Graphic Novels: The Last Ten Years (and the Next) – Panel coverage at the London Book Fair 2017

Perhaps it’s no surprise that the Cross Media Theatre is so packed – this is only one of two panels ton comics / graphic novels this year. But SelfMadeHero MD Emma Hayley, writer David Hine, Nibbies Bookseller of the Year nominee Gosh!’s Steve Walsh, and host Panel Borders broadcaster Alex Fitch recline rather more comfortably and are ready to go.

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A Coffee with… Pat Mills at the London Book Fair! Part 3

CA - LBF - PM 3 We were lucky enough to catch 2000 AD creator Pat Mills for a coffee at the London Book Fair and got to chat about so much great stuff we had to split it into three articles! If you want the first it’s here and you can click through to part 2 here. Otherwise read onwards on what we chatted on Slaine, Celtic consciousness and myth, and comics and Scotland!

 

THE FALL AND THE RISE OF 2000 AD

There’s nothing particularly controversial in suggesting 2000 AD went through a problem patch in the 90’s but I mention here only because of something particular Pat says of what went wrong. “It lost a new generation of kids. It became too cool. It’s a reminder that your boss should be a 12-13 year old kid”. Read the rest of this entry »

A Coffee with… Pat Mills at the London Book Fair! Part 2

CA - LBF 16 - PM2 We were lucky enough to catch 2000 AD creator Pat Mills for a coffee at the London Book Fair and got to chat about so much great stuff we had to split it into three articles! If you want the first it’s here… Otherwise read onwards on what we chatted on Slaine, Celtic consciousness and myth, and comics and Scotland!

 

SLAINE!

We’d just been chatting on ethical concerns and subversive writing. With no diversion from this we move on to what is undoubtedly my favourite of Pat’s comics and characters: Slaine. Read the rest of this entry »

A Coffee with… Pat Mills at the London Book Fair! Part 1

CA - LBF 16 - PM1 When I spotted 2000 AD creator Pat Mills was visiting the London Book Fair for a panel I dropped him a line to see if he fancied a coffee beforehand. As happened he did so we met up at the decidedly pink London Book and Film Week area and, happily, we were still going after an hour and a half.
Well the imminent Graphic Galaxy panel [article imminent] which we were both attending as panellist and audience brought things to a close but not before I’d scrawled enough notes for a worthy if overlong article – so I figured I’d cut it into three.
Here’s the first…

 

ON REQUIEM, PRINT AND DIGITAL, AND ANTI-SNOBBERY…

CA - LBF - PM - ABC Warriors cover CA - LBF - PM - Slaine cover Pat’s been scripting two of his classic strips and characters for 2000 AD – the ABC Warriors and Slaine – the latest of which have just seen, and now are seeing, print within those pages. But what else is he working on? The answer is Requiem: Vampire Knight which he’s created with Olivier Ledroit on art duties who Pat commends as one of the top French artists of today.

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A Coffee with Abaddon & Solaris at the London Book Fair…

CPP - Rebellion Publishing Jonathan Oliver was brought into Rebellion to help found the Abaddon Book imprint and also work on 2000 AD’s range of graphic novels. When Rebellion purchased Solaris from BL Publishing he became Editor-in-Chief of both, running them with editors David Moore and Jenni Hill (now of Orbit Books). Jonathan and David, along with Rob Power (Marketing / PR) were good enough to spare some time for a coffee at the London Book Fair so I could dig a little more into what they’re about and what’s in the pipeline…

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A Coffee with… Deborah Install at the London Book Fair!

CBJJ16 - Feb - A Robot in the Garden I’d spotted The Robot in the Garden in the Bookseller previews and made sure to include in our February Book Recommends. When I caught on Twitter that its author Deborah Install was attending the London Book Fair today I dropped her a line to see if she had time for a coffee and chat and we arranged to meet.
It turns out we’re both sitting in the London Book & Screen  Week area – just different one’s. Usefully they’re opposite across from one another on the National Hall Gallery so a wave from one of the pod chairs to the especially pink area where I’m sat and we’re good to go.

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Women in Comics: Is the Graphic Novel Industry Failing to Recognise Female Creators? Panel at LBF 2016

CA - LBF - WiC - by @nazeli_kk Inclusiveness and representation is very much on the radar of the comic industry right now, yet this panel is not simply the next discussion of this topic as relates to women. Rather it’s been convened in response to ‘the Angouleme controversy’. We’re helpful primed on entrance to the LBF by the Bookseller Daily, which includes Tom Tivnan’s interview with Emma Hayley, MD of Self Made hero, who is chairing the panel.

 

‘A case study in how to balls up a book festival,’ says Tom of January’s Angouleme International Comics Festival (not the LBF!) And it’s a perfectly apt description. Of 30 comic creators on the longlist for Angouleme’s Grand Prix lifetime achievement award not one was a woman. A boycott was roundly called for and supported: Male creators withdrew and it was hardly an appealing prospect for the hurriedly added women creators. It hardly helped that the festival director’s response was “There are not many women in the history of comics”(!) CA _ LBF - WiC - Angouleme

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So Emma chairs the panel which is made up of Myriad Editions MD Corinne Pearlman, Mediatoon International Rights Director Sophie Castille, freelance author Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveller’s Wife), and comics creator Hannah Berry (Britten & Brülightly, Adamtine, Livestock (upcoming) – Jonathan Cape). Read the rest of this entry »

A Coffee with Hodder Editor Anne Perry at The London Book Fair!

Logo Hodderscape In the interests of openness I should probably note that this is more of ‘An absence of Coffee with’ Anne Perry: it being the afternoon of the third day of the London Books Fair we’re both already highly caffeinated and we decide to coast on what we’ve already imbibed rather than risk any top-ups. Apologies if anyone feels cheated by this (or that that’s cheating) 😉

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Anyway the London Book Fair is a lot of different things to a lot of different editors. For some it’s selling international rights and translations of their titles. Anne Perry is no less busy, though she’s more on the other side and on the lookout for acquisitions; but for her the LBF offers a rare opportunity to connect with colleagues from across the Atlantic. It makes all the difference being able to connect face-to-face with those people you know more by e-mail in this or any other industry, so I’m grateful she has a bit of time to talk. Read the rest of this entry »

A Coffee with… LEAH MOORE!

CA - LM - Electricomics ASPE Seeing that Leah Moore was at 2015’s LBF I was hoping she might have time for a coffee after the Comics Go Digital panel. Fortunately she did; less fortunately those outrageous slings and arrows one faces when launching a website can set things back and, with the great stuff we talked about, this was one casual interview I wanted to give proper time to. Besides which what we talked then is no less relevant now, so we’re pleased now, belatedly, finally, to present A Coffee with Leah Moore.

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A Coffee with… KARRIE FRANSMAN! At the London Book Fair 2015

CPP - Karrie Fransman Until the panel I’d just attended, of which Karrie Fransman was part, I was rather unaware of her broader work beyond her first and second graphic novels. What had intrigued me most, which I’d heard about in a meeting with one of her editors at Jonathan Cape, was her work for the Red Cross which, I later discovered, won Broken Frontier’s Best One-Shot 2014 award.
Karrie was good enough to agree to a post-panel coffee and interview and, amongst many other things, this was something I was particularly keen to hear about and the first subject we talked about.

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Why the Graphic Novel? Panel coverage from The London Book Fair 2015

CA - Why the Graphic Novel Why the Graphic Novel? What Comics can do that Other Forms Can’t. 
The panel are very much from the literary side of the graphic novel spectrum – and understandably so. Of course the possibilities of the format have been explored by pioneers in the mainstream but the indie / literary scene is where experimentation and new methods of storytelling is encouraged. We have mainstay of the comic’s scene and Escape Books publisher Paul Gravett chairing, and on the panel: Julie Birmant and Clement Oubrerie, creators of Pablo (a biography of Picasso, Self Made Hero), Karrie Fransman (Jonathan Cape – The House that Groaned and Death of the Artist) and Paul (B) Rainey (There’s No Time Like the Present, Escape Books).

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A Panel and Chat with TPub’s Neil Gibson – The London Book Fair 2015

CA - Neil Gibson I’d been very intrigued about TPub having encountered them for the first time just before Christmas so, seeing founder, owner and writer Neil Gibson was running a panel at the LBF’s Interactive Theatre, I decided to pop along. Aside from a very interesting talk and Q&A (over headphones!), Neil was good enough to spare some time for a chat and interview afterward…
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The London Book Fair: An Author’s Perspective by Chele Cooke

chelecooke Two weeks ago Olympia opened its doors to the London Book Fair. A trade fair at heart, the London Book Fair (or LBF,) is a hub of British publishing in the second week of April and is where you’ll find some of the biggest deals in the UK publishing industry.
As an author (or aspiring author,) most of the fair is cut off from you. Whilst you can wander and browse all the different publishers and companies with a stake in the publishing industry, you will find little information or help from these busy professionals.

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There are tales of authors wanting to speak to agents and publishers, hounding them through the book fair. Well, I can tell you now, that is pointless and won’t get you anything except, perhaps, a restraining order if you are particularly persistent.

What will get you somewhere, on the other hand, is the Author HQ, the hub of most author directed information at LBF. Sponsored by Amazon KDP and Midas PR, Author HQ is designed to give authors a rounded look at the publishing industry and information on how to move forwards. Read the rest of this entry »