Earlier this month The Independent on Sunday published my interview with the lovely Kate Beaton who I met at this years Lakes International Comic Art Festival.
I am a huge fan of Kate's Hark! A Vagrant webcomic, as well as her newest collection Step Aside, Pops. We had a great chat about all things suffrage, women, comics and conventions - plus it was my first interview conducted in a cupboard.
With a fierce velocipedestrienne glaring from the cover of her new collection, Step Aside, Pops, that feminist thread has become more overt, and the book is packed with comics about the fabulous and forgotten women of history.
“I think that honestly it’s a response to the larger conversation that we’re all having about women’s roles in pop culture and media, and in the workforce and in life,” muses Beaton. “There’s a lot more discussion these days. I use the example, a movie like Mad Max comes out and we all read the think pieces on how Charlize Theron’s character is treated and what that means to people and what people want and I think that women’s voices are being heard more. A few years ago I don’t think that Mad Max would have been made, not in the same way.”
The web sensation hit the books market last month to enthusiastic acclaim, and today's Independent on Sunday carries my large review of one of my favourite complete comic stories of all time.
This review was great fun to write, and it was fabulous to see artwork from Nimona adorning the sunday papers!
"Nimona though is where it all began, and where Stevenson’s most pure artistic expression is to be found. What begins in simple panel layouts and shark jokes, turns through expressive colour palettes into playful design and incredible characterisation that matches the dark evolution of the story. Stevenson has prioritised accessibility above radical composition, with simple but effective transitions and easy to follow dialogue bubble paths. This is perhaps why Nimona is as popular with new comic readers as it is with long-time fans."
Earlier this month I travelled through to Glasgow to sit down with the ridiculously talented Cameron Stewart, writer of Batgirl, creator of Sin Titulo, and artist of the highly anticipated Fight Club 2.
"I have to be the one to do this," Stewart recalls thinking, when he heard that Fight Club 2 was moving ahead with Dark Horse Comics. "I ended up doing a three-page adaptation of one of the closing chapters of the novel..."
My interview of Scott McCloud's The Sculptor in tomorrow's Independent on Sunday is up early on the website, and the graphic novel is an early contender for comic of the year.
"If Understanding Comics was the research, The Sculptor is the finished thesis – far more than the sum of its parts, and a wonderful testament to the power of comics."
The Independent on Sunday – Review of Sally Heathcote: Suffragette By Mary Talbot, Kate Charlesworth, and Bryan Talbot
The highly anticipated second graphic novel from Costa winners Mary and Bryan Talbot hit the shelves this week, this time with Kate Charlesworth providing art duties, and Bryan having designed the layouts. The Independent on Sunday chose the title as their leading book review.
Mary's first graphic novel, Dotter of Her Father's Eyes, was a biographical affair and Sally Heathcote: Suffragette keeps that historical background while introducing a fictional lead character to move through the events of suffrage and the fight for the women's vote, providing a grounding point for the reader.
It is a brilliant work of art and a fascinating (and meticulously researched) insight to the complexities of the suffrage movement in the UK - hopefully my review will help convince more people to read it!