Bryan Talbot

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Bryan Talbot
Bryan Talbot Eastercon.jpg
Talbot signing Alice in Sunderland at Eastercon in England, 25 March 2008
Born (1952-02-24) 24 February 1952 (age 71)
Wigan, Lancashire, England, UK
Area(s)Writer, Penciller, Inker, Colorist
Pseudonym(s)Véronique Tanaka
Notable works
The Adventures of Luther Arkwright
Heart of Empire
Alice in Sunderland
The Tale of One Bad Rat
AwardsEisner Award for Best Graphic Album: Reprint (1996)
Haxtur Award for Best Long Comic Strip (1999)
Inkpot Award (2000)
Costa biography award (2012)

Bryan Talbot (born 24 February 1952) is a British comics artist and writer, best known as the creator of The Adventures of Luther Arkwright and its sequel Heart of Empire, as well as the Grandville series of books. He collaborated with his wife, Mary M. Talbot to produce Dotter of Her Father's Eyes, which won the 2012 Costa biography award.[1]

Early life[edit]

Bryan Talbot was born in Wigan, Lancashire[2] on 24 February 1952.[3] He attended Wigan Grammar School, the Wigan School of Art, and Harris College in Preston, Lancashire, from which he graduated with a degree in Graphic Design.[4]


Talbot began his comics work in the underground comix scene of the late 1960s. In 1969 his first work appeared as illustrations in Mallorn, the British Tolkien Society magazine,[5] followed in 1972 by a weekly strip in his college newspaper. He continued in the scene after leaving college, producing Brainstorm Comix, the first three of which formed The Chester P. Hackenbush Trilogy, a character reworked by Alan Moore as Chester Williams for Swamp Thing.[6]

Talbot started The Adventures of Luther Arkwright in 1978. It was originally published in Near Myths and continued on over the years in other publications, including Pssst! and by the publisher Valkyrie Press. It was eventually collected into one volume by Dark Horse Comics. Along with Raymond Briggs' When the Wind Blows it is one of the first British graphic novels. In the early to mid-eighties he provided art for some of 2000 AD's flagship serials, producing three series of Nemesis the Warlock, as well as occasional strips for Judge Dredd. His The Tale of One Bad Rat deals with a girl's recovery from childhood sexual abuse.

Talbot moved to the U.S. market in the 1990s, principally for DC Comics, on titles such as Hellblazer,[7] Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, and Dead Boy Detectives. Talbot collaborated with Neil Gaiman on The Sandman and provided art for the "Fables & Reflections", "A Game of You", and "Worlds' End" story arcs.[8][9] He drew The Nazz limited series which was written by Tom Veitch and worked with Tom's brother Rick Veitch on Teknophage, one of a number of mini-series he drew for Tekno Comix. Talbot has illustrated cards for the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game. He has illustrated Bill Willingham's Fables,[10] as well as returning to the Luther Arkwright universe with Heart of Empire.

In 2006, he announced the graphic novel Metronome, an existential, textless erotically charged visual poem,[11][12] written under the pseudonym Véronique Tanaka.[13] He admitted that he was the author in 2009.[14] Talbot turned down an offer to appear in character as Tanaka for an in-store signing of the work.[15]

In 2007 he released Alice in Sunderland, which documents the connections between Lewis Carroll, Alice Liddell, and the Sunderland and Wearside area.[16] He wrote and drew the layouts for Cherubs!, which he describes as "an irreverent fast-paced supernatural comedy-adventure."[17]

In 2019 it was reported that Talbot was producing the latest instalment in the Arkwright series tentatively titled The Legend of Luther Arkwright, to be published in 2021.[18]

Awards and recognition[edit]


2000 AD[edit]

Tharg's Future Shocks[edit]


  • Ro-Busters: "Old Red Eyes is Back" (with Alan Moore, in 2000AD Annual 1983, 1982)

Nemesis the Warlock[edit]

  • "The Gothic Empire (Book IV)" (in 2000 AD No. 390–406, 1984–1985)
  • "Vengeance of Thoth (Book V)" (in 2000 AD No. 435–445, 1985)
  • "Torquemurder (Book VI) Part 1" (in 2000 AD No. 482–487, 1986)
  • "Torquemurder (Book VI) Part 2" (in 2000 AD No. 500–504, 1986–1987)
  • Torquemada: "The Garden of Alien Delights" (with Pat Mills, in Diceman No. 3, 1986)


  • "The Time Killer" (with Pat Mills, in 2000 AD No. 431, 1985)

Judge Dredd[edit]

  • "House of Death" (with John Wagner/Alan Grant, in Diceman No. 1, 1986)
  • "Last Voyage of the Flying Dutchman" (with John Wagner/Alan Grant, in 2000 AD No. 459, 1986)
  • "Judge Dredd and the Seven Dwarves" (with John Wagner/Alan Grant, in Judge Dredd Annual 1987, 1986)
  • "Ladies' Night" (with John Wagner/Alan Grant, in 2000AD Annual 1987, 1986)
  • "Caterpillars" (script by Michael Carroll, coloured by Alwyn Talbot, in 2000 AD No. 1730, April 2011)

Enemy Alien[edit]

  • "Enemy Alien" (with script and pencils Mike Matthews, in 2000AD Sci-Fi Special 1987)


  • "Memento" (in 2000 AD Prog 2002, 2001)

Ad Astra[edit]

  • Frank Fazakerly, Space Ace of the Future (October 1978 - September 1981)[2]

Avatar Press[edit]

Brainstorm Comix[edit]

Chester P Hackenbush, the Psychedelic Alchemist[edit]

  • "Out of the Crucible" (in Brainstorm Comix No. 1, 1975, Alchemy)
  • "From Here to Infinity" (in Brainstorm Comix No. 2, 1976, Alchemy)
  • "A Streetcar Named Delirium" (in Brainstorm Comix No. 4, 1977, Alchemy)

Amazing Rock'n'Roll Adventures[edit]

  • "The Omega Report" (in Brainstorm Comix No. 6, 1978, Alchemy)

Dark Horse Comics[edit]

  • The Tale of One Bad Rat (1995, ISBN 1-56971-077-5)

DC Comics/Vertigo[edit]

The Sandman[edit]

Shade, the Changing Man[edit]

  • The Santa Fe Trail (written by Peter Milligan, inks by Mark Pennington, coloured by Daniel Vozzo, August 1991)


Desperado Publishing[edit]

Jonathan Cape[edit]


  • Grandville (graphic novel, 104 pages, November 2009)
  • Grandville Mon Amour (graphic novel, 104 pages, December 2010)
  • Grandville Bête Noire (graphic novel, 104 pages, December 2012)
  • Grandville: Nöel (graphic novel, Jonathan Cape, November 2014)
  • Grandville: Force Majeure (graphic novel, Jonathan Cape, November 2017)

Luther Arkwright[edit]

Moonstone Books[edit]

NBM Publishing[edit]


  • Scumworld (credited to The Crabs from Uranus, 1983 – 1984)

Tekno Comix[edit]


  • Superharris with Bonk in Hac, Harris College's Student Newspaper 1971 - 1972)
  • Brainworms (script by Matthias Schultheiss, in Crisis presents the Second Xpresso Special, 1991)


  1. ^ a b "Hilary Mantel wins 2012 Costa novel prize". BBC News. 2 January 2013. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
  2. ^ a b Ó Méalóid, Pádraig (1 October 2009). "The road from Wigan Pier: Bryan Talbot talks with Pádraig Ó Méalóid, part one". Forbidden Planet. Archived from the original on 28 June 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  3. ^ Miller, John Jackson (10 June 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on 18 February 2011.
  4. ^ "Bryan Talbot: biography". The Official Bryan Talbot website. n.d. Archived from the original on 4 March 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Bryan Talbot". Lambiek Comiclopedia. 2012. Archived from the original on 14 October 2012.
  6. ^ Whitson, Roger (Winter 2007). "Engraving the Void and Sketching Parallel Worlds: An Interview with Bryan Talbot". ImageTexT. Archived from the original on 15 December 2012.
  7. ^ Irvine, Alex (2008). "John Constantine Hellblazer". In Dougall, Alastair (ed.). The Vertigo Encyclopedia. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. pp. 102–111. ISBN 978-0-7566-4122-1. OCLC 213309015.
  8. ^ Bender, Hy (1999). The Sandman Companion. New York City: DC Comics. pp. 266–270. ISBN 978-1563894657.
  9. ^ Burgas, Greg (7 January 2013). "Comics You Should Own – Sandman". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on 10 April 2014.
  10. ^ Irvine, "Fables" in Dougall, pp. 72–81
  11. ^ "A Graphic Poem..." Down The Tubes. 16 July 2006. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008.
  12. ^ Johnston, Rich (17 July 2006). "Lying in the Gutters Volume 2 Column 61". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on 27 September 2008.
  13. ^ Ó Méalóid, Pádraig (2 October 2009). "Rabbit Holes, Detective Badgers, and Cherubs Part Two of Bryan Talbot's Interview with Pádraig". Forbidden Planet. Archived from the original on 28 June 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  14. ^ a b Gordon, Joe (14 April 2009). "Shaved her leg and then he was a she". Forbidden Planet. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  15. ^ Holland, Stephen (2009). "Talbot Unmasked". Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. It's a shame you never came to sign here, as I suggested at the time, in high heels, wig and lipstick.
  16. ^ Robertson, Ross (27 March 2007). "News focus: Alice in Pictureland". Sunderland Echo. Archived from the original on 2 April 2007. Retrieved 29 March 2007.
  17. ^ Gravett, Paul (2007). "Bryan Talbot: An Artistic Wonder From Wearside". Paul Gravett. Archived from the original on 24 October 2007.
  18. ^ Johnston, Rich (21 August 2009). "After Twenty Years, Bryan Talbot Returns With 'The Legend of Luther Arkwright'". Bleeding Cool. Archived from the original on 9 August 2020. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  19. ^ "Eagle Awards Previous Winners 1985". Eagle Awards. 2013. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013.
  20. ^ "Eagle Awards Previous Winners 1988". Eagle Awards. 2013. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013.
  21. ^ Johnston, Rich. "After Twenty Years, Bryan Talbot Returns With 'The Legend of Luther Arkwright'," Bleeding Cool (August 21, 2019).
  22. ^ Freeman, John. "Timelord Talbot!", (29 July 2012).
  23. ^ "Inkpot Award Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on 9 July 2012.
  24. ^ "Eagle Awards Previous Winners 2008". Eagle Awards. 2013. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013.
  25. ^ Brady, Matt (14 April 2008). "2008 Eisner Award Nominees Named". Newsarama. Archived from the original on 25 January 2009.
  26. ^ "University honour for comic book artist". Sunderland Echo. 18 July 2009. Archived from the original on 29 August 2012.
  27. ^ "Honour for ground-breaking writer and artist". Northumbria University. 17 July 2012. Archived from the original on 28 July 2012.

External links[edit]