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Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Bryan Talbot's Family Business

Grandville creator Bryan Talbot is currently drawing a graphic novel written by his wife, Mary Talbot, to be published by Jonathan Cape in the UK and Dark Horse in the US, hopefully later this year.

Dotter of her Father’s Eyes is partly autobiographical, charting the relationship between Mary and her father, the Joycean scholar James S Atherton and partly biographical, dealing with the life of James Joyce’s daughter Lucia.

Mary has written several academic textbooks -- but this is her first piece of creative writing.

"I think what's been most distinctive about this project is that I haven't just completed a script and then passed it over to an artist," she says. "We've been able to work on the book together, with an intensive and ongoing creative interaction that's usually missing from writer/artist collaborations.”

“I’ve developed what I think is an appropriate art style and visual storytelling technique for the book," Bryan adds. "I’m hoping to finish the artwork within the next six weeks.”

Dotter of her Father’s Eyes is Bryan’s third non-genre graphic novel, the others being The Tale of One Bad Rat and Alice in Sunderland.

Meanwhile, keeping it all in the family, he’s also collaborated with his youngest son Alwyn (recently profiled on Creative Boom) on Caterpillars, a Judge Dredd story for 2000AD.

“Alwyn’s an incredibly talented illustrator and concept designer for computer games, which is why I asked him to colour some of the pages of my last graphic novel, Grandville Mon Amour, to help me meet the deadline," says Bryan. "When Tharg asked me if I’d be interested in illustrating Michael Carroll’s Dredd script, I immediately thought of him.

"I didn’t have the time to ink and colour the strip myself so that suggested that Alwyn turned my pencils into fully rendered artwork. He did a great job. I also like Michael’s script, which is basically a cool, self-contained short SF story.”

Although working in the computer game industry for the past eleven years, Alwyn’s previous comic work includes strips for Negative Burn, DC Comics and the miniseries Armageddon Patrol, recently reprinted by Kult Creations.

"I've been drawing since I was 2 and enjoy more as I go," says Alwyn. "When you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life. I find this to be true... even when pulling 15 hour days!"

Caterpillars will appear in 2000AD Prog 1730 on 20th April

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