One Minute With: Bryan Talbot, graphic novelist & artist


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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

 In my studio, where I can see a bloody big computer screen, as I'm in the middle of digitally colouring a book.

What are you currently reading?

King Rat by China Mieville.

Choose a favourite author and say why you admire her/him

Like colours or food, I have no absolute favourites, but I'd pick Aldous Huxley for his precise use of language, P G Wodehouse for sheer delight and Ian Rankin and Kate Atkinson for a cracking good read.

Describe the room where you usually write

My studio has a bay window, where my drawing board stands, so I can watch the birds while I draw. Behind a wooden screen are a couple of Apple Macs, A3 scanner, A3 printer and so forth and an orthopedic office chair, where I sit to write. Opposite this is a huge Victorian roll-top desk and the rest of the walls are lined with stuffed bookshelves. Clutter and bric-a-brac everywhere. Looks like the Old Curiosity Shop.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

I've always sympathised very strongly with Robert Graves' Claudius, even though I don't have a stammer or a limp! It's possibly because of the way that I, shy and without any fighting skills, had to bend with the wind in order to survive grammar school – as he had to do to survive his murderous family.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Tony Benn, who I was fortunate to meet a few years ago, in then-MP Chris Mullin's front garden, seven doors down the terrace.

'Sally Heathcote: Suffragette' by Bryan and Mary Talbot and Kate Charlesworth is published by Jonathan Cape