Paul Gravett

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Paul Gravett
Paul Gravett, May 2017
Paul Gravett, May 2017
OccupationJournalist and author

Paul Gravett is a London-based journalist, curator, writer and broadcaster who has worked in comics publishing since 1981.

He is the founder of Escape Magazine, and writes a monthly article on comics appearing in the UK magazine Comics International, together with a monthly column for ArtReview. He has written for various periodicals including The Guardian, The Comics Journal, Comic Art, Comics International, Time Out, Blueprint, Neo, The Bookseller, The Daily Telegraph and Dazed & Confused.


His career began in 1981 as he managed the Fast Fiction table at bi-monthly Comic Marts held in Westminster Hall. Gravett invited artists to send him their homemade comics, which he would sell from the Fast Fiction table with all proceeds going to the creator. His role in the British indie comics scene is depicted in Eddie Campbell's Alec comics, in which Gravett is called "The Man at the Crossroads."

Later in 1981, Gravett was employed as promotions manager for Pssst!, an attempt to publish a British equivalent of the lavish French bande dessinée magazines.

In 1983, Gravett launched Escape Magazine with Peter Stanbury, in an attempt to showcase the cream of the alternative cartoonists of the day. Under the Escape Publishing imprint, he co-published Violent Cases by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, three volumes of Eddie Campbell's Alec between 1984 and 1986 and London's Dark in 1988 by James Robinson and Paul Johnson.

The magazine lasted for 19 issues before closing its doors in 1989. The Comics Journal is quoted as saying of Escape, "This now-defunct London based anthology remains one of the most sorely missed comics of all time not simply because of its tremendous track record of translating European comics but simply because it was always good in so many ways."

From 1992 to 2001, Gravett was the director of the UK charity The Cartoon Art Trust, dedicated to preserving and promoting the best of British cartoon art and caricature and to establish a museum of cartoon art with gallery, archives and reference library.

Gravett has written a number of books on comics. He also co-edited Ctrl.Alt.Shift Unmasks Corruption a political anthology comic.[1]

He helps run the Comica comics festival and coordinates a number of events surrounding it, like Graphical Short Story contest, run in conjunction with The Observer.


Gravett is the author of several non-fiction books on the topic of comics and sequential art, including:

  • Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics (Harper Design, 2004, ISBN 1-85669-391-0)
  • Graphic Novels: Stories to Change Your Life (Aurum Press, October 2005, ISBN 1-84513-068-5, US printing: Graphic Novels: Everything You Need to Know, Collins Design, November 2005, ISBN 0-06-082425-5)
  • Great British Comics with Peter Stanbury (Aurum Press, October 2006, ISBN 1-84513-170-3)
  • "The Leather Nun and Other Incredibly Strange Comics" with Peter Stanbury (Aurum Press September 2008) ISBN 978-1845133207
  • "Holy Sh*t! The World's Weirdest Comic Books" with Peter Stanbury (St Martin's Press, February 2009) ISBN 978-0-312-53395-3. (The USA edition of "The Leather Nun" above.)
  • 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die (editor, 960 pages, October 2011, Universe Publishing, ISBN 0-7893-2271-4, Cassell Illustrated, ISBN 1-84403-698-7)
  • Comics Art (October 2013, Tate Publishing) ISBN 978-1-84976-056-0, Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0-3002-040-18
  • Comics Unmasked with John Harris Dunning (May 2014, The British Library) ISBN 978-0-7123-5735-7


  1. ^ Brown, Mark (3 November 2009). "Pow! Comic-strip heroes fight against corruption". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 November 2009.


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