Bryan Talbot  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Bryan Talbot (born 24 February 1952) is a British comic book artist and writer, best known as the creator of The Adventures of Luther Arkwright and its sequel Heart of Empire.


Early life

Bryan Talbot was born in Wigan, Lancashire, on 24 February 1952. He attended Wigan Grammar School, the Wigan School of Art, and Harris College in Preston, Lancashire, from which he graduated with a degree in Graphic Design.


Talbot began his comics work in the underground comix scene of the late 1960s. In 1969 his first work appeared as illustrations in Mallorn, the British Tolkien Society magazine, followed in 1972 by a weekly strip in his college newspaper.

He continued in the scene after leaving college, producing Brainstorm Comix, the first three of which formed The Chester P. Hackenbush Trilogy (a character reworked by Alan Moore as Chester Williams for Swamp Thing).

He started The Adventures of Luther Arkwright in 1978. It was originally published in Near Myths and continued on over the years in other publications. It was eventually collected together into one volume by Dark Horse. Along with When the Wind Blows it is one of the first British graphic novels.

In the early to mid-eighties he provide art for some of 2000 AD's flagship serials, producing 3 series of Nemesis the Warlock, as well as occasional strips for Judge Dredd.

The Tale of One Bad Rat deals with recovery from childhood sexual abuse.

Talbot moved to the American market in the 1990s, principally for DC, on titles like Hellblazer, Sandman and Batman. He also produced the art for The Nazz by Tom Veitch and worked with Tom's brother Rick Veitch on Teknophage, one of a number of mini-series he drew for Tekno Comix.

Talbot has illustrated cards for the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game.

He has also illustrated Bill Willingham's Fables, as well as returning to the Luther Arkwright universe with Heart of Empire. He has also worked on The Dead Boy Detectives.

In 2006, he announced the graphic novel Metronome, an existential, textless erotically-charged visual poem, written under the pseudonym Véronique Tanaka. He admitted that he was the author in 2009.

In 2007 he released Alice in Sunderland, which documents the connections between Lewis Carroll, Alice Liddell, and the Sunderland and Wearside area. He also wrote and drew the layouts for Cherubs!, which he describes as "an irreverent fast-paced supernatural comedy-adventure."

His upcoming work includes a sequel to 2009's Grandville, which Talbot says is "a detective steampunk thriller" and Paul Gravett calls it "an inspired reimagining of some of the first French anthropomorphic caricatures".


  • The Adventures of Luther Arkwright (various publishers: 1978-1989, ISBN 1-56971-255-7)
  • Brainstorm: The Complete Chester P.Hackenbush and Other Underground Classics (Alchemy Publications, 1982, ISBN 0-9508487-0-0 reprinted 1999, ISBN 0-9508487-1-9)
  • Tharg's Future Shocks: "The Wages of Sin" (with Alan Moore, in 2000 AD #257, 1982)
  • Ro-Busters: "Old Red Eyes is Back" (with Alan Moore, in 2000AD Annual 1983, 1982)
  • Nemesis the Warlock (with Pat Mills):
    • "The Gothic Empire (Book IV)" (in 2000 AD #390-406, 1984–1985)
    • "Vengeance of Thoth (Book V)" (in 2000 AD #435-445, 1985)
    • "Torquemurder (Book VI) Part 1" (in 2000 AD #482-487, 1986)
    • "Torquemurder (Book VI) Part 2" (in 2000 AD #500-504, 1986–1987)
  • Sláine: "The Time Killer" (with Pat Mills, in 2000 AD #431, 1985)
  • Judge Dredd:
    • "House of Death" (with John Wagner/Alan Grant, in Dice Man #1, 1986)
    • "Last Voyage of the Flying Dutchman" (with John Wagner/[Alan Grant, in 2000 AD #459, 1986)
    • "Judge Dredd and the Seven Dwarves" (with John Wagner/Alan Grant, in Judge Dredd Annual 1987, 1986)
    • "Ladies' Night" (with John Wagner/Alan Grant, in 2000AD Annual 1987, 1986)
    • "Caterpillars" (script by Michael Carroll, coloured by Alwyn Talbot, in 2000 AD #1730, April 2011)
  • One-Off:
    • "Alien Enemy" (with script and pencils Mike Matthews, in 2000AD Sci-Fi Special 1987)
    • "Memento" (in 2000 AD prog 2002, 2001)

Awards and recognition

Talbot was given an Honorary Doctorate of Arts by University of Sunderland in July 2009, the first time this has been done for a comic book artist.

On 17 July 2012 Talbot was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters by Northumbria University in recognition of his lifetime's work in the graphic novel field.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Bryan Talbot" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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