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The Official Bryan Talbot fanpage

Bryan Talbot's Biography


Bryan's first published illustrations appeared in the British Tolkien Society Magazine in 1969. In 1972, in collaboration with a fellow student - the cartoonist 'Bonk' - he produced a weekly strip for the college newspaper.

After finishing college, Bryan worked in the underground press for five years, creating, writing and drawing the Brainstrom Comix series for Alchemy Press. The first three issues, The Chester P. Hackenbush Trilogy, was reprinted in one volume entitled Brainstorm in 1982. Hackenbush was later americanized into 'Chester Williams' by Alan Moore for the DC series Swamp Thing where he continues to this day. Issue six featured The Omega Report, a popular story which blended Sci-Fi, rock music and comedy into a private detective pastiche.

In 1978, Bryan began Frank Fazakerley, Space Ace Of The Future, a space opera parody for Ad Astra. This was later reprinted in one volume. This year also saw the beginning of his epic saga The Adventures of Luther Arkwright in NEAR MYTHS, reprinted and expanded in 1981 in the ground-breaking comic art magazine PSSST! In 1982 the first collected volume of Luther Arkwright was published by Never Ltd. This and Raymond Briggs' When The Wind Blows were the first British Graphic Novels.

Bryan then created over 100 illustrations for a series of German role-playing-game books and wrote and drew Scumworld for a year in Sounds.

In 1983 he began working for 2000AD. In collaboration with writer Pat Mills, Bryan produced three books in the popular Nemesis the Warlock Series which were immediately reprinted by Titan Books. The first won an Eagle Award for "Best Graphic Novel' and the character 'Torquemada' the 'Favourite Villain' award for three years running. He also worked on Judge Dredd by Alan Grant and John Wagner, which included production of full-colour strips for the IPC annuals and a 20 page RPG strip in the first issue of Diceman.

Returning to The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, he completed the story in a 9 issue comicbook version published by Valkyrie Press. This was followed up by the three volume trade paperback reprint edition in Britain and the American edition of the comicbook from Dark Horse. Nominated for eight Eagle awards at the 1988 UK Comic Art Convention, the Valkyrie edition won Bryan awards for 'Favourite Artist', 'Best new comic', 'Favourite Character' (Arkwright) and 'Best Comic Cover'. In 1989 Arkwright won the Mekon award given by Society of Strip Illustration for 'Best British Work'.

Bryan getting awarded his honourary doctororate from the University of Sunderland - pic 1The story, with its blend of science fiction, historical, espionage and supernatural genres, its experimental, narrative techniques and avoidance of sound effects, speed lines and thought balloons was a seminal work. Alan Moore, Garth Ennis, Grant Morrison, Steve Bissette, Neil Gaiman, Michael Zulli and Rick Veitch among others have all acknowledged its influence. It now has a strong cult following and has inspired fanzines devoted to the Arkwright mythos. The Luther Arkwright Role-Playing Game was published in 1993 by 23rd Parallel Games.

For several Bryan produced work for the American comic company DC on titles such as Hellblazer (with Jamie Delano), Sandman (with Neil Gaiman) and the 200 page prestige format creator-owned series The Nazz (with Tom Veitch). The Spanish edtion of the Constantine story The Bloody Saint won the Haxtur award for best short story. The Sandman Special #1, The Song of Orpheus, was nominated for a Harvey Award. He wrote and drew MASK, a two-part Batman story for Legends of the Dark Knight. Nominated for two Eisner awards, it was being reprinted in 1996 with the addition of one extra page in Dark Legends.

Bryan getting awarded his honourary doctororate from the University of Sunderland - pic 2For the American independent company Cult Press, he produced the covers for the cyberpunk comic series Raggedy Man. For Tekno Comix he pencilled the first 6-issues of Teknophage, written by Rick Veitch and wrote the 6 issue miniseries Shadowdeath, drawn by David Pugh.

Over the past twenty years Bryan has created a variety of comic strips for publications as diverse as Imagine, Street Comics, Slow Death, Vogarth, Paradox Press's Big Books, The Radio Times, Wired, Knockabout, I.T. and The Manchester Flash. For Xpresso he teamed up with top European writer Matthias Schultheiss to create Brainworms. He has produced magazine illustrations, including covers for DC Superheroes Monthly, Sinclair User and Computer and Video Games, art prints and posters, badges and logos. In 1992 he was honoured to be one of the contributors to the first Arzak portfolio published by Moebius' Starwatcher Graphics. He's also worked as a full-time graphic designer for Longcastle Advertising agency and British Aerospace.

In 1981 he worked with Science Fiction writer Bob Shaw on the Granada TV Arts programme Celebration to produce Encounter with a madman (Dir. David Richardson) and in 1994 he produced the concept illustrations for a TV movie adaptation of a Ramsey Campbell story, Above the World (Dir. John Sorenson).

Bryan has held one-man Comic Art exhibitions in Lancashire, Tuscany, London and New York, appeared in numerous others and is a frequent guest at international Comic festivals. Editions of his comics are published in Italy, Spain, Germany, Brazil, France, Denmark and Finland. In Adult Comics by Roger Sabin (Routledge 1993) he is cited as one of the creators of the Graphic Novel form.

His new graphic novel for Dark Horse Comics, The Tale Of One Bad Rat, won an Eisner Award, a Comic Creators' Guild award, two UK Comic Art awards, two US Comic Buyers' Guide Don Thomson awards and the Internet Comic award for Best Graphic Novel. In Spain it won a Haxtur award, an Unghunden award in Sweden and a BĂdĂlys DĂcouverte award in Canada. It was also nominated for a British Library award, The National Cartoonists' Society of America's Rueben Award and a Harvey Award and was included in the New York Times annual recommended reading list. It is now used in several schools, universities and Child Abuse centres in Britain and America.

His new 284 page graphic Novel, Heart of Empire has just been published in 9 parts by Dark Horse, already winning an Eagle Award and nominated for two Eisners. It is to be collected in one volume later this year. A CD-Rom version has also been created with the first chapter available to read online for free.

Content that Bryan has written specifically for the website inlcudes his welcome to the site, and also his advice on how to get started in comics. See also Lambiek's biography of Bryan.

Also have a look at Bryan's introduction to the reprinted edition of Brainstorm, which is a heartwarming reminiscence by Bryan over his work, and is an excellent addition to the biography.

There are several examples of self-portrait's of Bryan on the site: check out an accurate one (originally published by Popimage) , or a pair of hunorous ones of Bryan as a captain in an alternative British army, and another - an oil painting of Bryan at work....

The design and content of this page and this entire website is copyright 1999, 2006 by James Robertson: all images are copyright 1999, 2006 by Bryan Talbot