THE man behind Alice in Sunderland has been honoured for his work – by a university in Newcastle.
Internationally renowned artist and writer Bryan Talbot received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters alongside students from the School of Arts and Social Sciences at Northumbria University.
“I sincerely thank Northumbria University for this Doctorate of Letters,” he said.
“It is a great honour, not just for me, but also for the medium I work in. It is indicative of how sequential art in the form of the graphic novel is increasingly accepted as a legitimate art form.”
Bryan, who lives in Ashbrooke in Sunderland, is credited with being the writer of Britain’s first graphic novel - The Adventures of Luther Arkwright – serialised from 1978.
In 1989 Arkwright won the Mekon award for Best British Work and four Eagle Awards. Published in nine countries it has a strong cult following which has recently been made into a three-hour audio drama featuring David Tennant as Arkwright.
His graphic novel The Tale of One Bad Rat, which deals with the after-effects of child sexual abuse, also won a host of awards including the Eisner, the Oscar of the comic industry. It is published in 16 countries and used in several child abuse centres in Britain, America, Germany and Finland.
Probably his most famous work, Alice in Sunderland explores the links between Lewis Carroll and Sunderland. It was nominated for a host of awards and is in its fourth printing in the UK.
Bryan has created a variety of comic strips for publications as diverse as The Radio Times, Wired and Imagine. His most recent work, Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes, is a graphic memoir written collaboratively with his wife, Mary.
He is currently working on the third in his Grandville series, Grandville Bete Noire, which is scheduled for publication later this year.