Scott McCloud to Tour the UK in March

To celebrate the release of The Sculptor, his first graphic novel in nearly a decade, Scott McCloud will embark on a UK tour that will take in talks at the University of Cambridge, the British Library and Leeds Town Hall, as well as signings at Waterstones’ flagship Piccadilly branch and some the finest comic shops across the land: Orbital Comics (London), Page 45 (Nottingham), OK Comics (Leeds) and Nostalgia and Comics (Birmingham).

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Here’s what’s happening in early March:


Scott McCloud in Conversation with John Lennard, a Q&A at the University of Cambridge, Room G06/07, Faculty of English, 9 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DP. Time: 18.00-19.30. This event is free to attend and open to students and the public alike.


“Scott McCloud: The Sculptor”, a talk at The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB. Time: 18.30-20.00. Includes a Q&A with Paul Gravett. Tickets available here. (Book now to avoid disappointment: they’re selling fast!) This event coincides with the birthday of comics legend Will Eisner and is a part of Will Eisner Week, a worldwide series of events celebrating Eisner’s legacy. Visit


“Meet: Scott McCloud”, a signing at Waterstones Piccadilly, 203-206 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9HD. Time: 14.00-16.00.

Signing: Orbital Comics, 8 Great Newport Street, London WC2H 7JA. Time: 19.00-21.00


Signing: Page 45, 9 Market Street, City Centre, Nottingham NG1 6HY. Time: 14.00-16.00. More info here. Interesting fact: Page 45 was named after the 45th page of McCloud’s Understanding Comics. That was twenty years ago.


Signing: OK Comics, 19 Thornton’s Arcade, Briggate, Leeds LS1 6LQ. Time: 16.00-17.30.

“An Evening with Scott McCloud”, a Q&A at Leeds Town Hall, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AD. Time: 18.30-19.30. Followed by a book signing. Tickets are free but must be booked in advance here. This event is co-hosted by Travelling Man and Thought Bubble.


Signing: Nostalgia & Comics (Forbidden Planet International), 14-16 Smallbrook Queensway, Birmingham, B5 4EN. Time: 17.00-18.00.

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The Sculptor, the first full-length fictional graphic novel by the author of Understanding Comics, has been hailed as “an instant classic” by Cory Doctorow, and Neil Gaiman has said of the book, “The Sculptor is the best graphic novel I’ve read in years. It’s about art and love and why we keep on trying. It will break your heart.” It follows the story of a young sculptor who, after making a deal with Death, is given the ability to sculpt anything he can imagine with his bare hands. The catch: he is given just 200 days left to live. McCloud wrote the book on how comics work; now, he’s vaulted into breathtaking, funny and unforgettable fiction. Here’s a selection of the spectacular early review coverage:

“A masterclass in graphic storytelling. If Understanding Comics was the research, The Sculptor is the finished thesis – far more than the sum of its parts, and a wonderful testament to the power of comics.” The Independent

“What a brilliant and gripping book. As absorbing as a Victorian novel.” The Observer (Graphic Novel of the Month)

“Everything in these delicate monochrome panels has been considered; every angle calculated, every expression caught… There’s a master at work here, and you can feel it on every page.” The Telegraph


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New Release: The Sculptor by Scott McCloud

That’s right, folks: Scott McCloud’s first graphic novel in nearly ten years, The Sculptor, is out now!

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Released today (Feb 3), the book has already been lauded by early readers and reviewers. Here’s a selection:

“What a brilliant and gripping book. As absorbing as a Victorian novel.” The Observer (Graphic Novel of the Month)

“A masterclass in graphic storytelling. If Understanding Comics was the research, The Sculptor is the finished thesis – far more than the sum of its parts, and a wonderful testament to the power of comics.” The Independent on Sunday

The Sculptor is the best graphic novel I’ve read in years. It’s about art and love and why we keep on trying. It will break your heart.” Neil Gaiman

sculptor for blog

The first full-length fictional graphic novel from the creator of Understanding ComicsThe Sculptor is a breathtaking urban fable about the price of art, the value of life, and a desperate love. It follows the story of a young sculptor who, after making a deal with Death, is given the ability to sculpt anything he can imagine with his bare hands. But with just 200 days to live, deciding what to create is harder than he thought. And discovering the love of his life at the eleventh hour doesn’t make it any easier.

So, it’s brilliant. But you knew it would be, right? After all, this is Scott McCloud – the guy who wrote the book on comics. His vault into superbly crafted fiction will surprise no one, but the emotional depth and resonance of that fiction will leave you speechless. You should buy it immediately, from Amazon (here), Waterstones (here), Foyles (here), or from any fine bricks-and-mortar book shop across the land.

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Political Book Award win for Martin Rowson

The Coalition Book, SelfMadeHero’s collection of Martin Rowson’s finest cartoons from the era of Cameron and Clegg, last night scooped the prize for the Best Humour and Satire Book of the Year at the Political Book Awards.

camclegg for blog

The award was judged by Andrew Pierce, Shelagh Fogarty, Peter Brookes, Katy Guest and Hugo Rifkind, with competition including John Crace’s I Never Promised You A Rose Garden and Tim Benson’s collection of 2014′s best political cartoons.

Fittingly, it was the French Ambassador who appeared onstage to present the award, and in a gesture of solidarity with his colleagues across the channel, Martin Rowson delivered an acceptance speech filled with biting satirical humour – entirely in French. Needless to say, if there were an award for the best on-stage moment, he’d be a shoe-in.

The Coalition Book is available now from all good book shops!

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First Look: The Sculptor by Scott McCloud

That’s right, folks: The SculptorScott McCloud‘s first graphic novel in nearly a decade, has arrived! Released on 3rd February, this 496-page graphic novel marks a triumphant return to fiction for the creator of Understanding ComicsMaking ComicsZot! and many other fine creations.

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What’s it about? Well…

David Smith is giving his life for his art – literally. Thanks to a deal with Death, the young sculptor gets his childhood wish: to sculpt anything he can imagine with his bare hands. But now that he only has 200 days to live, deciding what to create is harder than he thought, and discovering the love of his life at the eleventh hour isn’t making it any easier.

This is a story of desire taken to the edge of reason and beyond; of the frantic, clumsy dance steps of young love; and a gorgeous, street-level portrait of New York City. It’s about the small, warm, human moments of everyday life…and the great surging forces that lie just under the surface. Scott McCloud wrote the book on how comics work; now he vaults into breathtaking, funny, and unforgettable fiction.

Neil Gaiman has said of the book, “The Sculptor is the best graphic novel I’ve read in years. It’s about art and love and why we keep on trying. It will break your heart.”

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Stay tuned for news of some very exciting promotional activities! In the meantime, you can pre-order the book from all the usual places: Amazon (here), Foyles (here) and Waterstones (here).

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Coming to Sequential this Christmas: Ricky Rouse Has A Gun by Jörg Tittel and John Aggs

“If you’re into crazily satirical graphic novels, stick Ricky Rouse Has a Gun on your Christmas list” — Tom Watson MP

An enhanced digital edition of Jörg Tittel and John Aggs’ brilliantly bizarre graphic novel, Ricky Rouse Has A Gun, will be available on Sequential for iPad from Monday 22nd December.

Merry Christmazz (for blog)

The Sequential edition will feature loads of exclusive bonus features: page-by-page audio commentary, initial sketches and roughs, character research and inked pages, and an amazing video sketch. Aside from enjoying one of the best graphic novels of 2014, readers will be given a unique insight into Tittel and Aggs’ creative process.

Described by more than one reviewer as “Die Hard meets Disney”, Ricky Rouse Has A Gun is at once a relentless action comedy, a satire of US-China relations, and a curious look at China – a country that, once we look past its often outrageous copyright infringements, is a culture ripe with innovation and a unique, courageous spirit. For a flavour of the incredible reviews the book’s been receiving, watch the trailer:

Even @notch loves it:

“Either a thrilling love letter to the remix culture disguised as an action movie from the 80s, or the other way around, Ricky Rouse Has A Gun is balanced and violent on multiple levels, and is easy to read too much into. Dum dee dum, delightful!” — Markus “Notch” Persson, Creator of Minecraft

The Sequential edition of Ricky Rouse Has A Gun will be available from Monday 22nd December, priced £9.99. You can download the indispensable Sequential graphic novel app here. The first 33 pages of the book will be freely available to download from the store.

Prefer ink and paper? The paperback is available now in all good book stores. Do as Tom Watson suggests and put it on your Christmas list. (He’s an MP: you can trust him.)

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SelfMadeHero to offer Same-Day Delivery Service to Londoners this Christmas

Live or work in Central London? Get graphic novels through your letterbox within hours with SelfMadeHero’s pioneering drone-free delivery service.

For two weeks from Monday 1st December, SelfMadeHero will be offering a free same-day delivery service to addresses in Central London (Zone 1). Orders placed before 2pm (Monday-Friday) will be fulfilled that same day.

guillaume delivery man

Not only that: there’ll be a 25% discount on all titles, making it the cheapest option for those living or working in Central London. Graphic novels will be delivered to offices and houses from Notting Hill to Shoreditch, Kings Cross to Elephant and Castle, making it the fastest and most ambitious direct-to-reader delivery service yet offered by a publisher.

When Amazon announced its limited-scale same-day delivery service to Londoners in October this year, the corporation’s UK Managing Director said it would be the “fastest delivery service yet”. Well, SelfMadeHero’s will be just as fast – and it will be free. No membership contracts. No drones. No algorithms. Our environmentally friendly, human-driven, tax-ethical delivery service has the potential to revolutionise the way the world thinks about delivery.

Graphic novels to your door in 3 easy steps:

1) Browse the SelfMadeHero catalogue (available here)

2) Email your order to

3) Pay by Card or by PayPal (we’ll send you a link)

Sam delivery man

Rather click and collect? Visit our dedicated pick-up location: 139 Pancras Road, NW1 1UN. Opening hours: 9.30am-6pm.

Exclusive Bundle Offers and Signed Editions:

SelfMadeHero will be offering exclusive deals on multiple books, signed editions, limited edition prints and other items throughout this period. Offers will be announced on our Facebook page from Black Monday, 1st December.

Terms and conditions:

Delivery address must be in Central London (Zone 1)

Orders must be placed and paid for by 2pm

Offer applies Monday to Friday, 1st-12th December 2014

drone free logo

So, there you go. SelfMadeHero: same-day delivery pioneers and the answer to all your Christmas present crises.

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Typex brings Rembrandt to The National Gallery

“First there was Rembrandt, then there was Typex!” Nick Cave

Typex, creator of the acclaimed graphic novel biography of Rembrandt, will be in London next week to lead two workshops at The National Gallery. His trip coincides with the Gallery’s Rembrandt: The Late Works exhibition.

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On Friday and Saturday next week, the Dutch graphic novelist will lead two practical workshops alongside artist and lecturer Aliki Braine.

Friday 5th December (6.30-7.30pm, National Gallery Room 23): on Friday evening, Typex will lead a drawing workshop in the Gallery itself, working with participants to create a piece of artwork inspired by Rembrandt’s 1654 painting, ’A Woman bathing in a Stream’.

Saturday 6th December (10.30-12.30am, Pigott Education Centre Entrance): on Saturday morning, the focus shifts from drawing to comic creation. Participants will explore the process of creating a graphic novel, experimenting with drawing and collage to create their own comics inspired by Rembrandt’s work.

Admission is free for both workshops. Spaces are limited to 30 people on a first-come, first-served basis. All materials are provided. The events are aimed at people aged 18-25.

Typex’s graphic biography of the Dutch master was commissioned by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and published in English by SelfMadeHero last year.


“Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn would have adored this book. He would have admired its draughtsmanship and its wit and – given how many times he painted himself – he would have loved the fact that he is its star, warts and all.” The Observer


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SelfMadeHero at Thought Bubble 2014!

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ll know that this weekend sees Thought Bubble take over the Armouries in Leeds – and four of SelfMadeHero’s creators will be signing, sketching and talking their way through the weekend!

Rob DavisI. N. J. CulbardJörg Tittel and John Aggs will be on SelfMadeHero’s tables (91-93, New Dock Hall) throughout the weekend. What’s more, there’ll be exclusive Thought Bubble discounts on all SelfMadeHero titles, signed and numbered book plates, and sketched-in graphic novels: reason enough alone to book a train to Leeds.

Thought Bubble sees the launch of  The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath by I. N. J. Culbard. A masterful adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft’s classic novella, Culbard’s latest follows Randolph Carter on a journey through the Dreamlands in search of an opulent and mysterious sunset city. It’s strange and gripping and frightening, and the colours are spectacular!

DREAMQUEST_Cover (for blog)

As if that weren’t enough excitement for one weekend, Culbard’s first original graphic novel, Celeste, is shortlisted in the Best Book category at the British Comic Awards. The ceremony takes place in the Armouries’ Bury Theatre on Saturday evening, 6-7pm – and our fingers are firmly crossed!

Also in attendance is Rob Davis, author of the double Eisner-nominated adaptation of Don Quixote and, more recently, The Motherless Oven

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The Motherless Oven was the talk of the town at The Lakes Comic Art Festival last month, and the critics have been singing its praises:

“Brimming with invention, Davis subverts and deepens the school adventure yarn and asks if anyone can escape their fate.” The Independent

“You’re drawn in by its strange world and you come to care about its characters, and both are so vivid that the result is an outstanding piece of work.” SFX Magazine

“A graphic novel of incredible resonance and absolute, inscrutable beauty, at once a coming-of-age and coming-to-terms tale…” The Library Journal

Davis will be signing throughout the weekend, and a signed and numbered book plate will be given away with every purchase.

Also on SelfMadeHero’s tables will be Jörg Tittel and John Aggs, creators of the acclaimed Ricky Rouse Has A Gun.

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More than one critic has described this book as “Die Hard in Disneyland”, but it’s more than that: introduced by Christopher Sprigman, Professor of Law at NYU, this unique action comedy is a satirical comment on intellectual property and a perceptive look at a rip-off culture ripe with innovation. Alejandro Jodorowsky has said of the book, “I loved Ricky Rouse Has A Gun, a comic filled with deaths and yet full of life.” A signed and numbered book plate will be given away with every copy of the book – and, for those who want luxury, the limited hardback edition will also be on sale.

On Sunday afternoon, all four creators will be discussing their work in the festival’s Speech Bubble Panel area. Join them at 3pm to hear about their inspiration, how they work, and their views on the lively British graphic novel scene.

And, finally, something to alleviate the Thought Bubble comedown on Monday: we’ll be handing out copies of our hot-off-the-press spring 2015 catalogue (available in digital format here). Pin it to your wall as a reminder of amazing things to come!

The Thought Bubble convention takes place at the Royal Armouries, Leeds, LS10 1LT, 10-5pm Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th November. The floor plan for New Dock Hall is available here. You can’t miss SelfMadeHero – we’re right by the entrance!

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Drum Roll, Please: Our Spring 2015 List Revealed

The Indian summer has vanished and the days are drawing in – but today we forget winter and turn our thoughts to spring. That’s right, folks: already green shoots are appearing. Today, we reveal our UK releases for spring 2015! Our brand new catalogue is available here in all its glory.

Here’s a brief look at what we’ll be bringing to the bookshelves in the first half of next year:

February sees the release of 2015′s most anticipated graphic novel, The Sculptor by Scott McCloud. The bestselling author of Understanding Comics returns with a spellbinding urban fable about the price of art and the value of life. Thanks to a deal with Death, David Smith is given the power to sculpt anything with his bare hands. But with just 200 days left to live, deciding what to create is harder than he imagined. And discovering the love of his life at the eleventh hour isn’t making it any easier… Neil Gaiman has said of The Sculptor, “It’s the best graphic novel I’ve read in years. It’s about art and love and why we keep on trying. It will break your heart.”

Sculptor_Cover for blog

In March, we publish the latest collaboration between Andrzej Klimowski and Danusia Schejbal (The Master and MargaritaRobot). Their brand new autobiographical graphic novel, Behind the Curtain, weaves together two distinctive styles to create a portrait of the cultural environment that flourished in Warsaw amid the harsh realities of the communist state. It pictures a community of artists who, at a time when toilet paper was worth its weight in gold, were producing visionary theatrical productions, films, posters and exhibitions.

Behind Curtain Cover 10

March also sees the release of the third volume of Frederik Peeters‘ award-winning science fiction series Aama. As Verloc moves closer to the source of aama, navigating a landscape inhabited by deadly biorobotic creatures and plants, the mystery surrounding the experiment – and Verloc’s place in it – begins to unravel. It’s a masterful graphic novel packed with action, intrigue and breathtaking artwork. It’s also got a damn fine cover:

AAMA VOL 3_COVER (for blog)

In April, our list of wonderful European graphic novels in translations continue with the publication of Pablo, Julie Birmant and Clément Oubrerie’s stunning graphic biography of Picasso. This authoritative account of Picasso’s life among the bohemians of Montmartre won the Grand Prix at France’s RTL Graphic Novel Awards – and it is beautiful.

PABLO_COVER (for blog)

Fans of I. N. J. Culbards work will be thrilled to hear about his adaptation of Robert W. Chambers’ The King in Yellow, which we publish in May.  The stories that make up this classic piece of weird fiction are tied together by a play that brings madness to all who read it: The King in Yellow. It is a book that draws readers in with an irresistible yet innocent opening act, then drives them insane with the poisonous words of Act 2. One of the most influential works of American supernatural fiction, The King in Yellow is also a central literary reference in the hit HBO show True Detective. Culbard brings to life this thrilling tale of horror that will make you laugh and cry and tremble fright.


Finally, we publish a collection of album review illustrations by the artist and animator Run Wrake. Edited and introduced by journalist and broadcaster Andrew Collins, End of a Century: Nineties Album Reviews in Pictures brings together the best of Wrake’s illustrations for the NME. It pictures musicians, good and bad, from one of the most exciting periods in pop music history, from guitar-driven grunge and BritPop acts to ageing folk musicians and manufactured pop stars.

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It’s going to be an exciting 2015!

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Free Event this Thursday: SelfMadeHero, Oscar Zarate, ILYA & Karrie Fransman in Wood Green

This Thursday, 30th October, SelfMadeHero brings together three of the UK’s top comics artists for a conversation about their craft. Oscar Zarate, Karrie Fransman and ILYA will discuss the burgeoning British graphic novel scene, the inspiration behind their work, and how they see a project through from concept to completion. The conversation will be chaired by Steve Walsh, bookseller at Gosh! Comics and founder of the Process and South London Hardcore podcasts.

The event, brought to you in partnership with the wonderful Collage Arts, takes place Karamel, 4 Coburg Road, London, N22 6UJ. Nearest Tube: Wood Green. It starts at 7pm and admission is absolutely free.

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Oscar Zarate collaborated with Alan Moore on A Small Killing and edited the anthology It’s Dark In London, a graphic collection off short stories featuring work by Neil Gaiman, Iain Sinclair, Stewart Home, Dave McKean and many more. He also collaborated with Alexei Sayle on Geoffrey the Tube Train and the Fat Comedian and with Carlos Sampayo on La Faille and Fly Blues. SelfMadeHero published The Park, the first graphic novel to be both written and illustrated by Oscar Zarate, in October 2013.

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Karrie Fransman has created comics for The Guardian, The Times, The New Statesman, Time Out and many other publications. Her acclaimed graphic novel, The House That Groaned, is published by Random House’s Square Peg imprint. Her latest graphic novel, Death of the Artist, will be published in March 2015 by Jonathan Cape. She led the London Print Studio’s excellent graphic novel course in 2011 and 2012. Web: Twitter: @KarrieFransman.

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ILYA is a comic book writer and artist whose work has been published by Marvel, DC and Dark Horse in the USA, Kodansha in Japan, and numerous independent companies worldwide. His books include the award-winning The End of the Century Club, the kitchen-sink drama Skidmarks, and an adaptation of King Lear for SelfMadeHero’s Manga Shakespeare seriesHis debut prose novel, The Clay Dreaming, is published by Myriad Editions. His graphic novel, Room For Love, is published by SelfMadeHero. Most recently, he edited The Mammoth Book of Cult Comics, published by Robinson in October 2014.

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Steve Walsh is the founder and co-presenter of the South London Hardcore podcast. He is also a prolific blogger and bookseller at London’s finest comic book shop, Gosh! Comics in Soho. Web: Twitter: @ventswhales.

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