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Typex, Aimée de Jongh and Jérôme Tubiana join SelfMadeHero at the Small Press Expo

11 September 2019

It's that time of year again: this week, we jet off to Bethesda, MD for America's finest independent comic book festival. The Small Press Expo celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, and the lineup includes some of the biggest names in comics, including Chris Ware, Raina Telgemeier, Eleanor Davis and Jaime Hernandez.

The festival's international guest list includes SelfMadeHero creators Aimée de Jongh (Blossoms in Autumn), Typex (Andy) and Jérôme Tubiana (Guantánamo Kid). They'll be signing on our table (W23-24) throughout the weekend, as well as speaking alongside their fellow cartoonists in some intriguing events.

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On Saturday, Typex talks about his monumental graphic biography of Andy Warhol ("Sourcing Biography", White Oak Room, 5-6pm). How do you combine rigorous research with compelling storytelling to make a biography that both informs and entertains? He'll discuss this and more with Beth Barnett (Dreamers Of The Day) and Peter & Maria Hoey (Coin-Op Comics).

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On Sunday, Dutch cartoonist Aimée de Jongh, whose Blossoms in Autumn was released this spring, joins Guantánamo Kid author Jérôme Tubiana for a discussion of graphic journalism ("Graphic Journalism: On the Road", White Flint Auditorium, 4-5pm). Ted Rall (To Afghanistan And Back) and Josh Kramer (The Cartoon Picayune) make up the panel, which is chaired by Andrew Aydin (March).

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There'll also be a chance to get your hands on some of our brand new releases, including the ABC of Typography, Mikel, Isadora and Mozart in Paris.

What more could you want? Well, actually, there's quite a lot more: check out the full SPX programme here.

USA: Jérôme Tubiana on Tour

10 September 2019

To coincide with his guest appearance at the Small Press Expo, French journalist Jérôme Tubiana will discuss his landmark work of graphic non-fiction, Guantánamo Kid, at events in Washington DC and New York City. The book tells the astonishing - and deeply troubling - story of Mohammed El-Gharani who, at the age of just 14, became one of Guantánamo Bay's youngest detainees. Written in collaboration with Mohammed El-Gharani, illustrated by Alexandre Franc and endorsed by Amnesty International, it's an extraordinary graphic novel with a fascinating backstory.

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This Friday, 13th September, Jérôme Tubiana will discuss the book at the OpenGov Hub in Washington DC (1110 Vermont Ave) in an event co-hosted by Amnesty International and the Justice for Muslims Collective. The conversation will span El-Gharani's life inside and outside of the camp, and the ongoing struggle to have the prison closed. The event is free to attend and open to all - just RSVP here.

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On Sunday 15th September, as part of the Small Press Expo's programme, Tubiana joins Andrew Aydin, Ted Rall, Aimée De Jongh and Josh Kramer for a discussion of graphic journalism ("Graphic Journalism: On the Road", 4-5pm, White Flint Auditorium, North Bethesda Marriott). They will explore the peculiar power of the graphic novel to tell real-life stories.

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The following week, Tubiana heads to New York for two more events.

On Friday 20th September, he is joined by multimedia artist Laurie Anderson at the French Embassy's Albertine book store (972 Fifth Avenue, NY). Anderson collaborated with Mohammed El-Gharani on an installation and performance piece, “Habeas Corpus”, which took place at the Park Avenue Armory in 2015. Expanding upon her work fusing storytelling and technology, the project interweaved film, sculpture, music and video to examine El-Gharani’s story. The event, which will explore the ways in which artists can give voice to such stories, begins at 6.30pm and is free to attend.

And finally, at the Brooklyn Book Festival, Tubiana joins Ben Passmore and Mark Alan Stamaty for a discussion of comics as satire and witness ("Everything is Horrible", Brooklyn Historical Society Library, 128 Pierrepont St, 12pm).

Rachael Ball, Typex and Jérôme Tubiana join the Edinburgh Book Festival lineup

26 July 2019

This August, three SelfMadeHero creators make the trip to Scotland for the highlight of the literary calendar. This year's Edinburgh International Book Festival programme includes events featuring Rachael Ball, Typex and Jérôme Tubiana.

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Dutch cartoonist Typex joins Keith Hartley, Chief Curator at the Scottish National Gallery of Art, for a discussion of the pop artist Andy Warhol. Typex's Andy (an Observer Book of the Year) is an exhilarating and playful portrait of the King of Pop Art, while Hartley's Warhol and Eduardo Paolozzi canters through the ideas of two artists inspired by photos and adverts. The two authors will interrogate Warhol's glib self-assessment, "There is only surface, with nothing underneath" ("Keith Hartley & Typex", Sat 24 Aug, 11:00-12:00, Garden Theatre).

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Rachael Ball's masterpiece of magical realism Wolf, which centres on a family torn apart by tragedy, was described by the Times Literary Supplement as "poignant and elegiac". She joins fellow cartoonist John McNaught (Kingdom) for a discussion of families in graphic fiction ("Rachael Ball & Jon McNaught", Mon 12 Aug, 19:00-20:00, Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre). She then leads a masterclass in creating comics on the difficult subject of grief ("Drawing on Grief", Tue 13 Aug, 14:00-16:30, Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel).

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French writer Jérôme Tubiana's Guantánamo Kid tells the incredible true story of Mohammed El-Gharani, one of the camp's youngest detainees, who was held and abused for seven years without charge or trial. Illustrated by Alexandre Franc, and written in close collaboration with El-Gharani himself, this is a landmark work of graphic non-fiction. Tubiana visits Edinburgh to talk about the book's fascinating backstory ("Jérôme Tubiana", Tue 13 Aug, 14:15-15:15, Garden Theatre). Tubiana will also take part in a free-to-enter Amnesty International Imprisoned Writers event, organised to mark the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child ("The Kids are Alright", Tue 13th August, 17:30-18:15, Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre).

The full Edinburgh Book Festival programme is available here.

Celebrating 50 years since the moon landing with Matt Fitch and Chris Baker

8 July 2019

On 20th July 1969, mankind set foot on the moon. Backed by the brightest minds in engineering and science, Neil Armstrong, Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin and Michael Collins boarded a rocket and flew through the void – just to know that we could. Today, 50 years on, the mission remains one of humanity’s greatest exploratory achievements.

To mark five decades since the moon landing, writers Matt Fitch and Chris Baker will visit Soho's Gosh! Comics to sign copies of their masterpiece of graphic non-fiction, Apollo. You'll find them there on Saturday 20th July from 1-2pm.

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Fitch and Baker's graphic novel, illustrated by Mike Collins, tells the breathtaking story of the Apollo 11 mission. It does a brilliant job of capturing the moments of high drama and astonishing risk. But it is also a fascinating insight into the lives of three men who, in the most extraordinary of circumstances, are separated from their families and loved ones.

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Scientific American praised Fitch, Baker and Collins for their smart handling of the "suspense-filled" story: "They convey surprising depth and emotion, as well as rich historical details of the era. The book explores the political tension around the space program at the time, the nerve-wracking anxiety experienced by the families of the crew, and the heart-stopping moments of the mission that proved to be such a milestone."

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For more information about the signing, head over to Gosh! Comics' website.

Coming soon: The Book of Forks

31 May 2019

The first volume of Rob Davis's abstract adventure trilogy, The Motherless Oven, won the Best Book prize at the British Comic Awards in 2014. Its sequel, The Can Opener's Daughter, was praised by The Guardian as "a dark, disorientating twist on the classic tale of kids against the world".

Now, the trilogy's much-anticipated final volume is on its way: The Book of Forks is released in October – and it looks incredible.

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The Motherless Oven and The Can Opener’s Daughter may have raised more questions than they answered, but The Book of Forks explains everything.

Castro Smith finds himself imprisoned within the mysterious Power Station, writing his Book of Forks while navigating baffling daily meetings with Poly, a troubled young woman who may be his teacher, his doctor, his prison guard… or something else entirely.

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Meanwhile, back home, Vera and Scarper’s search for their missing friend takes them through the chaotic warzone of the Bear Park and into new and terrifying worlds.

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With The Book of Forks, Rob Davis completes his fiercely original trilogy by stepping inside Castro’s disintegrating mind, to reveal the truth about the history of the world, the meaning of existence and the purpose of kitchen scales.

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The Book of Forks will launch at the Lakes Comic Art Festival in October. Watch this space for news of further signings and appearances.