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Bryan Talbot

Bryan Talbot
Talbot signing Alice in Sunderland at Eastercon in England, 25 March 2008
Born (1952-02-24) 24 February 1952
Wigan, Lancashire
Nationality British
Area(s) Writer, Penciller, Inker, Colorist
Pseudonym(s) Véronique Tanaka
Notable works
The Adventures of Luther Arkwright
Heart of Empire
Alice in Sunderland
The Tale of One Bad Rat
Awards Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album: Reprint (1996)
Haxtur Award for Best Long Comic Strip (1999)
Inkpot Award (2000)
Costa biography award (2012)

Bryan Talbot (born 24 February 1952) is a British comic book artist and writer, best known as the creator of The Adventures of Luther Arkwright and its sequel Heart of Empire, as well as the Grandville series of books. He collaborated with his wife, Mary M. Talbot to produce Dotter of Her Father's Eyes, which won the 2012 Costa biography award.[1]


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Bibliography 3
  • Awards and recognition 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6
    • Interviews 6.1

Early life

Bryan Talbot was born in Wigan, Lancashire[2] on 24 February 1952.[3] He attended Wigan Grammar School, the Wigan School of Art, and Harris College in Preston, Lancashire, from which he graduated with a degree in Graphic Design.[4]


Talbot began his comics work in the underground comix scene of the late 1960s. In 1969 his first work appeared as illustrations in Mallorn, the British Tolkien Society magazine,[5] followed in 1972 by a weekly strip in his college newspaper. He continued in the scene after leaving college, producing Brainstorm Comix, the first three of which formed The Chester P. Hackenbush Trilogy, a character reworked by Alan Moore as Chester Williams for Swamp Thing.[6]

Talbot started The Adventures of Luther Arkwright in 1978. It was originally published in Near Myths and continued on over the years in other publications. It was eventually collected into one volume by Dark Horse Comics. Along with When the Wind Blows it is one of the first British graphic novels. In the early to mid-eighties he provide art for some of 2000 AD's flagship serials, producing three series of Nemesis the Warlock, as well as occasional strips for Judge Dredd. His The Tale of One Bad Rat deals with recovery from childhood sexual abuse.

Talbot moved to the American market in the 1990s, principally for DC Comics, on titles such as Hellblazer,[7] Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, and Dead Boy Detectives. Talbot collaborated with Neil Gaiman on The Sandman and provided art for the "Fables & Reflections", "A Game of You", and "Worlds' End" story arcs.[8][9] He drew The Nazz limited series which was written by Tom Veitch and worked with Tom's brother Rick Veitch on Teknophage, one of a number of mini-series he drew for Tekno Comix. Talbot has illustrated cards for the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game. He has illustrated Bill Willingham's Fables,[10] as well as returning to the Luther Arkwright universe with Heart of Empire.

In 2006, he announced the graphic novel Metronome, an existential, textless erotically-charged visual poem,[11][12] written under the pseudonym Véronique Tanaka.[13] He admitted that he was the author in 2009.[14] Talbot turned down an offer to appear in character as Tanaka for an in-store signing of the work.[15]

In 2007 he released Alice in Sunderland, which documents the connections between Lewis Carroll, Alice Liddell, and the Sunderland and Wearside area.[16] He wrote and drew the layouts for Cherubs!, which he describes as "an irreverent fast-paced supernatural comedy-adventure."[17]

His upcoming work includes a sequel to 2009's Grandville, which Talbot says is "a detective steampunk thriller" and Paul Gravett calls it "an inspired reimagining of some of the first French anthropomorphic caricatures".[17] It is planned as the first in a series of four or five graphic novels.[18][19][20]


  • The Adventures of Luther Arkwright (various publishers: 1978–1989, ISBN 1-56971-255-7)
  • Brainstorm: The Complete Chester P.Hackenbush and Other Underground Classics (Alchemy Publications, 1982, ISBN 0-9508487-0-0 reprinted 1999, ISBN 0-9508487-1-9)
  • Tharg's Future Shocks: "The Wages of Sin" (with Alan Moore, in 2000 AD No. 257, 1982)
  • Ro-Busters: "Old Red Eyes is Back" (with Alan Moore, in 2000AD Annual 1983, 1982)
  • Nemesis the Warlock (with Pat Mills):
    • "The Gothic Empire (Book IV)" (in 2000 AD No. 390–406, 1984–1985)
    • "Vengeance of Thoth (Book V)" (in 2000 AD No. 435–445, 1985)
    • "Torquemurder (Book VI) Part 1" (in 2000 AD No. 482–487, 1986)
    • "Torquemurder (Book VI) Part 2" (in 2000 AD No. 500–504, 1986–1987)
  • Sláine: "The Time Killer" (with Pat Mills, in 2000 AD No. 431, 1985)
  • Judge Dredd:
    • "House of Death" (with John Wagner/Alan Grant, in Dice Man No. 1, 1986)
    • "Last Voyage of the Flying Dutchman" (with John Wagner/[Alan Grant, in 2000 AD No. 459, 1986)
    • "Judge Dredd and the Seven Dwarves" (with John Wagner/Alan Grant, in Judge Dredd Annual 1987, 1986)
    • "Ladies' Night" (with John Wagner/Alan Grant, in 2000AD Annual 1987, 1986)
    • "Caterpillars" (script by Michael Carroll, coloured by Alwyn Talbot, in 2000 AD No. 1730, April 2011)
  • One-Off:
    • "Alien Enemy" (with script and pencils Mike Matthews, in 2000AD Sci-Fi Special 1987)
    • "Memento" (in 2000 AD prog 2002, 2001)

Awards and recognition

  • 1985 Eagle Award for Favourite Character for Torquemada, from Nemesis the Warlock [21]
  • 1988:
    • Eagle Award for Favourite Artist (British)[22]
    • Eagle Award for Favourite New Comic, for The Adventures of Luther Arkwright
    • Eagle Award for Favourite Character (UK), for Luther Arkwright
    • Eagle Award for Favourite Comic Cover, for The Adventures of Luther Arkwright
  • 1993 a couple of Eagle Awards, for The Tale of One Bad Rat
  • 1996 Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album: Reprint, for The Tale of One Bad Rat
  • 1999 Haxtur Award, for Best Long Comic Strip for The Tale of One Bad Rat
  • 2000 Inkpot Award[23]
  • 2007:
    • BSFA Award nominee, Best Novel, for Alice in Sunderland
    • Nominated for "Award for Favourite Comics Writer/Artist" Eagle Award[24]
    • Nominated for "Favourite Original Graphic Novel" Eagle Award, for Alice in Sunderland
  • 2008: Nominated for "Best Painter or Multimedia Artist (interior art)" Eisner Award.[25]
  • 2009 Talbot was given an Honorary Doctorate of Arts by University of Sunderland in July 2009, the first time this has been done for a comic book artist.[26]
  • 2010: Nominated for "Favourite Original Graphic Novel Published During 2009" Eagle Award for Grandville
  • 2012: Talbot was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters on 17 July 2012 by Northumbria University in recognition of his lifetime's work in the graphic novel field.[27]
  • 2012: Winner of the Costa biography award for Dotter of Her Father's Eyes, with Mary Talbot.[1]
  • 2014: Guest of honor at NordicFuzzCon.


  1. ^ a b "Hilary Mantel wins 2012 Costa novel prize".  
  2. ^ Ó Méalóid, Pádraig (1 October 2009). "The road from Wigan Pier: Bryan Talbot talks with Pádraig Ó Méalóid, part one".  
  3. ^ Miller, John Jackson (10 June 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays".  
  4. ^ "Bryan Talbot: biography". The Official Bryan Talbot website. n.d. Archived from the original on 4 March 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "Bryan Talbot".  
  6. ^ Whitson, Roger (Winter 2007). "Engraving the Void and Sketching Parallel Worlds: An Interview with Bryan Talbot".  
  7. ^  
  8. ^ Bender, Hy (1999). The Sandman Companion. DC Comics. pp. 266–270.  
  9. ^ Burgas, Greg (7 January 2013). "Sandman"Comics You Should Own – .  
  10. ^ Irvine, "Fables" in Dougall, pp. 72–81
  11. ^ "A Graphic Poem...". Down The Tubes. 16 July 2006. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. 
  12. ^ Johnston, Rich (17 July 2006). "Lying in the Gutters Volume 2 Column 61". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on 27 September 2008. 
  13. ^ Ó Méalóid, Pádraig (2 October 2009). "Rabbit Holes, Detective Badgers, and Cherubs Part Two of Bryan Talbot's Interview with Pádraig". Forbidden Planet. Archived from the original on 28 June 2013. 
  14. ^ a b Gordon, Joe (14 April 2009). "Shaved her leg and then he was a she". Forbidden Planet. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. 
  15. ^ Holland, Stephen (2009). "Talbot Unmasked". Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. It's a shame you never came to sign here, as I suggested at the time, in high heels, wig and lipstick. 
  16. ^ Robertson, Ross (27 March 2007). "News focus: Alice in Pictureland".  
  17. ^ a b Gravett, Paul (2007). "Bryan Talbot: An Artistic Wonder From Wearside".  
  18. ^ Manning, Shaun (12 June 2009). "Grandville"Bryan Talbot Talks . Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on 14 June 2009. Retrieved 12 June 2009.  Archive requires scrolldown
  19. ^ Arrant, Chris (2 July 2009). Tour: Talking to Bryan Talbot"Grandville"The .  
  20. ^ Lamar, Andre (2 July 2009). "Bryan Talbot: Creating an Anthropomorphic Thriller in that Ol' Steampunk Style".  
  21. ^ "Eagle Awards Previous Winners 1985".  
  22. ^ "Eagle Awards Previous Winners 1988". Eagle Awards. 2013. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. 
  23. ^ "Inkpot Award Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on 9 July 2012. 
  24. ^ "Eagle Awards Previous Winners 2008". Eagle Awards. 2013. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. 
  25. ^ Brady, Matt (14 April 2008). "2008 Eisner Award Nominees Named". Newsarama. Archived from the original on 25 January 2009. 
  26. ^ "University honour for comic book artist". Sunderland Echo. 18 July 2009. Archived from the original on 29 August 2012. 
  27. ^ "Honour for ground-breaking writer and artist".  

External links

  • Official site
  • Bryan Talbot at the Comic Book DB
  • Bryan Talbot at the Grand Comics Database
  • Bryan Talbot at Mike's Amazing World of Comics
  • "Memento" and "From Homogenous to Honey", free online comics by Talbot
  • The Moorcock Effect by Bryan Talbot, Heliotrope 5, 2008


  • British Comics Month – Bryan Talbot speaks, Forbidden Planet, 26 July 2006
  • Curioser and curioser – Bryan draws on Alice, Sunderland Echo, 17 March 2008
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