Friday, 3 February 2012

Dotter of Her Father's Eyes Launch Party

Last night saw the celebration of James Joyce’s 130th birthday and the 90th anniversary of possibly his best-known book, Ulysses. By a wondrous stroke of serendipity (or incredibly astute marketing by Jonathan Cape—you decide!) it was also the launch of Mary and Bryan Talbot’s new graphic novel, The Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes. I say serendipitous, because the book examines Mary’s relationship with her father, noted Joycean scholar, James S. Atherton, juxtaposed with Joyce’s own testy relationship with his daughter, Lucia. You can read my review of the book here.
Above: The always charming Talbots.
(Please excuse the terrible photography throughout!)
The launch was held at the excellent comic shop/gallery, Orbital, in London’s West End. It was attended by both authors, and hosted by “The Man at the Crossroads” the ever-ubiquitos Paul Gravett—who gave an informative speech— followed by Bryan’s first publisher (and owner of Britain's first head shop, Alchemy), the ever-lovely Lee Harris (who later recounted his incredible life acting with Orson Wells to me!). I hadn’t seen Lee for years, so it was wonderful catching up with him. You can watch the talks below (filmed over the shoulders of Bryan and Mary).
Rich Johnston, from Bleeding Cool was there and he filmed the same talk from the opposite angle, so if you want to watch the same thing again, with me appearing in it this time, lurking behind Mary and Bryan—click here.
Other familiar faces included Joel Meadows (Tripwire)—who’s got an exhibition of his comic book personality portraits coming up—and Vanessa and Chris (formerly of the London Cartoon Centre and Knockabout) who I hadn’t seen in about a decade!
Above: Bryan's original artwork is displayed alongside the printed version, so you can see how much work was done on computer. The exhibition runs throughout February.
The book launch also saw the private view of a month-long exhibition of Bryan’s original art from the book and the pages are well worth seeing “in the flesh”.

Then in all got a bit blurry in the pub afterwards with Steve Marchant, Paul Peart and Mark Stafford (who’s currently working on the much-anticipated second part of his and Bryan’s Cherubs series).
All in all another excellent example of how thriving the British comics industry is right now!

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