South Scotland

Coronavirus: Comic book writer chronicles village's virus 'fightback'

Comic book Image copyright The People of Moniaive

A comic book writer is helping a village mount a "fightback" against the economic impact of the coronavirus.

Alan Grant - who is known for his work on Judge Dredd and Batman - lives in Moniaive, in Dumfries and Galloway.

He has helped dozens of local residents to produce their own comic chronicling their struggles with Covid-19.

It is being sold to help generate funds for Revitalise Moniaive, which was set up to sustain businesses and boost the village's economy.

Image copyright The People of Moniaive

Like many rural communities, it has been hit hard by the virus and the resulting restrictions, with all local festivals, shows and events cancelled.

Mr Grant was approached to put his skills to use to help kickstart the campaign and "alleviate the boredom" of lockdown.

It was a project which quickly captured the imagination and inhabitants of all ages were keen to contribute.

The result - produced with the input of dozens of residents - tells the story of how the "amazing wee village" has pulled together at a time of crisis.

Image copyright The People of Moniaive

Mr Grant said he had been impressed by the quality of the work produced by his neighbours.

"Sixty members of the community from four years old to, I believe, nearly 90 years old have done the illustrations for it and they have made a fantastic job," he said.

"There are several professional comic artists who have contributed to it as well because they are friends of mine."

Image copyright The People of Moniaive

Mr Grant is a renowned comic book writer with a career spanning more than 40 years.

During that time he has worked for 2000AD, DC Comics, Marvel, Lego and independent publishers.

The village comic he has helped produce is seen as a starting point in efforts to raise funds and awareness for Revitalise Moniaive.

Mr Grant's wife, Sue, said the coronavirus outbreak was not the first time the village had faced adversity.

Image copyright The People of Moniaive

"When foot and mouth devastated the community in 2001, we pulled together and reinvented ourselves as a tourist destination," she said.

"After the economic downturn, we reinvented ourselves as Moniaive Festival Village.

"So, when Covid-19 hit, laying waste to all our hard work, we decided we would have to just do it again and have started Revitalise Moniaive.

"The comic is the first step on the road to economic recovery."