Best of the Year – Doug Wallace’s picks
Today’s guest for our annual Best of the Year slots is Doug Wallace, publisher at UK press SelfMadeHero who publish the Manga Shakespeare range and a number of excellent literary graphic novels adaptations we’ve been loving, as well as the recent Johnny Cash graphic biography by Reinhard Kleist. Let’s see what Doug’s been enjoying in 2009:
FPI: Can you pick three comics/webcomics/graphic novels which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?
Doug: Asterios Polyp byDavid Mazzucchelli (Pantheon), Mademoiselle Else by Manuele Fior (Delcourt), Dans Mes Yeux by Bastien Vivès (Casterman).
(Mademoiselle Else by and (c) Manuele Fior, published Delcourt and Dans Mes Yeux by and (c) Bastien Vivès, published Casterman)
FPI: Can you pick three TV shows and/or movies which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?
Doug: Mad Men – Season Two, The Thick Of It – Series 3, Saving Africa’s Witch Children (Channel 4)
FPI: Can you pick three books which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?
Doug: Apples by Richard Milward (Faber), The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano (Picador) and Nudge by Sunstein & Thaler (Yale University Press)
FPI: How did 2009 go for you as a creator? Are you happy with the way you got your work out this year and any thoughts on the comics industry in 2009?
Doug: Really well, thanks for asking. We published five lovely new manga titles, began two new graphic novel series (graphic biography and classic crime) and bought some lovely UK and European titles for 2011.
Thoughts on the comics world. Hmm… that’s a big question! All I would like to say is that the UK graphic novel and comics scene is in a period of renaissance. If the UK, creators, small press, publishers, booksellers and readers can work together to build on that then we’ll have a scene that rivals France or America, if not in quantity, then most certainly in quality. That would be good news for everyone. My greatest hope for 2010 is that the ladies and gentlemen of the Press will learn that SelfMadeHero is just one word and not three (I didn’t know that! Joe). Without our dreams, we’d have nothing.
FPI: What can we look forward to from you in 2010?
Doug: Lots! We’re building on the success of our Johnny Cash graphic biography and have commissioned a graphic biography of Hunter S Thompson. Hunter has a UK artist/writer team and it is an astounding piece of work. We’ll have A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens), Heart of Darkness (Conrad) and Tristram Shandy (Sterne) in the Eye Classics series – three wonderful graphic novels, two of which have been originated by SelfMadeHero.
We’ll also have Wolf Man, which is the first in our Graphic Freud series. We’re working with the Freud Estate, Freud Museum and The Royal College of Art on this long term project. I’m afraid, you’ll have to wait a little longer to hear what we’ve bought from Europe, but all I will say is that we’ll be publishing some truly excellent original graphic novels in a special series.
FPI: And one final, special question – since its not only the end of the year approaching but also the end of the decade, is there any comics work you’d especially pick out as one of the best you’ve read this decade?
Doug: Buddha by Osamu Tezuka.