Everyone knows Gilbert and Sullivan were peerless as composers of light opera.
But fewer people are aware of their dual identities as super-powered, dapper defenders of the realm! How else could they have come up with the inspiration for The Pirates of Penzance?
Winner of the International Manga and Anime Festival “Best Comic” category, The Bizarre Adventures Of Gilbert & Sullivan was lovingly created by the first ever female Beano artist Laura Howell, and rightly described over on the Forbidden Planet blog as “funny, silly, brilliantly pitched stuff, with clever bickering between the two composers and wildly surreal adventures thrown in.
It’s the comical companion of choice for ladies, gentlemen and urchins alike!
Now, a new 72-page collection is on its way from Soaring Penguin Press, out in paperback in June – a highly readable tome, retaining the articulation, intelligence and playfulness that distinguished the work of Arthur Sullivan and W.S Gilbert.
Based on historical facts (did you know that Queen Victoria had a royal Rat Catcher named Jack Black? You do now!) and characters, including Oscar Wilde and Mad King Ludwig, Laura Howell conjures a delightful collection of madcap, topsy-turvy stories set in an unpredictable Victorian England.
Birmingham-based comic artist, writer and occasional educator, Laura Howell turned pro in 2006 after eight years working as an editor in children’s publishing but, like almost all cartoonists, she’d been drawing on and off for as long as she can remember. “I don’t know if it’s in my blood or in my brain, but I’ve never been able to quit,” she says.
While she says her major claim to fame is being the first female artist to produce a regular strip in The Beano in its over-70-year history, her work also appeared in The Dandy, Egmont UK’s TOXIC, The DFC for David Fickling Books (one of which was published in The Guardian‘s Comic supplement). More recently, she’s drawn Angry Birds (one of her strips features in Issue 7, on sale now).
She also draws and publishes her own comics, including The Bizarre Adventures of Gilbert & Sullivan, and is actively involved with the Midlands Comics Collective.
• The Bizarre Adventures Of Gilbert & Sullivan is released on 18th June 2015, priced 5.99 | Check out a Sampler of the book here
• Laura Howell’s Official Site is at: www.laurahowell.co.uk | Blog: http://victorianclam.blogspot.co.uk
• Follow Laura on Facebook | Follow Laura on Twitter @victorianclam
Categories: British Comics, British Comics - Graphic Novels, downthetubes Comics News