Bryan and Mary Talbot have announced they have gained funding from the Arts Council for another project together – RAIN, a 150 page graphic novel tackling environmental issues to be published by Jonathan Cape, probably in late 2019.
“In a complete departure from our previous ones, this new collaboration is neither biographical nor historically distant,” says Mary. “It deals instead with the here and now of environmental degradation that threatens us all.
“The recent flooding disasters loom in the North of England as a loving relationship unfolds between two young women,” she reveals of the project’s plot. “The story follows the everyday experiences of ordinary people, while engaging with pollution, climate change, moorland mismanagement and the disruption, misery and loss that these things bring.
“Along the way it also reflects on lifestyle choices – including what’s in the food we eat, how it’s grown, how it’s packaged – and the impact of these kinds of choice on the world around us.
“The characters are fictitious; what’s happening around them is, sadly, all too real.”
Dr Mary Talbot is the author of the graphic novel Dotter of her Father’s Eyes (Jonathan Cape 2012), illustrated by her husband, award-winning comic artist Bryan Talbot, whose latest Grandville graphic novel debuts next month at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Mary is an internationally acclaimed scholar who has published widely on language, gender and power, particularly in relation to media and consumer culture. Dotter was the first work she undertook in the graphic novel format. It went on to win the 2012 Costa Biography Award in January 2013.
Both are patrons of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, which takes place in Kendal, a town hit badly by the winter floods caused by Storm Desmond in 2015.