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culture: Bryan's sense of place.

A GRAPHIC artist and comic writer who created graphic novel Alice in Sunderland is launching the latest series of talks at The Lit & Phil in Newcastle.

Bryan Talbot, who made his name drawing Judge Dredd among other characters, will give an illustrated talk on Monday about his recent work which is said to have boosted visitor interest in the city.

Bryan, who lives in Sunderland, decided to base a novel there after learning of its connections with Lewis Carroll and the real-life Alice who inspired the author's famous book Alice in Wonderland.

Already well known for creating strips for 2000AD, Batman, and Hellblaze r, as well as Judge Dredd, Bryan has also written and illustrated his own awardwinning creations, delighting comic book fans with The Adventures of Luther Arkwright.

His recent work takes the form of a 320-page dream documentary, blending storytelling, history and myth.

At The Lit & Phil in Newcastle, he will talk about the inspiration behind his book which has sparked "Alice tourism" - attracting tourists from as far afield as America to visit the Alice sites in Sunderland. His idea for the work came from research into Lewis's regular visits to Sunderland, and the suggestion that the roots of his surreal masterpiece are buried there.

Bryan will also show illustrations from his book which is made up of dozens of stories, including about the history of Sunderland and the story of Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell.

Against black and white, line, monochrome and colour, watercolour painting, collage and digital artwork, the stories are told within the structure of an imaginary performance on the stage of the Sunderland Empire - with Bryan himself included as a narrator and character.

His talk is part of the Lit & Phil's Sense of Place programme in which artists, writers and poets will explain the influence of place on them and their work. Topics to be covered will range from 'down the mines' to Paradise.

The talks are open to both members and non-members and are mostly free.

Places must be reserved either by phone on (0191) 232-0192; by email at or in person.

Alice in Sunderland - Bryan Talbot is at The Lit & Phil in Westgate Road, Newcastle, on Monday at 6pm.

The next talk in the series, 'Goethe's Harz Journeys', will be on Wednesday at 6pm, in the neighbouring Mining Institute - accessed by the Lit & Phil - where Dr Eric Wade will discuss the German poet's work as a mining geologist.

Contact the Lit & Phil for the full Sense of Place programme.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 2, 2008
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