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


Bryan Talbot gives some advice to new comic creators...

As you can imagine, I receive a great deal of requests for information, criticism and even job applications! Sometimes these number up to a dozen every week. You'll be well aware of the time consuming nature of artwork production. This, combined with the fact that I'm usually working to strict deadlines, means that I don't have the time to answer these requests in any detail.

In order to work in the comic business you need to keep up to date with the state of the industry and be known by the other people working in it. If you are starting from scratch, you need to go into your local magazine shop or comicbook emporium and look through the publications, noting the titles, addresses and, if possible, the names of the editors of those which you think would suit your style/s. Send your samples to the editor with a brief note and a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

Comic conventions are the best way to meet publishers / editors / creators in person. Depending on the size of the convention, sometimes there are publishers' booths at which you can present your portfolio of work or story proposals. I'd recommend the Lakes International Comics Art Festival and Thought Bubble as the 2 main events worth attending at which to meet people.

Separate from the mainstream publishers, there is a thriving Small Press in Britain which ranges from tiny independent publishers with print runs of a few thousand to photocopied comics, self-published by the artists themselves and limited to a few hundred copies. Their subject matter is as diverse as their creators' tastes. There is also a small press convention every year in Oxford called Caption, and you can read about the U.K. Small Press comics scene on the Wikipedia page.

As with any other vocation, you need to be conversant with the medium. This entails reading all types of comicbooks and becoming familiar with the visual grammar, the ways used by comics to tell stories. I strongly recommend Comics and Sequential Art by Will Eisner and Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, the latter actually an excellent comicbook in its own right.

To artists, of whatever ability, I can't stress too strongly the importance of Life Drawing classes. These will help your drawing, no matter what style you work in. I do them myself whenever I can. Another book I can recommend is Figure Drawing Without a Model by Ron Tiner. This is especially good for comic artists as Ron is one himself and there are a few chapters on drawing for comicbooks that contain particularly good advice.

I hope that this is of some use to you.

The best of luck,

Bryan Talbot


Update: 25th November 2017

An illustration student who would like to work in comics and graphic novels has just emailed me through the site to ask me four questions. I'll post my answer here, as it may answer some of yours. The questions and my response was:

  • How did you get your first illustration jobs and how do you normally go about getting your work published?
  • Have you ever had a second job alongside illustration to support yourself?
  • What forms of promotion do you use to attract clients?
  • Lastly, if you had one piece of advice for someone about to start a career in illustration, what would it be?

It's a little hard to answer some of your questions, as they don't really apply to me. I started doing underground and indy comics when I was unemployed after leaving college, for very little or no money but it got my work out there and did provide me with an apprenticeship in the medium – I was learning how to tell stories with comics. After a few years, I slowly started to be offered work by editors who'd seen these comics and, after 5 years, in 1981, I was offered a regular strip in 2000AD, and I've been a self-eployed full time comics artist/writer ever since.

Before this, I did a couple of short-lasting full-time jobs (as an illustrator for Lancashire County Council schools, then a designer for British Aerospace) while producing strips at nights and weekends. Then I taught graphic design part-time for around 6 years for a foundation art course at a local college. I had to stop this after working for 2000AD after a year, as there wasn't enough time to do both.

I don't do any sort of promotion to attract publishers. Since the 80s, they've approached me, though, since 2006, I've been published mainly by Jonathan Cape. This involves me sending them a proposal for a graphic novel, which they then may or may not commission me to produce, though, thankfully, my editor there has always accepted them. In-between the GNs solely produced by myself, for the last 5 years I've drawn GNs written by my wife, also for Cape.

The only promotion that I do is aimed at readers – signing copies in comic stores, interviews etc and sometimes paying for postcards advertising a new book, which I mail to stores, or buying stand-up banners that I can put up if I have a table at a convention.

The best advice that I can give you is, if you REALLY want to work in comics, then start doing it now and keep on doing it. There's a French proverb "C'est en forgeant qu'on devient forgeron", which is usually translated as "practise makes perfect" but literally means "You get to be a blacksmith by blacksmithing": You become a comic artist by doing it and not stopping.

Sooner or later, depending upon you skill or cleverness or luck, someone will start paying you to do it. And do it a lot and work hard. The only way you become really good at anything is by making yourself obsessive about it. If I'm not off doing something, I work 9 hours a day, 7 days a week, till 9pm every night (with a break for lunch and a fast 4-mile walk every day for exercise). Neil Gaiman was absolutely right when he said "It's an amazing coincidence that the harder you work, the luckier you get".