Thursday, 13 November 2008

The Talbot Talk: In Which I Learn A Valuable Lesson... Again

This week, there was a talk by Bryan Talbot at the Cheshunt Library, on the subject of his "The Tale of One Bad Rat" comic. Nic and I are both big fans of Bryan's work so, along with Tet and Ferret, we headed over there in the rain to check it out. I've been to a few of his talks in the past, and each time I hear him speak I relearn an extremely valuable lesson: I know cock-all about the science and art of comics narration. Absolutely cock-all. Bryan Talbot, on the other hand, is undoubtedly The Man.

Over the two hours or so that he talked, Bryan took us through pretty much his entire career. We watched his attitude and technique evolve from raw brilliance to subtle genius, we listened to his thoughts on the distinctions and common ground between personal and commercial work and we hurtled through decades of masterful storytelling. I made eight pages of tightly packed notes, and I sat down at my computer today with the full intention of writing them up into some kind of coherent breakdown for this post. Looking at them now, though, I could write for hours and never scratch the surface of it. It was, by any standard, a fantastic talk.

Also, there were biscuits - which Tet and I dutifully attacked at every opportunity, before all four of us retired to my place to play Rock Band until 1am.

To sum up, if you're the least bit interested in comics, do yourself a favour and catch one of Bryan's talks. Also, if you get a chance, play Rock Band with Tet. It turns out he's a legitimate, card-carrying Monster of Rock.

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