Last night saw the official launch of To End All Wars, graciously hosted by Gosh! Comics in London’s Soho district. After eighteen months of pretty much exclusively electronic communication, it was a joy for the editors, writers, artists and publishers to all meet up. Beers were shared, books were signed and we were lucky enough to have a representative from Médecins Sans Frontières in attendance who shared some of his experiences. It was a sobering reminder that, while things are vastly different to the world that saw war inflicted upon it 100 years ago, there are no shortage of humanitarian disasters and crimes against it’s people.
Brick signing the book and hiding biscuits from the Pleece Brothers.
Huge thanks to everyone who made it out to celebrate with us, to all the staff at Gosh and the good folk of Soaring Penguin Press for bringing our book to life.
Neil McClements, Jonathan Clode, Bern Campbell and publisher John Anderson.
Next month sees the U.S. release of TEAW, and with that in mind there’s a feature and interview with editors JC & JSC over on the War on the Rocks website.
We’ll have more info as we ready ourselves for the Lakes Festival in October so watch this space!
Yesterday saw the opening of the To End All Wars exhibition at the Pen’rallt gallery bookshop in Machynlleth.
Featuring pages from the book, as well as the original cover drawing and examples of the process the artists and writers went through in crafting their stories, the opening was attended by TEAW co-editor Jonathan Clode and cover artist Liz Waterhouse. Given that the exhibition is in Mid-Wales, there is a great deal of interest in the story of poet Hedd Wyn, told by JC in The Black Chair. As well as featuring the whole story, the exhibit also includes notes from JC and artist Catherine Pape. JC introduced the book and the story of Hedd Wyn to the guests, who were then treated to a dramatised reading of The Black Chair script by local actors, followed by a roll call of the local soldiers who never returned from the front.
JC discussing the book with the guests.
Initially unsure of how a comic script might translate to a live reading, JC was thrilled to hear it brought to life, reporting that the bookshop sold out of their copies of TEAW shortly thereafter. He also informed us that it was encouraging to see just how many people were fascinated by the process of how the book was made and how exactly one brings a comic book to life. As well as putting on a fine display, the good folks at the Pen’rallt bookshop were also able to challenge people’s perceptions of what a comic book can be and open up the medium to them in a way they’d perhaps not previously experienced.
Massive thanks to Diane and Geoff for bringing the exhibition to life, and to the actors, Steve, Charmian, Nic and Zoe for creating a good few teary eyes with their reading.
The exhibition runs until early October, and the town itself is well worth a visit.
The first local launch of TEAW stuffed 72 men, women and children into the basement of the Nottingham Writers’ Studio to listen to Pippa Hennessy, Selina Lock and Ian Douglas talk about the source material and writing approach of their contributions. Generously sponsored by the city’s only independent bookshop and introduced by Five Leaves Bookshop owner, Ross Bradshaw, the event was MCed by Brick, who gave a six minute masterful summary of 16 months hard graft and, after the writers, talked people through the illustration contributions of Kate Houghton and Jenny Linn-Cole, both present in the audience. Wrapping up with a run through the delight of working with Sarah Jones on his Die and Become story, our co-editor managed to weave in the astonishing story of his relationship, through his father, to Field Marshal Sir Douglas ‘Butcher’ Haig. Heavily illustrated with slides from the book, the audience was animated into buying all but three of the 40 copies made available by Soaring Penguin Press, and the order of the final flurry was a mass signing by all six contributors. Our thanks go to all who worked so hard behind the scenes to make the event such an unprecedented success for a local launch, and to those who found the time and energy to start Tweeting about the event before we even got home.
Selina Lock, Jenny Linn-Cole, Pippa Hennessey, Kate Houghton, Ian Douglas and Brick.
© John Birdsall Photography
Brick discussing the book with a packed audience © John Birdsall Photography