Books

Grandville Force Majeure

Bryan Talbot

In the middle of a gang war, wanted for murder, truly alone and outside the law, Detective Inspector LeBrock is on the run from both the police and gangster assassins, the victim of a diabolical scheme to annihilate himself and everyone he holds dear, engineered by mastermind crime lord Tiberius Koenig, one of the most despicable villains in the history of detective fiction.

A fiendishly ingenious story of love, tenacity, treachery and tragedy, this fifth, final and longest stand-alone volume of the Eisner and Hugo Award-nominated Grandville series by master storyteller and graphic novel pioneer Bryan Talbot is a veritable rollercoaster of a detective thriller, featuring Grandville’s trademark high-octane excitement, humour and deduction on a Holmesian scale as we finally meet LeBrock’s mentor, Stamford Hawksmoor, and discover LeBrock’s untold backstory. Fan-favourite characters Detective Sergeant Roderick Ratzi and LeBrock’s vivacious fiancée, Parisian prostitute Billie are joined by a new badger in town! Enter Tasso, an Italian badger who’s bigger, meaner and uglier than LeBrock – but is he a force for good or evil? A battle royale ensues as LeBrock fights against truly outrageous odds. How can he possibly survive?

Prepare to be royally badgered!

The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia

Bryan Talbot (and others)

Set against the background of violence and state repression in a turbulent period of French history, The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia chronicles the incredible and outrageous life of Louise Michel, the revolutionary feminist dubbed ‘The Red Virgin of Montmartre’. A utopian dreamer, notorious anarchist, teacher, orator and poet, she was decades ahead of her time. Always a radical, she fought on the barricades defending the short-lived Paris Commune of 1871 against the reactionary regime that massacred thousands of French citizens after the Commune’s defeat. Deported to a penal colony on the other side of the Earth, she took up the cause of the indigenous population against French colonial oppression.

Celebrating the utopian urge in nineteenth-century literature and politics and the origins of science fiction, The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia is the third collaboration of best-selling academic and graphic novelist Mary M. Talbot with her husband, the graphic novel pioneer Bryan Talbot. Their first book together, Dotter of her Father’s Eyes, won the 2012 Costa Biography Award.

Grandville Noel

Bryan Talbot

With his trusty adjunct, Detective Sergeant Ratzi, away for Christmas, there’s no holiday for Detective Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard as he embarks on an investigation into the disappearance of his housekeeper’s niece, Bunty Spall.

The trail leads to a growing religious cult, where a charismatic unicorn messiah and his con men cronies, already responsible for mass murder in the United States, are about to lead a crusade for the ethnic cleansing of the French Empire’s doughfaces – the derogatory nickname for humans used by the majority, animal-headed population. Teaming up with Chance Lucas, a gun-slinging operative of the Pinkerton Detective Agency, and reigniting his steamy love affair with the voluptuous Parisian badger prostitute Billie, LeBrock clashes with both cult fanatics and doughface terrorists, uncovering in the process a centuries-old religious conspiracy that threatens to plunge the world into bloody civil war.

With Paris in the grip of the mysterious crime lord, Tiberius Koenig, and an increasingly violent backlash by human extremists, can LeBrock stop the seemingly inevitable slide into fascism? What is the secret of the legendary True Gospels? Can he rescue Bunty Spall from the clutches of the strangely hypnotic unicorn named Apollo? But does Bunty want to be saved? And will LeBrock be back in time for Christmas dinner?

No badger does it better!

Sally Heathcote

Mary Talbot (and others)

Sally Heathcote: Suffragette is a gripping inside story of the campaign for votes for women. A tale of loyalty, love and courage, set against a vividly realised backdrop of Edwardian Britain, it follows the fortunes of a maid-of-all-work swept up in the feminist militancy of the era. Sally Heathcote: Suffragette is another stunning collaboration from Costa Award winners, Mary and Bryan Talbot. Teamed up with acclaimed illustrator Kate Charlesworth, Sally Heathcote's lavish pages bring history to life.

Grandville Bete Noire

Bryan Talbot

The Badger is back!

At Toad Hall, lair of multibillionaire Baron Aristotle Krapaud, a cabal of industrialists and fat cats plot the violent overthrow of the French state by the intervention of horribly beweaponed automaton soldiers. Meanwhile, the brutal murder of a famous Parisian artist, mysteriously stabbed to death in his locked and guarded studio, is subject to the investigations of the tenacious Detective Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard, placing him and his faithful adjunct, Detective Sergeant Roderick Ratzi, in pursuit of the mysterious masked assassin stalking the cut-throat commercial world of the Grandville art scene.

Bête Noire signals the welcome return to anthropomorphic steampunk detective fiction of master storyteller and graphic novel pioneer Bryan Talbot with the third stand-alone volume of the Eisner and Hugo Award nominated Grandville series. As the body count mounts and events spiral exponentially out of control, aided by his brilliant deductive abilities and innate ferocity, LeBrock battles against outrageous odds in this funny, high octane thriller, an adventure shot through with both high art and comic book references, a glorious illegitimate offspring of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Ian Fleming - with animals!

Follow the Badger!

Dotter of Her Father's Eyes

Bryan Talbot (and others)

Part personal history, part biography, Dotter of Her Father's Eyes contrasts two coming-of-age narratives: that of Lucia, the daughter of James Joyce, and that of author Mary Talbot, daughter of the eminent Joycean scholar James S. Atherton. Social expectations and gender politics, thwarted ambitions and personal tragedy are played out against two contrasting historical backgrounds, poignantly evoked by the atmospheric visual storytelling of award winning comic artist and graphic novel pioneer Bryan Talbot. Produced through an intense collaboration seldom seen between writers and artists, Dotter of Her Father's Eyes is intelligent, funny and sad - a fine addition to the evolving genre of graphic memoir.

Grandville Mon Amour

Bryan Talbot

The Badger is back! Set three weeks after the finale of Grandville, Grandville Mon Amour pits Detective Inspector Archie LeBrock of Scotland Yard against an old adversary and ruthless urban guerrilla, Edward 'Mad Dog' Mastock, - a psychotic serial killer whose shocking escape from his execution by guillotine at the Tower of London begins this fast-paced, Hitchcockian steampunk thriller.

LeBrock, still racked by remorse for his failure to prevent the death of 'the Divine Sarah' and working outside the law after resigning his post following a blazing row with his superior officer, embarks on a quest to redeem himself by tracking down Mastock and bringing to an end his horrific murder spree. Aided by his adjunct and old friend, Detective Roderick Ratzi, he follows the trail of carnage to Paris. Otherwise known as Grandville, it's the largest city in a world dominated by France, a city used to violence following the years of terrorist bombings by the extreme fanatic wing of the British resistance during the occupation, the notorious Angry Brigade, of which Mastock was the sadistic leading light. With his customary tenacity, LeBrock stalks his prey through a world populated by anthropomorphic animals, an underclass of humans and automaton robots where advanced steam technology powers everything from hansom cabs to iron flying machines. It's a trail that leads to the demimonde of Parisian prostitution and an atrocity perpetrated twenty-three years ago.

With a range of new and fascinating characters and a mix of Holmesian deduction, knowing humour and edge of the seat action, Grandville Mon Amour continues the vein of high-octane adventure begun in the first volume. Can even LeBrock escape the past or do heroes have feet of clay? Follow the badger!

Grandville

Bryan Talbot

In Grandville, the first volume in the series, Talbot brings us a steampunk masterpiece. IIt tells the story of detective Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard as he stalks a gang of murderers through the heart of Belle Epoque Paris. In this alternative reality France is the major world power and its capital throngs with steam-driven hansom cabs, automatons and flying machines. The characters are mostly animals, though there is an underclass of humans, often referred to as 'dough faces'.

Visually stunning, Grandville is a fantastical and audacious rollercoaster ride that will add to Talbot's reputation as one of the best graphic novelists in the world.

The Tale of One Bad Rat

Bryan Talbot

Winner of the Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album Reprint, The Tale of One Bad Rat is the story of a young girl, Helen Potter, who runs away from home to escape an uncaring mother and a sexually abusive father. Eventually she finds her way to the Lake District, drawn there by her love of the work of Beatrix Potter, and in that beautiful landscape she at last finds peace.

Alice in Sunderland

Bryan Talbot

Alice in Sunderland is a graphic novel like no other. Bryan Talbot takes the city of Sunderland and the story of Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell (the 'real' Alice) as the spine of his story and around them spins a spectacularly diverse range of different stories. He explores Carroll's links with Sunderland and shows how the city inspired his masterpieces. He delves into the city's history, from the Venerable Bede to George Formby, from its heyday as the greatest shipbuilding port in the world to its present multicultural mix.

Talbot's artwork is a spectacular mixture of different styles: black and white ink line and pencil drawing, watercolour, collage and digitally manipulated photographic artwork. His stories are told from the stage of the Sunderland Empire theatre, an Edwardian music hall, and the book is a genuine variety performance. Alice in Sunderland's tribute to storytelling and history sets it apart as a landmark graphic novel.

Biography

Bryan Talbot was born in 1952. He has worked on underground comics, science fiction and superhero stories such as Judge Dredd and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight. His books include Alice in SunderlandDotter of Her Father’s Eyes (with Mary Talbot), the first graphic novel to win the Costa biography award, and the Grandville series.