Grandville Force Majeure original art now on sale

Page 54 of Grandville Force Majeure by Bryan Talbot

Grandville Force Majeure original artwork is now available to buy.

Buy the Heart of Empire Directors Cut

This labour of love from Bryan and myself contains every single page of Heart of Empire in pencil, ink and final full colour format - as well as over 60,000 words of annotation, commentary and explanation from Bryan... - as well as the whole of the Adventures of Luther Arkwright!

Or see the Heart of Empire Directors Cut page for more details.

Join the Facebook group for Bryan Talbot fans for lots of discussions and special offers announced on Facebook first.


The Bryan Talbot fanpage is also on Twitter - so give us a follow and join in the conversation!

Also see the Bryan Talbot t-shirt shop! - we've got a vast array of Bryan's images on lots of different t-shirts, as well as other items like mugs and fine art prints: - but if there's anything else you'd like just let us know on Twitter or at the Facebook group.

This is the only place you can buy original Bryan Talbot artwork - except from Bryan in person at a convention.

This is the new version of the Bryan Talbot fanpage
But the whole of the original Bryan Talbot fanpage is still online

The Rat's Whiskers

This is the foreword to the trade paperback edition of the Tale of One Bad Rat.

There have been rats in Bryan Talbot's kitchen for longer than I care to remember. I don't mean the kind that scratch around under the floorboards, dodging traps and finally being dispatched by a couple of council workers with a quick eye and a cricket bat; Bryan's rats have been bright-eyes little charmers with their own immaculate quarters and a taste for boiled rice and chapati.

Their owner has become well acquainted with their ways, too. Very few visitors can have left the house without concluding that, over the years, rats have had a pretty one sided press. Vermin, plague-bearers, traditional objects of terror; rats like wolves, have been forced to carry a certain burden of the human imagination. When a rat dives across the path of someone out walking, it's never a rat of normal size. In the retelling, it's always at least the size of a cat. A squirrel on the lawn is something to smile at. But stick it on all fours and shave its tail, and there's an instant pucker factor.

Ever since we lived in caves, we've had to demonise something out there; and after a while it's as if the demons are the only truth we know. We're born into a world that's full of such received ideas, automatic ways of seeing things, and they surround us as we grow. They're hard to question; the world tends to resist having its assumptions challenged, and it's nonconformist thinkers have been given a hard time throughout history. It's much easier to accept the general line. Do otherwise and you're a rebel, you're weird... and the weird and rebellious are always suspect.

So how do you handle it, then, if you happen to be brought up in an atmosphere of certainty that the demon is you?

That's how it can be when you're a child if the adults in you're life can't be relied upon, and they seem to get some consolation out of projecting their inadequacies onto you. I don't know why it's such a human trait, to react to feeling badly by looking for someone weaker, that you can make feel worse, but there it is. In every generation there's this urge among a number to damage the next. Sometimes because it makes them feel better. Sometimes just because they can.

And children, of course, believe what they're told. They're credulous in the most open way because they simply haven't the data to know otherwise. Make them think that they're guilty and they'll wonder what is was they did. Let them think they're worthless, and they'll assume it must be a true valuation.

Bad rats, all.

When a soul's been starved in this way and kept in darkness, it's only hope lies in making its own journey out of there. And when the darkness is your entire world, even starting such a journey requires a faith in yourself that can be very hard to muster.

What you are about to read is the tale of such a journey. Picked from among countless numbers, this is The Tale of One Bad Rat.

Watching this book as it has moved toward its final form has been rather like seeing the offspring of a close friend growing up and heading out into the world. You feel as if you can share a little but of the glow of satisfaction while knowing full well that you didn't do a single stroke of all the hard work that was required. I was, Bryan reckons, about the third person ever to hear him recount the story that was to become the graphic novel you now hold. We were driving back from a joint signing somewhere at the other end of the country, and he wanted to tell it as a way of getting it clear in his own mind.

Since then, I've witnessed the long process of development, the phenomenal concentration, the research, the dedication and the genuine sacrifice that were to go into the creation of the work you're about to enter. More than one of those small house guests came and went during the process; life is short, but even a good rat's life is shorter than most.

You of course, will see none of this. You'll see only the Tale.

Which is exactly as it should be.

Stephen Gallagher

author of Red, Red Robin, and Nightmare, With Angel & co.

Also check out the Lake District thumbnail gallery: there are photo's of some of the locations Bryan used in One Bad Rat alongside the paenls in the comic where they occur, and take a look at the Rat's Tail - Bryan's afterword to One Bad Rat; there's also the acknowledgments from One Bad Rat, and a thank you letter written by a fan.