In a small fishing village a mysterious wanderer takes refuge from a storm in a local tavern. There he tells a series of tales and draws his audience into a fantastical world of mermaids, monsters and strangers from the sea.
“Tales from the Deep”, a graphic novel anthology which will be launched tomorrow, will take the reader on a journey through a richly imagined world, brought to life with drawings, paper cuts and watercolour.
It is the creation of the Drawn Chorus Collective, a group of illustrators, and hosted by the Hackney Pirates, a charity working to develop the literacy, confidence and perseverance of young people in Hackney.
The launch is in the Hackney Pirates’ Ship of Adventures, a unique bookshop, gift-shop, café and events space designed as the inside of a ship’s hull.
The Guardian cartoonist, Stephen Collins, described the graphic novel as: “A spellbinding swirl of lost loves, submerged urges and drowned memories in this brilliant new anthology from some of the most promising new comics talents around.”
The narrative is by Fred Campbell, a freelance illustrator from The Drawn Collective, and weaves together a collection of 10 sea tales, illustrated by a variety of artists.
Campbell said: “I have wanted to do a comics anthology with the collective for quite some time now and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. The space at the Hackney Pirates was so appropriate for the theme of the book… that we knew immediately that it was the perfect place to launch [it].”
“When coming up with the idea of the graphic novel, I wanted it to stand out from other anthologies I’d seen. I came up with the framing narrative of having a raconteur telling stories which would each be illustrated and added to by a different illustrator from the collective. This would also unite all the wildly different styles and make the anthology work as a whole continuous story.”
The Hackney Pirates work together with local schools, families and volunteers to deliver real-world learning projects and help young children outside of school to develop broader skills and perform better in the classroom.
Director of Learning, Camilla Cook, told Eastlondonlines: “We’re really excited to be hosting the Drawn Chorus Collective’s book launch at The Ship of Adventures. We think all different types of books are great for promoting literacy… By hosting events like Drawn Chorus Collective’s book launch we can further our educational work in Hackney.”
The launch at Hackney Pirates, Kingsland High Street, is 7:30-10:00pm, where the graphic novel will be sold for a launch night price of £12.99 (RRP £15.99).
Artwork from the books will also be displayed along with a pop-up shop offering prints, cards, zines and more.