In this month’s Book List, Alex Fitch talks to author Michael Chabon about his latest novel Telegraph Avenue and his collection of autobiographical essays, Manhood for Amateurs, which both display the writer’s love of collectables and ephemera from comic books to lego, Blaxploitation films to classic funk records.
Also in a Q and A recorded at Waterstones, Piccadilly, Sarah McIntyre talks to author David Almond and illustrator Oliver Jeffers about their collaboration on The Boy who swam with Piranhas and Jeffers’ latest picture book, This Moose belongs to me, which combines the artist’s use of painting, collage and word balloons to create a fable about collectivism for younger readers!
Covers of Telegraph Avenue and Manhoof for Amateurs by Michael Chabon, The Boy who Sawm with Piranhas by David Almond and This Moose belongs to me by Oliver Jeffers
To complement this month’s series of Panel Borders on anthropomorphic comic books, tonight’s Clear Spot explores the use of animal characters with human characteristics in literature. In the first half of the show, we’re proud to present an extract from one of Bryan Talbot’s lectures on anthropomorphism in children’s books, cartoons and comics, and their relevance to his own graphic novels series Grandville. Alex Fitch also talks to Bryan about his interest in the subject, and to children’s writer and illustrator Helen Ward about her adaptations of Aesop’s Fables for modern audiences. (Originally broadcast 13/08/12 on Resonance FM)
Bryan Talbot talks about Kamandi (photo by Matthew Rees) / cover of Grandville vol. 3 / covers of Varmints by Helen Ward + Marc Craste / Cover and interior spread from Aesops Fables adapted by Ward
With many kids now on their summer holidays, in this Clear Spot, Alex Fitch looks at two authors who are writing books aimed at the ‘tweenage’ audience. Philip Reeve discusses his award winning Mortal Engines series, his interest in steam-punk fiction and his new novel Goblins!; Jodi Picoult talks about her first Young Adult novel, Between the Lines, co-written with her daughter Samantha Van Leer, as well as her interest in comic books as displayed in her novel The Tenth Circle and her short run on Wonder Woman.
Cover + interior illustration of Between the lines, cover of Wonder Woman: Love and Murder by Jodi Picoult / covers of Mortal Engines + Goblins by Philip Reeve, promotional art for Seawigs by Reeve + Sarah McIntyre
In a panel discussion recorded at the First Fiction festival (Sussex University, January 2012) author Sue Eckstein discusses the problems inherent in creating autobiographies with graphic novelists Nicola Streeten and Anuerin Wright and how creators can subvert and overcome these. Nicola’s book Billy, me and you and Aneurin’s Things to Do in a Retirement Home Trailer Park couldn’t be more different in their approaches, with the former combining cartoons, diary drawings and scrapbook montage and the latter depicting the author’s friends and family as anthropomorphic creatures in domestic settings. (Recorded by Nicola Streeten, edited and introduced by Alex Fitch)
Covers of Interpreters and The Cloths of Heaven by Sue Eckstein, Billy, me and you by Nicola Streeten and Things to do in a retirement home trailer park by Aneurin Wright
In an hour long show about children’s book illustration, Alex Fitch talks to three generations of illustrators: David McKee, creator of Mr Benn, King Rollo and Elmer the Patchwork Elephant; Dave McKean, artist of of young adult books by David Almond, graphic novels and picture books by Neil Gaiman and Richard Dawkins’ first science book for children The Magic of Reality; and Jim Kay, illustrator of Patrick Ness’ A Monster Calls and Toby Forward’s Flaxfield Quartet of novels about dragons.
Also includes an extract from Dave McKean’s presentation of his work from The Magic of Reality at the book launch in Foyles, September 2011.
Mr Benn by David McKee, The Magic of Reality by Dave McKean and Richard Dawkins, and A Monster Calls by Jim Kay and Patrick Ness
Continuing our month of shows about biography and autobiography, guest presenter Nicola Streeten interviews Bryan and Mary Talbot about their forthcoming graphic novel, Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes, which contrasts two coming of age narratives: Lucia, daughter of James Joyce, and author Mary Talbot, daughter of the Joycean scholar James S Atherton. (Recorded and edited by Alex Fitch) (Recorded live in front of an audience at the University of Sussex as part of the First Fictions Festival).
Image from Dotter of her fathers eyes by Bryan and Mary M Talbot
As everyone likes a good ghost story at Christmas, Alex Fitch chairs a panel discussion on H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe, the two American heavyweights of classic horror and fantastic literature, with contributors including novelists China Miéville and Denise Mina, and illustrators Mark Stafford and Alice Duke. 2011 is the 85th anniversary of Lovecraft’s seminal story The Call of Cthulu, the 80th anniversary of the character first appearing in another writer’s fiction (Robert E. Howard’s The Black Stone) and the 170th anniversary of the publication of The Murders in the Rue Morgue. The panelists discuss the influence of Lovecraft on genre fiction plus the use of the iconography of Poe in Goth culture and detective literature. (Recorded at the British Film Institute as part of this year’s SCI-FI-LONDON festival).
Also contains a preview of Panel Borders’ Lovecraft season featuring I.N.J. Culbard, Alan Moore, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.
Alex Fitch, Alice Duke, China Mieville, Denise Mina and Mark Stafford at SCI-FI-LONDON, photo by Fia Eamónn Wahlin
Reality Check: Worlds of Wonder at the British Library
In a panel discussion entitled “Worlds of Wonder?”, recorded at the British Library as part of their events season to support the exhibition ‘Out of this World’, authors Neil Gaiman and Peter F. Hamilton, scientist Rachel Armstrong and critics Kari Sperring and Farah Mendlesohn (chair) discuss the current state of science fiction around the world and its relationship with the latest advances in science fact.
Farah Mendlesohn, Neil Gaiman, Rachel Armstrong, Peter F. Hamilton, and Kari Sperring at The British Library. Photo by Marjorie Taylor
A new, hour-long, monthly show about authors, publishers and readers; in this first episode of Book List, Alex Fitch talks to Fiona Harper, author of Mills and Boon titles: Swept Off Her Stilettos, Three Weddings and a Baby, and Blind Dates and Other Disasters and to thriller writer John Rickards (a.k.a. Sean Cregan) about his new novel The Razor Gate.
Also in an extract from a presentation of his book at Westminster Library, Ed Hillyer (a.k.a Ilya) talks about his novel The Clay Dreaming, which retells the true story of the traffic of felons and kidnapped aborigines between England and Australia in Regency and Victorian London.
Covers of books by Fiona Harper, Ed Hillyer and Sean Cregan / John Rickards
On Thursday November 3rd at the impossibly fashionable bar Jaguar Shoes, 32 Kingsland Rd, Shoreditch, the pubishers of Luke Pearson’s books Nowbrow press will be launching their new anthology from 6.30pm.