The Stripped section of the Edinburgh International Book Festival has returned this year to present several unique events that look at comic books and graphic novels. In 2017 the weekly science fiction comic book 2000AD is celebrating 40 years of publishing subversive and visually exciting stories. Two former editors of 2000AD are present at the festival to talk about their latest books that look behind the scenes at creating one of the most successful comic books in the history of the medium. Steve McManus has recently released his memoir The Mighty One and will be sharing the stage with David Bishop, whose book Thrill-Power Overload has just been updated and re-released to coincide with the 40th anniversary of 2000AD. Steve MacManus was editor during the 1980’s, while David Bishop was at the helm in the 1990’s. It will be interesting to hear how the editors dealt with the trials and tribulations of producing a weekly comic book during these two different periods in the development of the comic.
On Sunday 20 August Hannah Berry will be at the Edinburgh International Book Festival with fellow creator Sarah Laing in an event subtitled Graphic Novels of Influential Women. Hannah will be discussing her new book Livestock, which is a satire on human cloning, meanwhile Sarah Laing will be presenting her memoir on the writer Katherine Mansfield. Rob Davis has appeared at the book festival before, but this year he is back to discuss his latest Graphic Novel The Can Opener’s Daughter. It is the follow up to his popular graphic novel The Motherless Oven and he will be joined onstage with Scottish writer David Baillie. His Red Thorn horror series is set in Glasgow and draws upon local mythology to give a very unique perspective of the city.
One of the standout events will be on Saturday 19 August where quantum physics will be explained in graphic novel form. Illustrator Mathieu Burniat has teamed up with physicist Thibault Damour to present Mysteries of the Quantum Universe. Science fiction lends itself well to the comic book format, so it will be interesting to see if the complexities of actual science translate well to the illustrated page.