Sunday, 23 November 2014

Through the Woods - a collection of graphic stories by Emily Carroll

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
Emily Carroll's signature.
As mentioned in my previous post Emily Carroll was in conversation with graphic novelist Isabel Greenberg (part of the Comica Festival) at the British Library.

Before I went along to the event I picked up a signed copy of Emily's book from Gosh Comics. As you can see the book was worth buying for the signature and its accompanying drawing alone.

The book is beautifully published by Faber and Faber. I hope you can see the use of texture and gloss on the dust jacket in my photo, it is even better when you can run your hand over it. The stories include the webcomic His Face All Red and it is a great adaptation but I think I prefer the online version though perhaps it is because I have not got used to the printed version yet. The rest of the stories are new to me and I think my favourite is the introduction - it brought back one of my worst childhood fears. Emily says her book is for all ages, it is perhaps a bit too scary for very young children but I think older kids and adult fans of horror in a fairy tale format will love it.

During their conversation Isabel Greenberg and Emily Carroll spoke of their love of fairy tales and the inspiration they take from them, though for both this is just a starting point - their stories take on a life of their own.  The conversation took the form of a dual presentation but the emphasis seemed more on Emily's work than Isabel's, maybe because of Isabel's tendency to skim over her own slides. Though Isabel did mention the good news that she will have a new graphic novel out soon.

Emily spoke of her experiences at college - that she had been told she could not draw and in the end quit her course. It seems that she sometimes had a difficult journey to where she is now, in the sense that she has very much made her own way. Maybe this attitude helped when working in a comics medium that is so new. I got the impression that Emily loves making webcomics and I hope she will continue to do so because there is something magical in the way she uses the format but I also hope she will make more printed books, Through the Woods is a wonderfully spooky read.

You can see Emily Carroll's webcomics, including His Face All Red, on her website.

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