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29 October 2014

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You are in: Wear > Features > People > Bryan Talbot on Alice in Sunderland

Bryan Talbot. By Charlotte Foster.

Bryan Talbot at Sunderland signing

Bryan Talbot on Alice in Sunderland

Comic book artist and writer, Bryan Talbot, has created strips for the likes of Judge Dredd and Batman but his work has taken a turn with the release of his new book, Alice in Sunderland.

Bryan Talbot is a well-known and respected graphic artist and writer with comics like Judge Dredd, Nemesis the Warlock and Batman published in both the UK and the US.

His Sunderland University lecture, 'The Use of Style and Storytelling Techniques', explored the mechanics of comic book work and, at the end of the lecture, a few slides of Alice in Sunderland were revealed.

The book presents Sunderland's history and legends in complete comic format. It is fun, colourful and unpredictable - just like the story of Alice in Wonderland. It is definitely worth a look.

The modernisation of his comic work is clear with the integration of digital photographs which gives an authentic and historical feel. Comic fans will be glad to hear the good old fashioned comic drawings and speech boxes are also included.

Getting the insider info

Tell us about a bit about your book.

It’s a 320-page story in colour/black and white and it tells not one story but lots of stories that are central to Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell and the history of Sunderland- which is extremely rich.

Cover of Alice in Sunderland

Did you do much research?

Yes, a hell of a lot of research. I was researching the book for about 3 years before I started it and that was while I was working on other things.

Would you say it's a children’s book?

No, not at all - I think anyone from aged 10 or 12 onwards will be interested. I've had a lot of feedback from adults who love it. There’s an image that comics are just for kids but that view is outdated now.

Who’s your favourite character from Alice in Wonderland?

They're all so gloriously insane… I quite like the white knight - he's sort of dafter than most.

Different styles and stories

Would you say this book is different from your previous projects?

Yes it's very different. It's in different styles and it's not one story and there's a lot of dream logic - because it's about Alice; it's about dreams.

What do you think Lewis Carroll would make of Alice in Sunderland?

I've no idea… he did like innovation and he did like new things. He was very fond of gimmicks - he was one of the very first people to use a typewriter as soon as they were available.

Why should people read your book?

Because it's interesting. There are lots of facts in it about Sunderland history and Lewis Carroll but it's not an academic book. It is subtitled entertainment. And I designed it so it would be like an enjoying and entertaining read.

This lecture coincides with an exhibition, Bryan Talbot: Alice in Sunderland, at the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland Library and Art Gallery, Fawcett Street, from March 20 to April 13.

last updated: 12/12/2007 at 10:33
created: 03/04/2007

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