One of the great joys of writing for Chandler’s Ford Today (and in reading it too) continues to be the wide variety of topics it covers. It’s only due to CFT that I found out about the Road to Agincourt Project and, due to my love of history, started writing about it.
I’ve particularly liked The Story Shuffle Project and the Sir Bevis of Hampton posts as the first is a phenomenally good idea to get kids involved in creative writing and a local legend. The second post was, of course, all about that local legend.
I also love books and stories generally for their huge range, (so it is always a huge pleasure to write about those). I remain convinced there really is something out there to suit everyone, even the most reluctant reader, and the latest Blood and Valour news may well appeal to the latter. I hope so.
And to have a world class illustator design artwork for this project is something to be very proud of – Guy Stauber, some of whose work appears below, has worked for Marvel, Disney and DC Comics. Now that is an impressive CV…
Many thanks to Eastleigh Borough Council for sharing the news about the project and for supplying the artwork.
Blood and Valour celebrates a form of writing that some, even now, will not see as literature – the comic book/graphic novel. Now I have no time for literary snobbery. I see the comic book/graphic novel as a wonderful way into literature for those who might be put off by too much prose to begin with and a fantastic method of celebrating artwork and the written word.
I haven’t read many comic books/graphic novels though I know people who are huge fans of the genre. But what I have seen in terms of artwork has been stunning. And the depth of stories is deeper than might at first be apparent. There is a lot of truth in the saying a picture says a thousand words after all…
A comic book/graphic novel could be a good way of encouraging people into a topic so they read more about it. Combine that with stories of a local legend, in this case, Sir Bevis of Hampton, and you have a fully illustrated adventure tale that should have wide appeal.
The artwork in tonight’s post, created by highly regarded Guy Stauber, is magnificent. And given his track record, for local project Blood and Valour to have him on board is something very special. I can’t think of any “coup” quite like it.
Blood and Valour, a new all graphic novel based on Sir Bevis of Hampton’s adventures, is due to be released in the spring and is written by The Berry Theatre’s associate writer, Matt Beames.
It will be illustrated by Eastleigh’s Tec Hub member, Marcus Pullen, and Guy Stauber will be creating the cover arts, as well as certain feature pages within the comic.
Sir Bevis’s tales of derring do are said to have inspired the young King Henry V and the comic will be retelling stories of love, loss, adventure and destiny. These are timeless topics with wide appeal. (Look at the Bond films and books for proof of that. The difference here is Sir Bevis was several centuries ahead of 007 and he’s a local man!).
Speaking about the Blood and Valour project, Guy said: “It’s such an insane story! You don’t hear very many stories like this coming from Southampton, and you certainly don’t see them told in a comic book form. The fact that it’s being told by a local writer and illustrator makes it really important, and that’s nice because it becomes a little ‘story behind the story’.”
Guy has recently worked on the designs for a new capsule apparel range for Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy and character illustrations for the upcoming Marvel Studio’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron but working on Blood and Valour has been a new experience for him.
“When I read the script and found out more behind the inspiration, I realised what a rich story it is and how fantastical it is. It’s not just historical: there are myths, legends and mythical creatures! It’s fantastic to work on something really quite out there in terms of content.”
You have to admit this is an amazing brief for an author/artist. The scope for creativity here is literally out of this world. The only limit here is the imagination. I would have thought this aspect of things would be so much fun to be involved in.
The first volume of the comic is expected to have an initial run of four 26-page issues, with the creators hoping that it will become an on-going series.
You can view Guy’s work on his website, Shogun Graphic Systems, or follow him on Instagram @guystauber.
I do hope the comic book is successful. And if it draws people into reading (I make no apology for the pun!), so much the better.
Read blog posts by Allison Symes published on Chandler’s Ford Today.