Dredd Selected For World Book Night

The first, and for me and many others by far the most exciting, was the news that the World Book Night list has at last included a graphic novel. Long time visitors of The Book Zone may have noticed earlier in the year my call for this medium to be recognised by the WBN organisers. You can see the post here, where I suggested that if people agreed with me then Batman: Year One would make a very worthy contender. I watched the numbers of votes for this grow steadily on the WBN site, and for a long time it was in the Top 100, only falling away in the final few days. I was resigned to there being yet another year with there not be a GN on the list. 

However, to my great delight and surprise it was announced in the week that Judge Dredd: The Dark Judges had been selected, despite this title at no point appeared in the WBN Top 100, which goes to show that the selectors have decided to recognise this medium of storytelling. A quick check online showed that this book has been printed in a small format edition, which I guess makes it more suitable for WBN (e.g. cost, consent from publisher, etc) than other larger format, colour titles, such as the aforementioned Batman story. I have already registered my desire to be a giver for this book come WBN, but I imagine I am one of thousands of Dredd/2000AD fans who will be doing this, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Emma Vieceli To Draw Alex Rider Graphic Novels

Walker Books this week announced that they have signed Antony Johnston to write two more Alex Rider graphic novels. I have to confess, that I had completely missed the release of Eagle Strike in this format, although I have the first three titles and love them. I think Johnston has done a great job of transferring Anthony Horowitz's stories to the GN format. The four graphic novels to date have featured the artwork of Kanako and Yuzuru, but it was announced this week that for the next two titles they will be replaced by Emma Vieceli

Emma first came to my attention through the work she has done on some of the brilliant Manga Shakespeare titles (popular with both students and English staff at my school), and her popularity has since soared with the art she produced the the Vampire Academy graphic novelisations. As a fan of Emma's work I am very excited about this news, and I look forward to seeing the end result when Scorpia and Ark Angel are published.

Bryan Talbot To Write Two More Grandville Books

On Friday I journeyed into London to listen to listen to legendary British writer and comic artist Bryan Talbot. He was presenting at Foyles, as part of the Comica Festival, and I was very fortunate to win a ticket through his publisher, Jonathan Cape. I am a huge fan of the Grandville series, and it was wonderful to hear Bryan talk about his work. He was also joined by his wife Mary, and together they talked about their collaboration on Dotter Of Her Father's Eyes. 

One of the most exciting bits of news to come out of the evening was that Bryan is intending to produce another two Grandville books, with a story arc that starts in Grandville Bete Noire, his latest title which was officially launched at the Foyles event. I came away from the event with a lovely signed and sketched copy of Bete Noire, and Mr Talbot was kind enough to do the same to the copy of the first Grandville book that I had taken along with me.

Bryan also mentioned that he has a new book coming out in January called Cherubs! Published by dark Horse comics, with artwork by Mark Stafford, this hardback edition will collect together "the previously published first part of the supernatural comedy adventure, "Paradise Lost", with the longer, unpublished second half, "Hell on Earth"." I love the official blurb for this book and I will definitely be getting it in the new year:

An original graphic novel with script and layouts by Eisner-award winner Bryan Talbot and art by the hottest Brit Indy artist, Mark Stafford, CHERUBS! is a totally irreverent, fast-paced supernatural comedy-adventure that's heaven-sent and hell-bent!

Put in the frame for the first murder in Heaven, the outrageous celestial rugrats pursue the renegade archangel Abbadon to New York on the eve of the Apocalypse! Befriended by Mary, an exotic dancer, and pursued by unstoppable Seraphim terminators, they alone stand against the Devil and his hordes as he prepares to stalk the earth once more!

Vampires! Demons! Zombies! Werewolves! Fairy hookers! The descent into Hell! Fluffy the Vampire Slayer! The Doggy-Do Gang! Almighty God! What¹s not to like?


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