Bryan Talbot

This article is from 2008

Bryan Talbot

Graphic detail in the finest strips

Bryan Talbot is a bit of a legend in the UK comics industry. He’s provided art for the likes of 2000AD, Sandman and Batman but you can still see the influence of underground comix artists such as Robert Crumb and Gilbert Shelton even in his most commercial work. There’s a cartoon-like quality to his distinctive penmanship, coupled with extraordinary multi-layered detail. ‘Underground comix reclaimed comics as an adult medium,’ says Talbot, ‘especially the likes of Art Spiegelman [Maus] who were doing non-genre books. Suddenly comics were cool. There’s more graphic novels, good graphic novels, being produced now than you could possibly read. The golden age of graphic novels is only just starting because we’ve got this wealth of literature to draw on.’

It is with his own work that Talbot’s talent has really shone. He is credited with the first ever British graphic novel with The Adventures of Luther Arkwright in 1978, his groundbreaking and much revered The Tale of One Bad Rat and his most recent work Alice in Sunderland. ‘I’ve always mentally divided my work up into commercial and professional,’ he says. ‘I’ll do my best for commercial work, but if it’s personal work where I own the characters, I’ve created them, I write it, I draw it, I colour it. Usually when I’m doing commercial comics I’ll be part of a team. When I’m doing my own books I put everything I can into them.’

22 Aug, 11am, £12 (£9).