Comic creators Neil Gaiman (Sandman), Bryan Talbot (Grandville, 2000AD) and Joff Winterheart (Days of the Bagnold Summer)have been awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Literature.
The Royal Society of Literature announced the appointment of its new Fellows earlier this week.
It’s only the third time that comic creators have been elected to be Fellows of the RSL, the first two being Posy Simmonds and Raymond Briggs.
With his other honorifics, Bryan’s official title is now “Bryan Talbot Hon. D.A., Hon. D.Litt., FRSL”
In all, 31 new fellows were introduced to the RSL in a ceremony in central London’s Bloomsbury on Monday evening (4th June), although neither Bryan or Neil were able to attend the event.
The RSL revealed that an “unprecedented” number of fellows were introduced this year with more than twice the usual number of appointments of 14.
The Bookseller notes fellowship election is billed as a “uniquely prestigious literary honour, awarded by writers to writers”, with the current number of fellows totting up at 500. To be considered, a writer must have published at least two works of outstanding literary merit, or the equivalent material.
“It’s such an honour to be made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature,” commented Neil Gaiman.
“And my joy in this is doubled because two of my oldest friends are also here: Bryan Talbot (I’ve been a fan of Bryan’s since I was 14, a friend since I was 24) and Polly Samson (who was once the publicist at Arrow Books, and her first book to publicise was my first book, with Kim Newman, Ghastly Beyond Belief. I was 23 and she was younger than that).”
The Society was founded in 1825. New Fellows sign the RSL roll book using TS Elliot’s or George Elliot’s fountain pen, or Lord Byron’s dip pen.
Needless to say that the latter is what Bryan will be using!
• The new RSL Fellows for 2018 are: Mojisola Adebayo, Naomi Alderman, Julia Copus, Amanda Craig, Tim Dee, Julia Donaldson, Louise Doughty, Ken Follett, Neil Gaiman, Mohsin Hamid, Frances Hardinge, Anthony Horowitz, Philip Kerr, Nikita Lalwani, Nell Leyshon, Ben Markovits, Annalena McAfee, Eimear McBride, Pauline Melville, Charlotte Mendelson, David Morley, Neel Mukherjee, Pascale Petit, Adam Roberts, Polly Samson, Frances Stonor Saunders, Bryan Talbot, Louise Welsh, Roy Williams, Joff Winterhart and Andrea Wulf.
New RSL Honorary Fellows for 2018 are: Neil Astley, Nick Barley, Ruth Borthwick, Liz Calder, David Campbell, Colin Chisholm, Kwame Dawes, Peter Florence, Andrew Franklin, Barbara Hayes, Derek Johns, Roly Keating, Helena Kennedy, Jeremy Poynting, Dick Russell and Nathalie Teitler.
This year’s Benson Medallist, for exceptional contribution to literature, is Liz Calder
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