Fionnuala Doran and Marcel Ruijters are two comic book creators who have recently released two very different biographies. Doran with her book The Trial of Roger Casement looks at a man who was once knighted for his humanitarian work, but ended up being executed for treason. Meanwhile Ruijters has created an imagined biography of the artist and painter Hieronymus Bosch. There are very few facts about Bosch, therefore his biography can be best described as a work of imagined fiction, where he has invented characters and situations to tell the story. Both the books are graphic novels and both are very different in style and visuals.

Writer and children’s author Philip Ardagh chairs the event which begins with a presentation by Fionnuala Doran. She speaks eloquently about the exciting and eventful life of Roger Casement and it is not surprising that she had the desire to bring his story to life as graphic biography. We learn about the birth of the idea and how the artist develop the project through it’s many phases. Marcel Ruijters is a Dutch artist who was commissioned to complete his comic book to celebrate 500 years since the death of Hieronymus Bosch in 1516. Ruijters talk focuses more on the creative process and his influences and methods in producing his book. The artist reveals that he illustrates in ink and brushes, but colours his work digitally. The result is a vibrant and colourful look that perfectly captures the world of Hieronymus Bosch

With the Edinburgh International Book Festival about to close doors to Charlotte Square Gardens for another year, it is very exciting to be introduced to two very different graphic novelist’s, with very different approaches to the form. Despite the books having just been released hopefully both authors are already working on something new and hopefully they will return to Edinburgh again to discuss their work.