There’s good news for award-winning Franco-Scottish graphic novelists Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers, aka Metaphrog today, after Creative Scotland announced this month’s open project fund awards. They have been awarded £32,000 towards creating their next graphic novel.
Mentioned in this recent interview for downthetubes, this new fairy tale adaptation will follow on from the success of The Red Shoes and Other Tales and The Little Mermaid. The book will be published by Papercutz as the third volume in the collection, its title to be revealed at a later date.
Having recently returned from an American tour, also supported by Creative Scotland, and several high profile UK public appearances to promote the release of The Little Mermaid, the team, who have been creating comics and graphic novels since 1996 are, rightfully, thrilled to be getting started on a third fairy tale volume.
“We’re honoured to have been awarded funding from Creative Scotland for the creation of our next graphic novel,” the team, who are winners of the 2016 The Sunday Herald Scottish Culture Award for Best Visual Artist, told downthetubes. “Fairy tales are extremely powerful, tapping in to the very origins of stories. They tell us about ourselves and others and, in these uncertain times, they can provide us with necessary truths. In reimagining our favourite tales as graphic novels we hope to create an immersive, lasting reading experience.”
Prior to their current works, adaptations of fairy tales, published by NBM/Papercutz, with support from Creative Scotland, Metaphrog’s Louis graphic novels have received international acclaim and multiple award nominations, including three for the Eisner Awards (the Oscars of comics). Louis – Night Salad was also Highly Commended for the Scottish Children’s Book Awards 2011.
Metaphrog tirelessly promote the medium of comics and travel regularly to talk about their work. They are Patrons of Reading at Northfield Academy 2013-17, the first graphic novelists ever to fill such a role, and were Writers in Residence at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (2015). They have spoken at prestigious venues such as The Glasgow School of Art, Gordonstoun school, The National Library of Scotland, The Edinburgh International Book Festival, The Guardian and international schools and festivals around the world.
Metaphrog have also undertaken key commissioned work for prestigious clients, for example their comic adaptation of Edwin Morgan’s Poem The First Men on Mercury for The Association for Scottish Literary Studies.
John is from Scotland and studied engineering and science, gaining three degrees, including a PhD in Electronic and Electrical Engineering in a branch of Opto-Electronics involving micro-machining. In 1994, he had just returned to Scotland from working in the Netherlands and met Sandra, from France, who has a degree in Arts and Letters, and had just packed her bags and moved to Scotland in search of adventure.
Their meeting was a catalyst and within a few months they created Metaphrog.
Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery.
• Read our recent “Kendal Calling” interview with Metaphrog
• Web: www.metaphrog.com
• Twitter: @metaphrog
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.