Bryan Talbot

Bryan Talbot (born 24 February 1952) is a British comics artist and writer, best known as the creator of The Adventures of Luther Arkwright and its sequel Heart of Empire, as well as the Grandville series of books. He collaborated with his wife, Mary M. Talbot to produce Dotter of Her Father's Eyes, which won the 2012 Costa biography award.[1]

Bryan Talbot
Bryan Talbot Eastercon.jpg
Talbot signing Alice in Sunderland at Eastercon in England, 25 March 2008
Born (1952-02-24) 24 February 1952 (age 68)
Wigan, Lancashire, England, UK
Area(s)Writer, Penciller, Inker, Colorist
Pseudonym(s)Véronique Tanaka
Notable works
The Adventures of Luther Arkwright
Heart of Empire
Alice in Sunderland
The Tale of One Bad Rat
AwardsEisner Award for Best Graphic Album: Reprint (1996)
Haxtur Award for Best Long Comic Strip (1999)
Inkpot Award (2000)
Costa biography award (2012)

Early lifeEdit

Bryan Talbot was born in Wigan, Lancashire[2] on 24 February 1952.[3] He attended Wigan Grammar School, the Wigan School of Art, and Harris College in Preston, Lancashire, from which he graduated with a degree in Graphic Design.[4]


Talbot began his comics work in the underground comix scene of the late 1960s. In 1969 his first work appeared as illustrations in Mallorn, the British Tolkien Society magazine,[5] followed in 1972 by a weekly strip in his college newspaper. He continued in the scene after leaving college, producing Brainstorm Comix, the first three of which formed The Chester P. Hackenbush Trilogy, a character reworked by Alan Moore as Chester Williams for Swamp Thing.[6]

Talbot started The Adventures of Luther Arkwright in 1978. It was originally published in Near Myths and continued on over the years in other publications. It was eventually collected into one volume by Dark Horse Comics. Along with When the Wind Blows it is one of the first British graphic novels. In the early to mid-eighties he provided art for some of 2000 AD's flagship serials, producing three series of Nemesis the Warlock, as well as occasional strips for Judge Dredd. His The Tale of One Bad Rat deals with a girl's recovery from childhood sexual abuse.

Talbot moved to the U.S. market in the 1990s, principally for DC Comics, on titles such as Hellblazer,[7] Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, and Dead Boy Detectives. Talbot collaborated with Neil Gaiman on The Sandman and provided art for the "Fables & Reflections", "A Game of You", and "Worlds' End" story arcs.[8][9] He drew The Nazz limited series which was written by Tom Veitch and worked with Tom's brother Rick Veitch on Teknophage, one of a number of mini-series he drew for Tekno Comix. Talbot has illustrated cards for the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game. He has illustrated Bill Willingham's Fables,[10] as well as returning to the Luther Arkwright universe with Heart of Empire.

In 2006, he announced the graphic novel Metronome, an existential, textless erotically-charged visual poem,[11][12] written under the pseudonym Véronique Tanaka.[13] He admitted that he was the author in 2009.[14] Talbot turned down an offer to appear in character as Tanaka for an in-store signing of the work.[15]

In 2007 he released Alice in Sunderland, which documents the connections between Lewis Carroll, Alice Liddell, and the Sunderland and Wearside area.[16] He wrote and drew the layouts for Cherubs!, which he describes as "an irreverent fast-paced supernatural comedy-adventure."[17]

His upcoming work includes a sequel to 2009's Grandville, which Talbot says is "a detective steampunk thriller" and Paul Gravett calls it "an inspired reimagining of some of the first French anthropomorphic caricatures".[17] It is planned as the first in a series of four or five graphic novels.[18][19][20]

Awards and recognitionEdit


  • Frank Fazakerly, Space Ace of the Future, one page science fiction spoof, in Ad Astra (mid 1970s)[2]
  • The Adventures of Luther Arkwright (various publishers: 1978–1989, ISBN 1-56971-255-7)
  • Brainstorm: The Complete Chester P.Hackenbush and Other Underground Classics (Alchemy Publications, 1982, ISBN 0-9508487-0-0 reprinted 1999, ISBN 0-9508487-1-9)
  • Tharg's Future Shocks: "The Wages of Sin" (with Alan Moore, in 2000 AD No. 257, 1982)
  • Ro-Busters: "Old Red Eyes is Back" (with Alan Moore, in 2000AD Annual 1983, 1982)
  • Nemesis the Warlock (with Pat Mills):
    • "The Gothic Empire (Book IV)" (in 2000 AD No. 390–406, 1984–1985)
    • "Vengeance of Thoth (Book V)" (in 2000 AD No. 435–445, 1985)
    • "Torquemurder (Book VI) Part 1" (in 2000 AD No. 482–487, 1986)
    • "Torquemurder (Book VI) Part 2" (in 2000 AD No. 500–504, 1986–1987)
  • Sláine: "The Time Killer" (with Pat Mills, in 2000 AD No. 431, 1985)
  • Judge Dredd:
    • "House of Death" (with John Wagner/Alan Grant, in Diceman No. 1, 1986)
    • "Last Voyage of the Flying Dutchman" (with John Wagner/Alan Grant, in 2000 AD No. 459, 1986)
    • "Judge Dredd and the Seven Dwarves" (with John Wagner/Alan Grant, in Judge Dredd Annual 1987, 1986)
    • "Ladies' Night" (with John Wagner/Alan Grant, in 2000AD Annual 1987, 1986)
    • "Caterpillars" (script by Michael Carroll, coloured by Alwyn Talbot, in 2000 AD No. 1730, April 2011)
  • Torquemada: "The Garden of Alien Delights" (with Pat Mills, in Diceman No. 3, 1986)
  • One-offs:
    • "Alien Enemy" (with script and pencils Mike Matthews, in 2000AD Sci-Fi Special 1987)
    • "Brainworms" (script by Matthias Schultheiss, in Crisis presents the Second Xpresso Special, 1991)
  • The Sandman (with Neil Gaiman):
  • The Tale of One Bad Rat (Dark Horse Comics, four-issue mini-series, 1995, ISBN 1-56971-077-5)
  • Neil Gaiman's Phage: Shadow Death (script, with pencils by David Pugh and inks by Tim Perkins, six-issue limited series, Tekno Comix, June–November 1996)
  • Batman: Dark Legends (reprints Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight No. 39 – 40, 50, 52 – 54, 1996, ISBN 1-85286-723-X)
  • The Dreaming No. 9–12 (writer, with artists Dave Taylor (No. 9) and Peter Doherty (No. 10–12), DC Comics, February–May 1997)
  • Heart of Empire: Or the Legacy of Luther Arkwright (Dark Horse Comics, nine-issue limited series, 1999, ISBN 1-56971-567-X)
  • Hellblazer Annual No. 1 ("The Bloody Saint", interior art only.)
  • The Dead Boy Detectives (with Ed Brubaker, Vertigo, four-issue mini-series, 2001)
  • One-off:
    • "Memento" (in 2000 AD Prog 2002, 2001)
  • "Nightjar" (with Alan Moore, in Alan Moore's Yuggoth Cultures and Other Growths No. 1, Avatar Press, 2003)
  • Fables: Storybook Love (with Bill Willingham, Vertigo, 2004, ISBN 1-4012-0256-X)
  • Alice in Sunderland (graphic novel, Jonathan Cape, April 2007, ISBN 978-0-224-08076-7)
  • The Naked Artist: Comic Book Legends. Calumet City, Illinois: Moonstone Books. ISBN 1-933076-25-9.
  • Cherubs! (with Mark Stafford, graphic novel, 104 pages, Desperado Publishing, November 2007, ISBN 0-9795939-9-9)
  • The Art of Bryan Talbot (96 pages, NBM Publishing, December 2007, ISBN 1-56163-512-X)
  • Metronome (as Véronique Tanaka,[14] 64 pages, NBM Publishing, May 2008, ISBN 1-56163-526-X)
  • Grandville (graphic novel, 104 pages, Jonathan Cape, ISBN 0-224-08488-7, October 2009, Dark Horse Comics, ISBN 1-59582-397-2, November 2009)
  • Grandville Mon Amour (graphic novel, 104 pages, Jonathan Cape, ISBN 0-224-09000-3, December 2010)
  • Dotter of Her Father's Eyes (with Mary M. Talbot, graphic novel, 88 pages, Dark Horse Comics)
  • Grandville Bête Noire (graphic novel, 104 pages, Jonathan Cape, ISBN 0-224-09624-9, December 2012, Dark Horse Comics, ISBN 1-59582-890-7, December 2012)
  • The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia (with Mary M. Talbot, graphic novel, Dark Horse Comics, 2016)


  1. ^ a b "Hilary Mantel wins 2012 Costa novel prize". BBC News. 2 January 2013. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
  2. ^ a b Ó Méalóid, Pádraig (1 October 2009). "The road from Wigan Pier: Bryan Talbot talks with Pádraig Ó Méalóid, part one". Forbidden Planet. Archived from the original on 28 June 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  3. ^ Miller, John Jackson (10 June 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on 18 February 2011.
  4. ^ "Bryan Talbot: biography". The Official Bryan Talbot website. n.d. Archived from the original on 4 March 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Bryan Talbot". Lambiek Comiclopedia. 2012. Archived from the original on 14 October 2012.
  6. ^ Whitson, Roger (Winter 2007). "Engraving the Void and Sketching Parallel Worlds: An Interview with Bryan Talbot". ImageTexT. Archived from the original on 15 December 2012.
  7. ^ Irvine, Alex (2008). "John Constantine Hellblazer". In Dougall, Alastair (ed.). The Vertigo Encyclopedia. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. pp. 102–111. ISBN 0-7566-4122-5. OCLC 213309015.
  8. ^ Bender, Hy (1999). The Sandman Companion. New York City: DC Comics. pp. 266–270. ISBN 978-1563894657.
  9. ^ Burgas, Greg (7 January 2013). "Comics You Should Own – Sandman". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on 10 April 2014.
  10. ^ Irvine, "Fables" in Dougall, pp. 72–81
  11. ^ "A Graphic Poem..." Down The Tubes. 16 July 2006. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008.
  12. ^ Johnston, Rich (17 July 2006). "Lying in the Gutters Volume 2 Column 61". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on 27 September 2008.
  13. ^ Ó Méalóid, Pádraig (2 October 2009). "Rabbit Holes, Detective Badgers, and Cherubs Part Two of Bryan Talbot's Interview with Pádraig". Forbidden Planet. Archived from the original on 28 June 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  14. ^ a b Gordon, Joe (14 April 2009). "Shaved her leg and then he was a she". Forbidden Planet. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  15. ^ Holland, Stephen (2009). "Talbot Unmasked". Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. It's a shame you never came to sign here, as I suggested at the time, in high heels, wig and lipstick.
  16. ^ Robertson, Ross (27 March 2007). "News focus: Alice in Pictureland". Sunderland Echo. Archived from the original on 2 April 2007. Retrieved 29 March 2007.
  17. ^ a b Gravett, Paul (2007). "Bryan Talbot: An Artistic Wonder From Wearside". Paul Gravett. Archived from the original on 24 October 2007.
  18. ^ Manning, Shaun (12 June 2009). "Bryan Talbot Talks Grandville". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on 14 June 2009. Retrieved 12 June 2009. Archive requires scrolldown
  19. ^ Arrant, Chris (2 July 2009). "The Grandville Tour: Talking to Bryan Talbot". Newsarama. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
  20. ^ Lamar, Andre (2 July 2009). "Bryan Talbot: Creating an Anthropomorphic Thriller in that Ol' Steampunk Style". Comics Bulletin. Archived from the original on 6 July 2009. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
  21. ^ "Eagle Awards Previous Winners 1985". Eagle Awards. 2013. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013.
  22. ^ "Eagle Awards Previous Winners 1988". Eagle Awards. 2013. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013.
  23. ^ "Inkpot Award Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on 9 July 2012.
  24. ^ "Eagle Awards Previous Winners 2008". Eagle Awards. 2013. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013.
  25. ^ Brady, Matt (14 April 2008). "2008 Eisner Award Nominees Named". Newsarama. Archived from the original on 25 January 2009.
  26. ^ "University honour for comic book artist". Sunderland Echo. 18 July 2009. Archived from the original on 29 August 2012.
  27. ^ "Honour for ground-breaking writer and artist". Northumbria University. 17 July 2012. Archived from the original on 28 July 2012.

External linksEdit