Writer Ian Rankin, poet Simon Armitage, Sandman’s Dave McKean and the Walking Dead‘s Charlie Adlard are amongst creators collaborating on an international comic anthology – Traces of the Great War.
Traces of the Great War is an anthology of new comic book stories featuring over forty internationally acclaimed artists and writers. The stories explore the continued relevance and resonance of the First World War and its aftermath in our lives today.
Part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, the creative collaboration re-evaluates the impacts and legacy of the conflict across a diversity of cultural, geographical and narrative viewpoints. The aim is to introduce new audiences to the narrative of the Great War through the immediacy and wide appeal of the comic artform.
Featuring eighteen short stories from both the UK and around the world, Traces of the Great War includes a number of collaborations between graphic artists and writers (Dave McKean with poet Simon Armitage, Sean Phillips with novelist Ian Rankin, Charlie Adlard with Robbie Morrison) and between artists and illustrators who have never worked together before (Juan Díaz Canales and Kris, Régis Hautière and Thomas von Kummant).
Published by Image Comics, and a surprise publication at that, it will cost £15 in hardback. Traces of the Great War will be launched at The Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal from 12th – 14th October.
Traces of the Great War is commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, La Mission du Centenaire de la Première Guerre mondiale, On a Marche Sur Le Bulle and the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. It is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund and by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
“This powerful new anthology brings together many of today’s most inspiring artists and writers from around the world,” says Jenny Waldman, Director, 14-18 NOW. “14-18 NOW is thrilled to co-commission this exciting project, as part of our final season inviting contemporary artists to create new work in response to the First World War.”
“We are delighted to be part of this inspiring collaborative project,” said Aileen McEvoy for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. “The quality of the artists and writers is just amazing and the diversity of the work makes this a unique anthology that will resonate with existing comic audiences and newcomers to the world of comics.”
“Comics have an amazing power to connect with people and tell stories in different ways,” added Charlie Adlard, the UK’s Comics Laureate. “I hope this anthology will reach out to new audiences and demonstrate the continuing relevance of the Great War on our lives today. It has been a privilege to be involved.”
Here’s a look at some of the stories within.
Simon Armitage and Dave McKean
Simon Armitage and Dave McKean
Mary and Bryan Talbot
Joe Kelly and Ken Niimura
Ian Rankin and Sean Phillips
The artists and writers working on this project include:
Best known as the artist for the globally celebrated The Walking Dead comic series, Charlie Adlard is also the UK’s Comics Laureate 2017 – 2019.
Yorkshire born Simon Armitage is an award-winning poet, playwright and novelist, appointed as Professor of Poetry at the University in Leeds in 2017.
A French artist, illustrator, and writer of sequential art and graphic novels, Edmond Baudoin is known for his atmospheric artistic approach using bold black and white brushstrokes.
Juan Díaz Canales
A Spanish comics artist and an animated film director, Juan Díaz Canales is the co-creator of the massively successful 1950s style detective series Blacksad.
Régis Hautière is a French comic book writer with an impressively eclectic bibliography, many of which have been award-winning.
Joseph “Joe” Kelly is an American comic book writer, penciler and editor who is co-creator of Ben 10 and has written titles such as Deadpool, Uncanny X-Men and I Kill Giants.
Kris is a French comics creator and writer. Working alongside Mael he created the comic series Notre Mere La Guerre.
Thomas Von Kummant
A German freelance illustrator, Thomas von Kummant’s published works include The Chronicle of the Immortals.
Denis Lapière is a Belgian comic book writer, who has been a co-author on various projects including the ‘Comme tout le monde’ and Michel Vaillant’ series.
Victoria Lomasko, born in Serpukhov, Russia, is a renowned graphic artist and activist who has lectured and written widely on graphic reportage.
Martin Leclerc, known as Maël, is a Paris-based comic artist, who leads a double life as the lead singer of folkrock group HitchcockGoHome!
Dave McKean is an award-winning English illustrator, comic book artist, filmmaker and musician, who has collaborated with Neil Gaiman, Heston Blumenthal and Stephen King amongst others.
Mikiko is a London based German-japanese artist working in comics, Manga, game art, TV, teaching and illustration.
A cartoonist and illustrator based in Tokyo, Ken Niimura’s graphic novel “I Kill Giants”, co-created with Joe Kelly, has been adapted as a movie directed by Anders Walter.
An Eisner award-winning comic artist, Sean Phillips is also founder patron of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival.
Ian Rankin is an award-winning Scottish crime writer, best known for his Inspector Rebus novels.
Riff Reb’s, whose real name is Dominique Duprez, is a French cartoonist, scriptwriter and founder of Asylum studios.
Known for his work on 2000 AD, Robbie Morrison is a British comics writer and co-creator of the popular character and series Nikolai Dante, serialised for 15 years until 2012.
Orijit Sen is an Indian graphic artist and designer, his graphic novel River of Stories, published in 1994, is considered to be the first graphic novel of India.
Bryan Talbot is now published in over twenty countries and is the winner of many comic awards – including an Eisner award, the Prix SNCF and several Eagles.
Mary M. Talbot is an internationally acclaimed scholar of gender, language and power who now writes graphic novels.