Adi Granov: Man Of Ilkley, Yorkshire

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I grew up in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, in direct view of the Ilkley television transmitter. At school we sang “Ilkley Moor Baht ‘At“, a local song in the local dialect about necrophiliac cannibalism as a result of rampant sexuality. We went to Ilkley market ever now and then.

And then I moved to London, and haven’t thought of Ilkley for quite some time. Until Adi Granov moved there. The Ilkley Gazette reports;

Adi lives in Ilkley with his wife Tamsin, who was born and brought up in the town,while he was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia, and his journey to the studio in his home, which looks over the town and where he creates his stunning artwork that adorns some of Marvel’s most amazing comics, is almost worthy of a cinematic blockbuster in its own right…

In 1994, aged 16, Adi, along with his mother and sister, left Bosnia, which was riven by one of the most terrible conflicts Europe experienced in the second half of the century…

The family fled the war to America, where Adi spent the next ten years, living in Portland, Oregon and Seattle… scooped his first job illustrating a comic for a publisher based in Toronto, Canada…

Though his work was well-received, the publisher hit financial difficulties – as did Adi. He says: “The company filed for bankruptcy and I hadn’t been paid for several months. It was way past worrying – I hadn’t been able to pay my rent, I had no money coming in. This was my only source of income.”

…Adi woke up one morning to an e-mail, completely unsolicited, from the gigantic Marvel Comics corporation. We like your work, said the e-mail. Want to come and work for us?…

But there was more drama for Adi to come – this time of a romantic nature. He had started posting his work on an internet art forum, and the site was moderated by comics fan Tamsin Isles from right here in Ilkley. Their friendship blossomed online, they met up in real life… and now Tamsin is his wife.

They couple decided to settle in the UK, and Adi fell in love with Ilkley. He says: “Ilkley was the first place I saw in England. I had always lived in cities, Sarajevo, Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles for a few months, Chicago… but to see the moors and the countryside and the beautiful town…”

… the event he’s most looking forward to is Thought Bubble, the Leeds-based comics convention that takes place in November, and which his wife Tamsin has a hand in organising.

 

 

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