Doctor Bryan Talbot (squared)
This 'just' in:
On Tuesday 17th July, Bryan Talbot was presented by an honorary Doctorate of Letters for his body of work by Northumbria University at their annual degree ceremony in Newcastle.
He already was an honorary Doctor of Arts, having received it four years ago from Sunderland University, making him the first British comic creator to be awarded a doctorate twice.
This is not just fluff, people. The university's criteria for the award of an honorary doctorate state:
The Honorary Doctorate is awarded to persons of high distinction who have earned national/international recognition and standing in their field/activities within education, business, culture, the professions, creative work or public service.
The proposal should demonstrate how the nominee would:
i. Enhance the University’s reputation and profile.
ii. Reflect the achievements and distinctions of the individual.
iii. Inspire and motivate graduands at Academic Congregation.
Ideally students would be able to identify with the nominee as part of Northumbria’s ‘Community of Scholars’ in one or more ways e.g. academic subject and study, current profession or employment, achievements and aspirations.
Corporate Communications and Development will help to facilitate opportunities for the Honorary Graduate to establish, maintain and develop a relationship with the University and the relevant academic School.
I'd say that's a feather in the cap for the medium as well as the artist!
I first became aware of Bryan Talbot's comics in undergrounds and then Near Myths where the still-outstanding Luther Arkwright began and I've followed him through most of his own comics work ever since (you can find a number of corporate scripting or pencilling jobs by him from mainstream comics publishers, but I'm afraid you'll need to look them up on Grand Comics Database as I didn't read most of them myself).
The following are books I would recommend mightily:
The Tale of One Bad Rat
The touching story of literature, fantasy and an abused child in love with the works of Beatrix Potter
Alice in Sunderland: An Entertainment
Indescribably brilliant - a rare comic that moved the goalposts for comics
Naked Artist: The Comic Book Legends
Funny and tragic true tales from the comicbook industry
Dotter of Her Father's Eyes
Biography and history
Cherubs!Grandvilleand Grandville Bete Noir
for some more genre-based goodness