Tom Gauld’s illustrations have brought joy and amusement to many people over the years. Having regularly published work in the Guardian and released several books, he is now celebrating the release of his latest graphic novel Mooncop. Tom Gauld studied at Edinburgh College of Art and is returning to the city once again to discuss his work. This special event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival is chaired by journalist Joe Gordon and looks to get further into the creative process of this talented illustrator and storyteller.

Readers familiar with Tom Gauld’s work will be aware of his unique sense of humour. A quick look at the synopsis of Mooncop will raise smiles and delight the many fans of this gifted comic book creator. The book follows Gauld’s loose illustrated style, the characters are imaginative and the world they inhabit is strange and exciting. The story involves a bizarre series of events on a lunar colony that is part droll comedy and part strange science fiction fantasy.

Tom Gauld begins the event by showing examples of his previous work and various art, objects, architecture and films that have influenced him. He talks about the influence of 70’s and 80’s science fiction and how the promise of the future looked very different to previous generations. This leads the way to an insightful discussion with the host, where we learn that the illustrator likes to create his own personal look to the world in which his stories take place. We also learn how Gauld likes to keep his art somewhat abstract whilst telling a story and that his publisher is very accommodating in this.

This year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival has no dedicated Graphic Novel strand. However, there are still many exciting events for comic book and illustration fans. Upcoming events featuring Bryan and Mary Talbot and a look at graphic biographies underlines how important comics and graphic storytelling is in the world of literature. Mooncop by Tim Gauld is a fine example of what can be achieved in the medium and should be on the bookshelf of anyone who enjoys excellent and imaginative stories.