Next month sees the release of the eagerly anticipated follow up to Rob Davis‘s British Comic Award-winning graphic novel, The Motherless Oven – and there’s a signing in London at Gosh! Comics to mark the event.
In the frankly brilliant The Motherless Oven, published in 2014, Scarper Lee who was central to the story asked the question: “Who the hell is Vera Pike?” In The Can Opener’s Daughter, published by SelfMadeHero on 8th December 2016, we get a chance to find out.
This is Vera’s story. Set in a world where children make their parents and where there are no birthdays, only deathdays, the second part of Rob Davis’s trilogy is a darkly inventive coming-of-age story that can be enjoyed both as a sequel (but if you haven’t read The Motherless Oven, you should, You reall, really should!) and as a standalone graphic novel.
Grave Acre is a cruel world of opportunity and control. Vera’s mother is the Weather Clock, the omnipotent and megalomaniacal Prime Minister of Chance. Her father is a can opener.
Charting Vera’s unsettling childhood, the book takes us from her home in Parliament to suicide school, and from the Bear Park to the black woods that lie beyond. In the present day, Vera and Castro Smith are determined to see their friend Scarper again — but is he still alive? And if so, can they save him? Can anyone outlive their deathday?
Fiercely original and beautifully drawn, The Can Opener’s Daughter answers many of the questions posed in The Motherless Oven (which you really should have ordered by now – have I mentioned that?), while asking plenty more of its own.
In case you hadn’t already realised, The Motherless Oven is one of my favourite graphic novels of recent years, introducing readers to a bizarre, jaw-droppingly incredible world and of an odyssey through a distorted teenage landscape. It fully deserved all the plaudits heaped in it at release and I for one am looking forward to the follow up. I hope you are, too.
Dorset-based Rob Davis is the author of the highly acclaimed adaptation The Complete Don Quixote (also published by SelfMadeHero), which was nominated both for an Eisner Award and for the British Comic Award. Having worked with iconic characters such as Roy of the Rovers and Judge Dredd (Rebellion), he has also written and illustrated Doctor Who (Panini) and adapted H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Dunwich Horror” for SelfMadeHero. He edited the Eisner-nominated anthology Nelson, collaborating with 54 British comics artists.
• Written and drawn by Rob Davis, The Can Opener’s Daughter is published by SelfMadeHero on 8th December 2016 (160pp, B&W, rrp £12.99). Rob will signing copies of the book at the launch in Gosh! Comics, London’s Berwick Street on Thursday 8th December 2016
The Motherless Oven
“The Weather Clock said knife o’clock, so I chained Dad up in the shed”.
In Scarper Lee’s world, parents don’t make children – children make parents. Scarper’s father is his pride and joy, a wind-powered brass construction with a billowing sail. His mother is a Bakelite hairdryer. In this world, it rains knives and household appliances have souls.
There are also no birthdays – only deathdays. Scarper’s deathday is just three weeks away, and he clings to the mundane repetition of his life at home and high school for comfort.
Rob Davis’s dark graphic novel is an odyssey through this bizarre landscape. When Scarper’s father mysteriously disappears, he sets off with Vera Pike (the new girl at school) and Castro Smith (the weirdest kid in town) to find him. Facing home truths and knife storms at every turn, will Scarper even survive until his deathday?
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.