True North

Here’s the spark to light the fire Here’s the rope to haul the sail Here’s the coal to feed the engine Here’s the strength to build the rail True North, 2018, Boff Whalley for Commoners Choir I’ve been wondering lately if I might be a ‘professional Northerner’, an insult sometimes levelled at people from the North of England who are always banging on about how it’s grim up north. Certainly I’ve written one grim book about growing up in the north, I still speak with an accent despite having travelled far and wide, I’m interested in social realism and I’m…

2019 graphic novel reading list for newbies.

I’m often asked by readers of Becoming Unbecoming who are new to comics and graphic novels if I have any recommendations. I do! So I’ve put together this list of my personal favorites. Typically they are loved due to an interesting or innovative approach to artwork or because the story telling is magnificent. These are my real favorites, genuine recommendations. It’s not that I don’t feel under pressure to highlight books from my lovely publishers (Myriad Editions, Virago and Mayfly Press) or from dear friends in the comics creative community, though some of their books appear on this list, but…

Cree. New book alert!

It’s nearly here! My new book Cree. The official book launch is at Waterstones Durham, 6–7pm on Friday 5th October with further events at Waterstones London (TCR) on Monday 1st 6pm and at Lakes International Comic Art Festival (Kendal) 10am till 5pm on Saturday 13th October in the Page 45 room in the clocktower. Commissioned by New Writing North and Durham Book Festival, this is the first time this organisation has commissioned graphic work, so it’s a real honour and it’s a beautiful book – colourful, an exercise in asymmetry, a special fold out centre and it’s based on real…

Marking an important 20 year anniversary

    On my bedroom wall sits an apparently unremarkable photograph. A fragment of a larger photo-collage, it blends with other family snapshots that are scattered in plain, wooden frames around our house. In the photo I am smiling, wearing a red, seersucker dress from a well-known UK retailer founded in Leeds in 1894 by a Polish-Jewish refugee Mr Marks and his friend from Skipton, Mr Spencer. The blue fabric mules I’m wearing are from the same shop. Sunglasses swing on a string around my neck and my hair is in a short phase, lightened by having lived in the sun. I’m wearing…

Contact

I’m open to commissions and requests for talks and workshops. I’ll also be happy to hear from you if you’ve read any of my books and found them helpful for personal reasons. I try to reply to all emails personally but I might not be quick.  Please use the form below.