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Read, Watch and Listen


D. H. Lawrence, adapted by Hunt Emerson, Lady Chatterley’s Lover (London: Knockabout Publications, 1986). It’s not surprising that Hunt Emerson chose to adapt D. H. Lawrence’s controversial novel: frank depictions of sex were ubiquitous in the underground comix of the 1970s, the milieu in which Emerson came to prominence. But this comic’s visualisation of the 1920s inhales deeply the class politics of a later period in history: Lord Chatterley, after all, is a mine owner, and this adaptation brings to Lawrence’s text a political sensibility forged in the miners’ strikes of 1984-85. Showing his own allegiances, Emerson inserted anachronistic details into the text, such as 1980s badges supporting the National Union of Mineworkers pinned to a tree in the woods. The Cartoon Strip Lady Chatterley’s Lover © 1986 Knockabout Publications


Gary Spencer Millidge, Strangehaven (Leigh-on-Sea: Abiogenesis Press, 1995-2005). In the 1990s Britain was home to an eclectic self-publishing scene: writers and artists were often their own editors and the comics they made were highly idiosyncratic and innovative. While they tended to have black-and-white interiors the covers were colourful and vibrant, as the first issue of Gary Spencer Millidge’s Strangehaven demonstrates. Millidge initially published this graphic novel in periodical form, and when each chapter finished serialisation, it was reprinted as a book. Like many self-published series Strangehaven did not last long enough for the story to reach its endpoint but it recently resumed serialisation in the anthology Meanwhile… (London: Soaring Penguin Press, 2014-present) and the entire narrative is due for imminent completion. Strangehaven © 1995 Gary Spencer Millidge


Mary M. Talbot, Kate Charlesworth, and Bryan Talbot, Sally Heathcote, Suffragette (Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse Books, 2014). While the eponymous character in this graphic novel is fictional, the events and people around her have been reconstructed from the historical record of the suffrage movement. Dialogue and headlines have been faithfully recreated to show the sacrifice and struggle that accompanied the battle to win the vote for women. Sally Heathcote, Suffragette (c) 2014 Mary Talbot, Kate Charlesworth, and Bryan Talbot

Clouds Above

Katie Green, Lighter Than My Shadow (London: Jonathan Cape, 2013). In Lighter Than My Shadow Katie Green narrates surviving an eating disorder and the sexual abuse she suffered when visiting a therapist. She uses a cloud of whirling black lines to symbolise her experience of anxiety and trauma, and while Green’s story is one of hope and endurance, the cloud never disappears. Here, at the end of the book, Green implies that the attention to detail in her drawings is a manifestation of the same cloud that has been hovering throughout her life. Lighter Than My Shadow © 2013 Katie Green


Asia Alfasi, Ewa (unpublished). Ewa, a graphic novel-in-progress by the creator Asia Alfasi, is the semi-autobiographical story of a Libyan family who go to live to Scotland. It evidences the influence of Japanese comics, commonly referred to as ‘manga,’ on the current generation of British graphic novelists. Contemporary graphic novel publication is indebted to manga, the popularity of which at the start of the 2000s led to expanded shelf space and dedicated comics sections in libraries and bookshops. Ewa © 2016 Asia Alfasi Art


Kieron Gillen (writer), Jamie McKelvie (artist), and Matthew Wilson (colourist), The Wicked + The Divine (Berkeley, CA: Image Comics, 2014-present). Gillen and McKelvie’s story of a pantheon of gods returning to life every ninety years is a meditation on contemporary celebrity culture, social media, and fan worship. The creators know about these things first hand, enjoying successful careers in the US comics industry and working on series such as Young Avengers and Uncanny X-Men. The Wicked + The Divine is published by another American company, Image Comics, but it’s a project straddling many national borders (the art in issue 15 was drawn by French creator Stephanie Hans) and the action unfolds in very specific geographical locations in the UK. The Wicked + The Divine © 2014 Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie.


Various writers and Chris Welch (artist), Introduction to Chile (London: Bolivar Publications, 1976). The Mexican cartoonist Rius pioneered a method of making comics in the 1960s and 1970s that utilised found images, photographs, collage, and swift sketches. He used this style to create long comics essays promoting left-wing ideas. Rius inspired many creators in the 1970s and his Marx for Beginners (1976) is widely read today. UK underground artist Chris Welch illustrated this 1976 history of Chile which ended with a call for British workers to show their solidarity with Chilean people and oppose the military junta who deposed and killed the democratically elected socialist President Allende. Introduction to Chile © 1976 Chris Welch and Bolivar Publications

The Private Life of Buildings

Warren Pleece and Gary Pleece, Montague Terrace (London: Jonathan Cape, 2013). The Pleece brothers’ series of interlocking tales centres on the many different characters living in one building. The graphic novel takes readers into the inner space of the characters’ minds and deep underneath Montague Terrace. As it does so, we’re left questioning where public life ends and private life begins… Montague Terrace © Warren Pleece and Gary Pleece 2013.


Michael Moorcock, adapted by James Cawthorn, The Jewel in the Skull (Manchester: Savoy Books, 1979). Artist James Cawthorn and writer Michael Moorcock had been friends since 1956, collaborating on various fanzines, stories, and non-fiction books. They conceived of the post-apocalyptic adventures of Dorian Hawkmoon and his battle against the Dark Empire together, Moorcock publishing his prose novel The Jewel in the Skull in 1967 with Cawthorn’s graphic novel version coming out in 1979. It was meant to be available the year before, but a misprinted edition that rolled off the presses in 1978 had to be pulped. Only a few copies of that misprinting survive today. The Jewel in the Skull © Michael Moorcock 1967. This adaptation © James Cawthorn 1979.

Serialisation and Self-Reflexivity

Nicola Streeten, Billy, Me & You (Brighton: Myriad Editions, 2011). Thirteen years after the death of her son the comics creator Nicola Streeten recounted her experience of loss and grief in Billy, Me & You. At the end of the narrative she reflects on how she came to write and draw the very graphic novel that readers are holding in their hands. As is often the case with graphic novels, Billy, Me & You did not first appear as an entire book: individual chapters were published separately in periodical form. Billy, Me & You © Nicola Streeten 2011


Posy Simmonds, True Love (London: Jonathan Cape, 1981). Already enjoying a successful career as a newspaper strip cartoonist, Posy Simmonds took on a new endeavour in True Love, a comics narrative published in its entirety as a one-off book. It took existing characters from Simmonds’s Guardian strip and wove them into a story of love and relationships. True Love illustrates how our ideas about romance are tangled up with their depiction in popular culture, and we regularly see the world via the reveries of the comics-reading character Janice Brady. True Love © 1981 Posy Simmonds


Unknown writer and Marie Duval (artist), Ally Sloper: A Moral Lesson (1873). Ally Sloper was a highly popular character during the Victorian period, so popular that his appearances in the periodical Judy were collected together and republished in book form, starting with A Moral Lesson in 1873. Sloper was invented by Charles Ross; his wife Marie Duval drew most of the comics in this book. Despite – or because – he was constantly drunk, Sloper the conman was beloved by nineteenth-century readers and the character was used to sell a staggering range of commodities, from toys to cigars to relish to ties.

Sherlock Holmes Postcards

These postcards were produced in October 1903 by The Strand Magazine as part of the release of The Return of Sherlock Holmes. They feature Sidney Paget illustrations for the Sherlock Holmes stories ‘The Final Problem’, The Hound of the Baskervilles, ‘The Adventure of the Empty House’ and ‘The Adventure of the Norwood Builder’.

Baker Street Post-box Insert

This insert from Baker Street's postbox gives the time of the postal collections. Souvenirs like this one are popular amongst fans and collectors for their link to Baker Street, where Sherlock Holmes lived.

Sherlock Holmes Statue Book

The Sherlock Holmes statue outside Baker Street Station in London was erected thanks to the efforts of The Sherlock Holmes Society of London. They set up an independent project to fund and build the statue in 1999. The statue was designed and made by John Doubleday, a leading British sculptor.

Baker Street Studies

This first edition of Baker Street Studies was published in 1934. It contains essays written by members of the early Sherlock Holmes Society and edited by H W Bell. This copy is inscribed to the president of the society, Dick Sheppard, and signed by the secretary A G Macdonnel.

Bust of Jeremy Brett

This fibreglass sculpture is painted to resemble bronze. The sculpture is most likely of Brett, but the resemblance to Benedict Cumberbatch is uncanny. The artist is unknown.

Sherlock Holmes in Advertising

The image of Sherlock Holmes is recognised worldwide. Since the 1900s advertisers have used Sherlock Holmes to sell products ranging from Velox car tyres to Burberry clothing.

Bust of Napoleon

This white marble bust of Napoleon was used in Richard Lancelyn Green's re-creation of 221B Baker Street. It is a reference to ‘The Adventure of the Six Napoleons’ where Sherlock Holmes pursues a criminal intent on stealing and smashing open busts of Napoleon Bonaparte, the French military leader.

Souvenir of the Reichenbach Falls

This wooden box is from the Reichenbach Falls in Meiringen, Switzerland where Holmes fought Moriarty in ‘The Final Problem’ and was thought to have died. The box contains two phials: one filled with water and one with earth collected from the Reichenbach Falls.

Persian Slipper

Persian slippers are often collected by Holmes fans, especially when they re-create Holmes’ rooms for their own 221B Baker Street. This is because in The Musgrave Ritual Watson says Holmes ‘keeps his cigars in the coal-scuttle, [and] his tobacco in the toe end of a Persian slipper’.

'The Blue Carbuncle' Fan Art

The stories of Sherlock Holmes continue to inspire creative artworks. This is a fan illustration of 'The Blue Carbuncle' by Kayla Kinoo (2015).

Exeter Cathedral

Digital Photograph 2015

©Rose Ferraby

Huge clustered pillars of Blue Purbeck Marble support the famous Gothic vaulting of Exeter Cathedral. A stratigraphy of other Purbeck stones can be found reconstructed throughout the floor: Grub, Blue Bit, New Vein, Leining Vein. Names echo a quarrying history, and a unique knowledge of stone.


Nigeria - Ogaba region

Biafra conflict. Ogaba region. Fleeing fights, refugees flood the road from Aba to Umahia.


Manual marking the UK launch of 'Conovid'

A reworked booklet, focusing on patient FAQs, was circulated in October 1961, anticipating the Family Planning Association’s provision of ‘Conovid’ at select branches, and limited availability (subject to a fee) through the National Health Service. January 1961. Drug Reference Manual No. 85. Searle / 'Conovid'. By kind permission of Pfizer. Courtesy of Julia Larden, and the Wellcome Library, London. Photography by J Borge 2014 CC BY 4.0

Superimposition of the newly emblematic round over a couple walking in the snow invokes the nascent role of pharmaceuticals as protectors of marital cooperation

Searle, facing imminent competition in the UK market, sought corporate synonymy with ‘the Pill’. “Conovid oral contraceptive. The responsible answer to a universal problem". Journal ad. [detail], Practitioner, January 1962. Searle / 'Conovid'. By kind permission of Pfizer. Courtesy of Julia Larden, and the Wellcome Library, London. Photography by J Borge 2014 CC BY 4.0

Available through select Family Planning Association clinics from summer 1962, 'Anovlar' was heralded as the latest 'no-baby pill' in the press

Company literature, however, proclaimed a pro-baby function, by presenting ‘Anovlar’ as calendrical management tool for precision reproductive forecasting. 1963. Patient’s FAQ booklet. Pharmethicals [Schering] / 'Anovlar'. By kind permission of the Schering Archives, Bayer AG. Courtesy of Julia Larden, and the Wellcome Library, London. Photography by J Borge 2014 CC BY 4.0

Metronomic and horological imagery was common in early Pill advertising

Here, a pendulum infers the rational march of Searle’s research, underpinning new ‘Ovulen’ as ‘the logical outcome of 11 years leadership in oral contraception’. However, mechanical analogies for contraceptive progress in what Marshall McLuhan called the ‘electric age’ were fast becoming outmoded. 1964. Physician's circular / Searle, 'Ovulen'. By kind permission of Pfizer. Courtesy of Julia Larden, and the Wellcome Library, London. Photography by J Borge 2014 CC BY 4.0

Journal insert from 'Practitioner'

This creative reminder-style advert imitates a skeletal molecular diagram in combination with the female gender symbol as visual shorthand for Searle’s alternative oral progestin, ethynodiol diacetate [‘Ovulen’]. The goal was an oral contraceptive universally “accepted by women of many different socio-economic and ethnic types”. June 1965. Die-cut bookmark [reverse] / Searle, 'Ovulen'. By kind permission of Pfizer. Courtesy of Julia Larden, and the Wellcome Library, London. Photography by J Borge 2014 CC BY 4.0

Alliance through contraception

“If the husband prefers to take charge and be responsible for birth control, he will want to use withdrawal or a sheath. If the wife takes the responsibility she has a wide choice. In either case the needs and views of the other partner will have to be considered”. 1966. Physician's circulars / Syntex, 'Norinyl-1'. By kind permission of Roche. Courtesy of Julia Larden, and the Wellcome Library, London. Photography by J Borge 2014 CC BY 4.0

A Somerset folksong, 'Dashing Away with the Smoothing Iron' [c.1900] provides the hebdomadal basis for this mailing campaign.

With express reference to 21-day regimens, it is suggested that the domestic schedule of the sixties housewife might be matched to routine self-administration of oral contraceptives. 1966. Physician's circular, No.4 in a series of 7 / Parke Davis, 'Norlestrin-21'. By kind permission of Pfizer. Courtesy of Julia Larden, and the Wellcome Library, London. Photography by J Borge 2014 CC BY 4.0

"Life is not restricted, but enriched".

This campaign utilises a contemporaneous resurgence in child psychology, marking the young, healthy multipara as facilitator of family well being; once enabled as a strategic contraceptor, pregnancies are viable and desired, and emotional privation is negated all round. 1966. Physician's circular, No.3 in a series of 4 / Syntex, 'Norinyl-1'. By kind permission of Roche. Courtesy of Julia Larden, and the Wellcome Library, London. Photography by J Borge 2014 CC BY 4.0

Phase one of this campaign suggested that a housewife's hebdomadal domestic schedule could anchor the routine self-administration of oral contraceptives.

In these alternate instalments, figure and ground are reversed; "Thursday's girl has a full calendar, but she has less need for a calendar since taking her Norlestrin 21-tablet course”. c.1967. Physician's circulars / Parke Davis, 'Norlestrin-21'. By kind permission of Pfizer. Courtesy of Julia Larden, and the Wellcome Library, London. Photography by J Borge 2014 CC BY 4.0

Traditionally a manufacturer of spermicidal pessaries, Rendell proffered 'Norolen' (an 'Oral') via pseudo-pedagogic means: the discrete, quick-reference doctor's booklet, explaining different denominations of oral contraceptive.

"Properly kept, this hand-book should be of great assistance in enabling you to prescribe for your patients with minimal consultation". 1967. ‘Oral Control of Conception’ medical handbook / WJ Rendell, 'Norolen'. By kind permission of WJ Rendell Limited. Courtesy of Julia Larden, and the Wellcome Library, London. Photography by J Borge 2014 CC BY 4.0

The patient's first month: brochure, instructions, with glossy gatefold sleeve [pills not shown].

The patient’s first month: brochure, instructions, with glossy gatefold sleeve [pills not shown]. As advertised in journals, "This starter kit is a stopper. It stops ovulation. And it stops that wasteful drain on the doctor's time-over frequent calls for reassurance about disturbing side effects". 1967. Select collateral from 'Starter Kit' / Eli Lilly & Company, 'Sequens'. With the kind cooperation of Eli Lilly. Courtesy of Julia Larden, and the Wellcome Library, London. Photography by J Borge 2014 CC BY 4.0

Changing the Story

A University of Leeds-led project to help young people whose lives have been affected by conflict will showcase how the arts and humanities can help those in need.