It’s been a while since our last post, but we’re very pleased to share with you the news that To End All Wars been nominated for two Eisner Awards – best anthology and best reality based comic. Often referred to as the comic book industry’s Oscars, the Eisner Awards are named in honour of the pioneering writer and artist Will Eisner, so to be included in these nominations is quite special.
You can find a list of the nominations and a place to put your vote at the links below.
To End All Wars will be getting a softcover reprint later this summer, and it’s also part of publisher Soaring Penguin’s Kickstarter campaign for 2015.
Our collective hat is tipped to all of the creators who came together to make this book, and to the fine folks out there who added it to their bookshelves.
We salute you!
Last weekend saw the second annual Lakes International Comic Art Festival take place in Kendal. From Friday to Sunday this beautiful little part of the Lake District is laid siege by comic artists and writers from around the world, giving talks and putting on workshops across the town. Unlike your typical comic convention, The Lakes has more in common with a European comic festival and feels all the more wonderful for it.
Kendal Town Hall, with added Bat signal on its spire just for the festival.
Hosted by Soaring Penguin’s John Anderson, To End All Wars editors Jonathan Clode and John Stuart Clark presented a talk on the editing process they went through during the development and completion of the book. Il Gatto’s Stuart Richards and Selina Lock, writer of Go Home and Sit Still also took part, discussing their experiences being part of the book. It was a fantastic day that saw TEAW contributors come together for a group signing, many of whom received great compliments from such comic book luminaries as Dave Gibbons, Bryan Talbot and Eddie Campbell. Word on the street was that TEAW was the best selling hardback at the festival, testament to the fine work put in by it’s contributors.
Clockwise from left – Kate Charlesworth, Dan Hill, Selina Lock, Brick, Stuart Richards, Robert Brown, Jenny-Linn Cole, Jessica Martin and Jonathan Clode
Thanks to Alex Fitch who recorded us for broadcast on Resonance FM and it can be streamed over the coming days from the link below.
The opening night of the festival saw the unveiling of the new comic book charity CLAW (Comics Literacy Awareness) and the unveiling of Dave Gibbons as Britain’s first comics laureate. This is a great move for British comics and is something TEAW will be actively looking to get involved with. Co-editor Jonathan Clode noted his high point of the festival was a young boy who bought a copy of To End All Wars, eagerly getting it signed by everyone and walking off beaming. Just the kind of response books like these need to hopefully inspire future generations of comic creators.
We’ll be taking part in further talks in recent weeks, and in November the exhibition that was running in Machynlleth will be moving up to the Barbican in London. We’ll keep you posted!
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
As we write this To End All Wars is making it’s way from the printers in Latvia, soon to end up in the laps of the good folks who’ve pre-ordered it. We’re thrilled to have raised £2000 for Medecins Sans Frontieres already and hope that this will increase as the book gets out into the public. The editors got their hands on an advance copy the other day and don’t mind telling you that it looks amazing.
Sixteen months of hard work by the contributors and the graft of Soaring Penguin have paid off in the form of a book we are all very proud of. In the event you can’t wait to get your mits on it, we’ve put together a ‘flick through.’
We are also pleased to announce that our own Sarah Jones, artist of Die and Become, will be representing TEAW in a talk on WWI comics at the British Library on Aug 17th.
Thanks to the BBC Scotland article, TEAW contributors Joe Gordon and Kate Charlesworth were sent a message by a lady known simply as Sheila. Having read about their story, Memorial to the Mothers, she sent along a poem by the seemingly forgotten Scottish poet, Joseph Lee.
Every bullet has its billet
Many bullets more than one;
God! Perhaps I killed a mother
When I killed a mother’s son.
This poem is indicative of the many aspects of WWI that are conveniently ‘forgotten’ because they fail to chime with the preferred recollections of the conflict. As we ready ourselves for publication, it is a timely reminder of the responsibility and opportunity we writers and artists have to make sure this centenary is not glossed over by the agenda of our present government and self interested institutions.