Bryan Talbot : Grandville and the anthropomorphic tradition

In recent years Bryan Talbot has been feted for his compelling exploration of Sunderland, Lewis Carroll and Alice in Wonderland (Alice in Sunderland), but Talbot has been creating comic books since the 60s and in his time has worked on a variety of projects, including 2000AD, Judge Dredd, Sandman and Hellblazer.

Bryan Talbot is a man passionate about his work, passionate about the research behind his work, and with a huge reservoir of knowledge on which to draw. The talk today, part of The Big Draw campaign launch, was about Grandville – Talbot’s steam punk badger detective series -, and the history of anthropomorphism in comics.

The first half of the talk tackled the history of anthropomorphism. From the bible (the serpent in Genesis), through political cartoon strips of the 1800s, early fairy tales, later day cartoons, 60s counter culture and African legends, Talbot traced an anthropomorphic  linage that ranged far and wide.

The final half of the talk was given over to Grandville. Within the comic series there are a number of sly references to the comic’s influences (artists, television shows, comics, children’s books, cartoons) and, with a bit of audience interaction, Talbot spent an enjoyable half an hour working through these.

One short Q&A later and the talk was over.

The time passed incredibly quickly and, with Talbot doing a signing afterwards as well, it was a fantastic event to have attended.

Talbot’s next going to be appearing at the BD & Comics Passion festival (7-9th October) and will be talking again on the Grandville and anthropomorphism. The festival itself looks great and, if you missed Talbot the first time round, here’s your chance . . .


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