John Fardell, Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison among the highlights at Stripped 2013

The Edinburgh International Book Festival's events series celebrates the medium of graphic novels


This article is from 2013.

Stripped highlights

There’s a raft of graphic novelists visiting Edinburgh to take part in Stripped, the International Book Festival’s celebration of comics. Henry Northmore highlights the names to look out for

John Fardell

Edinburgh cartoonist and writer John Fardell is a favourite with two very different audiences. Many know him for his work on adults only comic Viz where he draws The Modern Parents and The Critics amongst others, skewering the pomposity of the self-righteous middle classes. His other readers are significantly younger, with his series of children’s books including Jeremiah Jellyfish Flies High, The Day Louis Got Eaten and Manfred the Baddie still exhibiting his cheeky humour and highly detailed art style. At this year’s Book Fest he’ll be talking about his comic heroes and influences from Tintin to Dan Dare.

Key Work: Fardell’s first illustrated novel The Seven Professors of the Far North (2004).

Insider information: Fardell used to provide a regular comic strip for The List.

Charlotte Square, 0845 373 5888, 22 Aug, 6–7pm, £4.50.

Melinda Gebbie

Gebbie started work on underground feminist comics in America during the 70s contributing to Wimmen’s Comix, Tits & Clits Comix, Wet Satin, Anarchy Comics and more. She moved to the UK in 1984 to work on the animated adaptation of Raymond Briggs' harrowing tale of nuclear fallout When the Wind Blows. Once in Britain she started work on the controversial sexually explicit Lost Girls with Alan Moore (who she would later marry) which details the erotic adventures of various children’s characters (Alice from Alice in Wonderland, Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz and Wendy from Peter Pan).

Key Work: Lost Girls with Alan Moore, which was started in 1991 but, due to various legal wranglings, wasn’t released until 2007.

Insider information: Her first comic Fresca Zizis (1977) was seized by HM Customs in 1985 and is still banned in the UK.

Charlotte Square, 0845 373 5888, 23 Aug, 4–5pm, £10 (£8).

Grant Morrison

Like so many great British writers this Scot first made an impact at 2000AD. He then moved to DC writing seminal works including Batman: Arkham Asylum and Doom Patrol. 1996 saw Morrison take his brand of cosmic weirdness to the mainstream as he took over writing Justice League of America before jumping ship and joining Marvel to take control on the X-Men before once again moving back to his spiritual home at DC. Even with these big gigs Morrison still had time for bizarre tales like We3, The Filth and Happy as well as writing his personal history of superheroes, Supergods. He received an MBE in 2012.

Key Work: The Invisibles (1994–2000), a tale of psychic terrorism that mirrored his own life.

Insider information: Plays the villain in the videos for ‘Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)’ and ‘SING’ by emo punk rockers and comic book uberfans My Chemical Romance.

Charlotte Square, 0845 373 5888, 23 Aug, 8–9pm, £10 (£8).

Emma Vieceli

Although born in Essex, Vieceli specialises in manga art. She has worked on reinterpretations of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing, reinvigorating them with Japanese style illustrations alongside her own Dragon Heir series and work on Princess Ai and Vampire Academy. She’s also worked on several books on art techniques, such as Draw Manga, so should have plenty of tips while leading this workshop for ‘budding graphic novel artists’.

Key Work: Hamlet (2007), Vieceli’s manga adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic.

Insider information: It’s not all literature, manga and vampires – Vieceli has also illustrated several My Little Pony titles.

Charlotte Square, 0845 373 5888, 25 Aug, 4.30–6.30pm, £7.

Neil Gaiman

Another 2000AD alumni, Gaiman’s leftfield collaborations with artist Dave McKean showed what a singular talent he had for bizarre flights of fancy. His first big US project was Black Orchid; a total reinvention of the character now cast as plant / human hybrid. This lead to Gaiman’s most celebrated work: the 75 issues of The Sandman. Gaiman still dabbles in comics but most of his time is spent writing books, while Stardust, Coraline and MirrorMask have all been adapted into feature films and he’s written two episodes of Dr Who over the last couple of years. The big news for Gaiman aficionados is that the Sandman will be making a return in prequel Overture soon.

Key Work: The Sandman (1988–1996) Gaiman’s world of dreams, myths and magic.

Insider information: Gaiman’s first published book was a biography of Duran Duran.

Charlotte Square, 0845 373 5888, 25 Aug, 8–9pm, £10 (£8).

This article is from 2013.

Melinda Gebbie

Melinda Gebbie learnt her signature illustration style in the underground scene of 1970s San Francisco. She contributed to all-woman anthologies such as Tits & Clits before moving to Thatcher-era London where her autobiographical work was the subject of an obscenity trial. Today she discusses her early feminist…

Neil Gaiman

Discover the distinctive genius of Neil Gaiman and his latest story, Fortunately, the Milk. Neil’s books for young readers never shy away from the odd, surreal or quirky which makes them attractive for stage and film adaptation. Join Neil and Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director at the Royal Court, to talk wolves…

Grant Morrison

Via his own idiosyncratic aesthetic and passionate world views, Grant Morrison merrily leads you through a history of the US comic superhero. The Scotsman is an authority on the worlds of both DC and Marvel, having been under the employ of both, and in Supergods he takes die-hard fans and the relatively uninitiated by the…

Margaret Atwood & Neil Gaiman

Margaret Atwood and Neil Gaiman each have legions of readers across the world. They are both on a fearless mission to cross traditional literary boundaries, producing sci-fi, graphic novels, literature and children’s books without hesitation. In this unique and unmissable event, Queen Margaret and King Neil share stories…

Getting Graphic with Emma Vieceli

Calling all budding graphic novel artists! This workshop offers a great opportunity to gain insights, tips and expertise from Emma Vieceli, leading comic artist for the popular Manga Shakespeare, Vampire Academy and Avalon Chronicles series. Emma uncovers the process of illustrating a graphic novel and gives you the…


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