One Wednesday 30th July To End All Wars got its first official launch courtesy of the Five Leaves Bookshop and the Nottingham Writers’ studio.
Before the launch the contributors in attendance went on a fun little photo shoot with photographer John Birdsall.
The sensible group shot: Ian Douglas, Pippa Hennessy, Jenny Linn-Cole, John ‘Brick’ Stuart Clark, Kate Houghton, Selina Lock. Photo © John Birdsall Photography
The 70s music album shot: Kate Houghton, Jenny Linn-Cole, Pippa Hennessy, Selina Lock, Ian Douglas, John ‘Brick’ Stuart Clark. Photo © John Birdsall Photography
Then we all headed into the spacious basement of the Nottingham Writers’ Studio where people were starting to congregate for refreshments and to browse the Five Leaves bookstall. I got my first glimpse of the physical copies of To End All Wars, which look great. High quality, chunky hardback with black-edged paper. Soaring Penguin have done us proud.
Once the 72 attendees were seated we launched into the official talk part of the evening.
Ross from Five Leaves started off the proceedings with a quick introduction and the unusual request to stay put if the fire alarm went off! (There were problems with it and someone would inform us toot sweet if there really was a fire…).
Then John gave a little background to the project. How it was devised by Jonathan Clode, who asked John to contribute and then talked him into co-editing. They put in a tremendous amount of work into editing and producing the book, including guiding the work of 53 creators from many countries.
Pippa Hennessy talking about her story ‘Truth Be Told’, which looks at censorship in WW1. She decided to make her central character a reporter who travels to the front without permission, as many reporters did, and risked being shot as a deserter or spy.
I talked about my strip ‘Go Home And Sit Still’, which is based on the work of the Scottish Women’s Hospitals. Here I’m talking about founder of the SWH Dr Elsie Inglis.
Here I’m talking about trying to decide which moments from the experiences of the SWH Russian Unit I should include in the story. In the background you can see some of the fantastic artwork from the strip by Arthur Goodman. I apparently can’t present without waving my hands around!
Ian Douglas talked about the U-Boat Captains that inspired his story ‘Dead In The Water’ about Kapitänleutnant Otto Weddigen.
John finished off by talking about the strips he wrote/illustrated and the artwork provided by Jenny Linn-Cole and Kate Houghton (who were too shy to get up on stage).
Sales of the book were brisk and some of the attendees asked us to scribble on their copies. Our talks and the book seemed to go down very well and I enjoyed chatting to various people at the launch. My skirt also got lots of compliments and an introduction of it’s own from Brick!
Thanks to John, Ross, Pippa and Pippa’s son (for tech support) for organising the launch, and to all those that attended, for a lovely evening.
You can treat yourself to a copy of To End All Wars via Soaring Penguin Press, your local book/comic shop or Amazon. Especially as £2 from every copy sold goes to Médecins Sans Frontières.
You can also buy a copy directly from Soaring Penguin Press this Saturday 2nd August at the Birmingham International Comics Expo (ICE).
Jay and I will be popping into ICE for a few hours. We will also be at the London To End All Wars launch at Gosh! on the 20th August and at The Lakes International Comics Festival on 17th-19th October.
I will be joining Jonathan Clode and Brick on the To End All Wars – Art of Editing panel at The Lakes.
I’m very excited and proud to be part of To End All Wars, which would not have been possible without Arthur Goodman, who stepped into the artist breach at the last-minute. Thank you Arthur.