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Rachael Ball, Typex and Jérôme Tubiana join the Edinburgh Book Festival lineup

26 July 2019

This August, three SelfMadeHero creators make the trip to Scotland for the highlight of the literary calendar. This year's Edinburgh International Book Festival programme includes events featuring Rachael Ball, Typex and Jérôme Tubiana.

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Dutch cartoonist Typex joins Keith Hartley, Chief Curator at the Scottish National Gallery of Art, for a discussion of the pop artist Andy Warhol. Typex's Andy (an Observer Book of the Year) is an exhilarating and playful portrait of the King of Pop Art, while Hartley's Warhol and Eduardo Paolozzi canters through the ideas of two artists inspired by photos and adverts. The two authors will interrogate Warhol's glib self-assessment, "There is only surface, with nothing underneath" ("Keith Hartley & Typex", Sat 24 Aug, 11:00-12:00, Garden Theatre).

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Rachael Ball's masterpiece of magical realism Wolf, which centres on a family torn apart by tragedy, was described by the Times Literary Supplement as "poignant and elegiac". She joins fellow cartoonist John McNaught (Kingdom) for a discussion of families in graphic fiction ("Rachael Ball & Jon McNaught", Mon 12 Aug, 19:00-20:00, Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre). She then leads a masterclass in creating comics on the difficult subject of grief ("Drawing on Grief", Tue 13 Aug, 14:00-16:30, Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel).

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French writer Jérôme Tubiana's Guantánamo Kid tells the incredible true story of Mohammed El-Gharani, one of the camp's youngest detainees, who was held and abused for seven years without charge or trial. Illustrated by Alexandre Franc, and written in close collaboration with El-Gharani himself, this is a landmark work of graphic non-fiction. Tubiana visits Edinburgh to talk about the book's fascinating backstory ("Jérôme Tubiana", Tue 13 Aug, 14:15-15:15, Garden Theatre). Tubiana will also take part in a free-to-enter Amnesty International Imprisoned Writers event, organised to mark the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child ("The Kids are Alright", Tue 13th August, 17:30-18:15, Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre).

The full Edinburgh Book Festival programme is available here.

Celebrating 50 years since the moon landing with Matt Fitch and Chris Baker

8 July 2019

On 20th July 1969, mankind set foot on the moon. Backed by the brightest minds in engineering and science, Neil Armstrong, Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin and Michael Collins boarded a rocket and flew through the void – just to know that we could. Today, 50 years on, the mission remains one of humanity’s greatest exploratory achievements.

To mark five decades since the moon landing, writers Matt Fitch and Chris Baker will visit Soho's Gosh! Comics to sign copies of their masterpiece of graphic non-fiction, Apollo. You'll find them there on Saturday 20th July from 1-2pm.

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Fitch and Baker's graphic novel, illustrated by Mike Collins, tells the breathtaking story of the Apollo 11 mission. It does a brilliant job of capturing the moments of high drama and astonishing risk. But it is also a fascinating insight into the lives of three men who, in the most extraordinary of circumstances, are separated from their families and loved ones.

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Scientific American praised Fitch, Baker and Collins for their smart handling of the "suspense-filled" story: "They convey surprising depth and emotion, as well as rich historical details of the era. The book explores the political tension around the space program at the time, the nerve-wracking anxiety experienced by the families of the crew, and the heart-stopping moments of the mission that proved to be such a milestone."

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For more information about the signing, head over to Gosh! Comics' website.

Coming soon: The Book of Forks

31 May 2019

The first volume of Rob Davis's abstract adventure trilogy, The Motherless Oven, won the Best Book prize at the British Comic Awards in 2014. Its sequel, The Can Opener's Daughter, was praised by The Guardian as "a dark, disorientating twist on the classic tale of kids against the world".

Now, the trilogy's much-anticipated final volume is on its way: The Book of Forks is released in October – and it looks incredible.

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The Motherless Oven and The Can Opener’s Daughter may have raised more questions than they answered, but The Book of Forks explains everything.

Castro Smith finds himself imprisoned within the mysterious Power Station, writing his Book of Forks while navigating baffling daily meetings with Poly, a troubled young woman who may be his teacher, his doctor, his prison guard… or something else entirely.

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Meanwhile, back home, Vera and Scarper’s search for their missing friend takes them through the chaotic warzone of the Bear Park and into new and terrifying worlds.

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With The Book of Forks, Rob Davis completes his fiercely original trilogy by stepping inside Castro’s disintegrating mind, to reveal the truth about the history of the world, the meaning of existence and the purpose of kitchen scales.

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The Book of Forks will launch at the Lakes Comic Art Festival in October. Watch this space for news of further signings and appearances.

Søren Mosdal, Aimée de Jongh, Typex and Julian Hanshaw join SelfMadeHero at TCAF

10 May 2019

This weekend, we jet off to Canada for one of the highlights of our year: the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. With guests including Mariko Tamaki, Raina Telgemeier, Craig Thompson, Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon, this year’s show looks like it’ll be as good as ever. What’s more, there’ll be four very special SelfMadeHero creators in attendance: Aimée de Jongh (Blossoms in Autumn), Søren Mosdal (Basquiat), Typex (Andy) and Julian Hanshaw (I Feel Machine). They’ll be signing books on SelfMadeHero’s booth (tables 111-112) in the Toronto Reference Library throughout the weekend, as well as taking part in some intriguing, star-studded events.

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On Saturday, Danish artist Søren Mosdal talks to Comic News Insider’s Jimmy Aquino about his approach to capturing the inner and outer lives of New York's archetypal artist ("Basquiat: A Graphic Novel, 12:15, Summerhill Room, Marriott).

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Shortly after that, Dutch cartoonist Typex joins the Netherlands' Comics Laureate Margreet de Heer for a discussion of the past, present and future of Dutch comics ("Stripmakers: Comics in the Netherlands", 14:45, Summerhill Room, Marriott).

This is followed by an interview with a rising star of the Dutch comics scene, Aimée de Jongh. She joins Jimmy Aquino for a discussion of her work, which includes the recently released Blossoms in Autumn and Taxi ("Spotlight: Aimée de Jongh", 16:00, Summerhill Room, Marriott).

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On Sunday, Aimée de Jongh is back in action as part of a discussion of the older generation and how they are represented in the comics of today. She is joined by SelfMadeHero favourite Julian Hanshaw (I Feel Machine) and comics superstar Seth, among others ("Characters of Age", 10:30, Learning Centre, Reference Library).

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And finally, Typex and Søren Mosdal join fellow graphic biographers to discuss why comics is the ideal medium to tell other people's stories ("Other People's Stories", 14:45, Hinton Learning Theatre, Reference Library).

What more could you want? Well, actually, there’s quite a lot more: check out the full TCAF programme here.

Shaun Tan, Jesús Carrasco and Javi Rey receive Eisner Award nominations

2 May 2019

The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards are the so-called "Oscars of Comics". Hosted by the San Diego Comic-Con, the annual prize-giving recognises many of the best creators working today, from colourists to webcomic artists. We're delighted that this year three SelfMadeHero creators feature on the list of nominations.

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Broken Frontier said of Shaun Tan's contribution to the tech-themed anthology I Feel Machine, "Tan provides us with more world-building brilliance in 20-ish pages than some fictional universes manage in their entire existences. Every inviting panel feels like it could spin off another story in itself." The Eisner committee agreed, and "Here I Am" was nominated for Best Short Story.

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Jesús Carrasco and Javi Rey's high-stakes dystopian drama, Out In the Open, is up for the Best Adaptation from Another Medium prize. Telling the story of a young boy who escapes a town ravaged by violence and drought, it is a bleak and yet hauntingly beautiful take on Carrasco's award-winning novel of the same name.

This year's Eisner Award winners will be announced at the San Diego Comic-Con on 19th July. For a full list of this year's nominees, click here.