Cartoon Museum announces Luther Arkwright: 50 Years of a British comics legend exhibition

The Legend of Luther Arkwright by Bryan Talbot - line art

The Cartoon Museum in London has announced an exhibition to mark the release of Bryan Talbot’s third and final Luther Arkwright graphic novel, The Legend of Luther Arkwright, this summer.

Bryan began his epic Luther Arkwright saga back in 1978, with The Adventures of Luther Arkwright. The story was initially serialised in the comic Near Myths, and, later, in Pssst! Magazine, the serialised parts then completed by the rest of the story and published first as a comic book series and then a graphic novel. 

The Adventures of Luther Arkwright is considered a groundbreaking work in the history of British comics and, with material dating back to 1972, one of the first British graphic novels. It was followed by a sequel, Heart of Empire in 1999, and a final volume – The Legend of Luther Arkwright – will be published on 14th July 2022.

downthetubes has had a sneak peek at the new story, to be published by Jonathan Cape in the UK, and it is as mind-blowing and thought-provoking as the previous adventures, a stand-alone story still maintaining total continuity with the Arkwright mythos, with plenty of nods what has gone before, but as imaginative and exciting as ever; a different kind of adult adventure.

Pursued across multiple historically divergent parallel worlds, both utopian and dystopian, and facing a far superior adversary, Arkwright battles to save humanity from mass destruction; his only edge is his experience and force of will…

The Legend of Luther Arkwright by Bryan Talbot - Cover
The Legend of Luther Arkwright by Bryan Talbot - Sample Inks

Working closely with creator Bryan Talbot, Bryan Talbot’s Luther Arkwright: 50 years of a British comics legend celebrates both the release of The Legend of luther Arkwright alongside the history of the character and previous installments of the series. Immerse yourself in never-before-seen material, insights into Bryan’s process, different editions, models and ephemera, and original comic art from the series. We will also be holding fantastic events alongside the exhibition, as well as stocking the book a great range of merchandise in the Museum shop.

Bryan Talbot with an early copy of the Legend of Luther Arkwright. Photo courtesy Bryan Talbot
Bryan Talbot with an early copy of the Legend of Luther Arkwright. Photo courtesy Bryan Talbot

Bryan Talbot has been professionally writing and illustrating since 1976. In 1978 he began his epic saga The Adventures of Luther Arkwright. In 1982 the first collected volume of Luther Arkwright was published by Never Ltd. This book and Raymond Briggs When the Wind Blows, published in the same year, are usually considered the first British graphic novels, though the serialised form of Arkwright pre-dates the latter by four years.

The Adventures of Luther Arkwright won four Eagle Awards. The sequel, Heart of Empire, was published in nine parts by Dark Horse, winning an Eagle Award and nominated for two Eisners. The Spanish edition won a Haxtur in 2003 and was nominated for an award at the Barcelona Festival in 2004.

Luther Arkwright by and © Bryan Talbot
Luther Arkwright by and © Bryan Talbot

Bryan has produced many other critically-acclaimed graphic novels, such as The Tale of One Bad Rat (winner of 15 awards, including an Eisner), Alice in Sunderland, and his Grandville series of detective-thrillers (twice nominated for a Hugo Award, and the French edition won the prestigious SNCF du Polar) and illustrations for magazines.

He also wrote and drew for Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, drew several of the Sandman stories, written by Neil Gaiman, and worked for 2000AD for several years on “Nemesis the Warlock” and “Judge Dredd”.

Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes, a collaboration with his wife Mary, was the first British graphic novel to win a major literary prize, the Costa Book Award in 2013.

Pre-order The Legend of Luther Arkwright, to be published 14th July 2022, by Jonathan Cape in the UK (Amazon Affiliate Link)

Bryan Talbot’s Luther Arkwright: 50 years of a British comics legend will run from 14th June – 2nd October 2022 at the Cartoon Museum, 63 Wells Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1A 3AE. Web: | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Bryan Talbot is online at

Categories: British Comics, British Comics - Graphic Novels, Comic Previews, Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Events, Exhibitions

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