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WAITING FOR TOMMY: BRYAN TALBOT
By Richard Johnston

Bryan Talbot is a very distinctive and distinct comic book creator. His work may be most familiar to comic book fans from his Legends Of The Dark Knight, Sandman and Tekno work. But his work goes back into the early seventies in the equivalent of Britain's Underground Comics movement, creating the cult Luther Arkwright title, championed by the likes of Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman, eventually being picked up by DC and Vertigo to work on their more adult titles, and recently producing a sequel to Luther, Heart Of Empire, and a Beatrix Potter themed book about abuse and growing up, The Tale Of One Bad Rat. His latest project, Alice In Sunderland, a story playing with the art of telling a story, mixing media, styles and genres did not get an enthusiastic response from his publishers, but was able to get eight instant inquiries after the industry was made aware of its existence.

The influence of Bryan's work can be felt across British comics, from direct inspiration such as the appearance of Talbot regular Chester Williams in Swamp Thing, the moment where Chester sees the reader, while on a drug trip being reflected in Animal Man, to a general influence in terms of expanding subject matter, playing with multiple universes and creating finite graphic novels in serial form. Bryan took time to speak about what's expected of his work, the state of the industry and the most perfect comic book shop on God's Earth.

RICHARD JOHNSTON: Bryan, your work has influenced the likes of Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis, the leading lights of British writers. You continue to publish new, challenging works and influence the industry. Yet you don't seem to fit into it in any tangible way, and others seem more capable of exploiting their presence in commercial ways. What do you feel your role is, and do you ever feel like seeking what others may believe is due you, in financial terms?

BRYAN TALBOT: My role? Telling stories in comics. I'd get bored doing the same sort of thing all the time, so I like working on different sorts of stories, adapting my style to each story, which probably answers your second point. Someone once said that if all I'd done throughout my career was Luther Arkwright stories, I'd be a lot more well known with Arkwright becoming an established comic icon - sort of like Herge and Tintin. As for the financial side, I'm doing OK and still get regular royalties from Arkwright, Bad Rat, Sandman, etc. on top of bread and butter work.

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 Continued Here...

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