This Saturday, 15th July 2017, author Michael Barrett will be at the National Football Museum in Manchester, giving an illustrated talk about the story behind the graphic novel Preston North End – The Rise of the Invincibles.
Michael, the writer and publisher at Invincible Books, was born in Deepdale, Preston, just minutes from the North End ground. Preston North End: Rise of the Invincibles is his first comics work, drawn by Roy of the Rovers artist David Sque.
“I was alone, surrounded by thousands of second hand books in a warehouse on the outskirts of Galway city,” rcealls Michael of the project’s origins. “Outside, a snow blizzard was raging, whilst inside I was wrapped in five layers, with the radio blaring out. I remember that afternoon well, because on the radio an interview was taking place with someone who’d written a historical graphic novel. That was the moment I decided to write about the Invincibles.
“The idea struck complete; what a great form the graphic novel would be for such a story! I was both pleased and irritated, pleased I’d had the idea – irritated I’d not had it sooner. And it wasn’t a case of should I write it? It was a definite, I will write it. But I wasn’t in Preston at the time – I wasn’t even in the country, and it would take me some four years before I eventually climbed the staircase at the city’s Harris Library, notebook in hand.
“The story of the Invincibles had long since taken hold of my imagination, when a mural at the back of the old Pavilion stand first brought them to my attention,” he also reveals. “I must’ve been only 11 at the time. I’d never heard of them before, but their very name conjured a sense of otherworldly, comic-book heroes. Here, I thought, is something special. Maybe the seed was sown then?
“Making the Invincibles covers what inspired me to write the graphic novel; why I chose the Invincibles; who they were; and looks in detail at the process of producing the pages with Roy of the Rovers artist David Sque.”
There will be two talks on the day: 12.30pm and 2.00pm.
• Read our review of Preston North End – The Rise of the Invincibles
• Invincible Books is at www.invinciblebooks.co.uk