It has been several years since the comic book duo known as Metaphrog published their last graphic novel. On that particular release Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers were under more familiar territory. The book was called Night Salad and featuried their regular loveable character Louis. 2016 marks the publication of their latest graphic novel The Red Shoes and Other Stories an adaptation of the popular Hans Christian Andersen tale.
The final Saturday of the Aye Write! Festival at the Mitchell Library presents many different events and performances from a variety of writers, musicians and poets. There is however a standout strand taking over the festival this year entitled Aye Con. This section of the programme looks at comic books, graphic novels, video games and geek culture in general. Metaphrog however are not geeks in the slightest. In fact they are very cool.
The books that Metaphrog create are adventurous, exciting, imaginative and they cover a wide variety of important themes and issues. The midday event at Aye Write! follows a similar adventurous formula as the audience witness an informative and visually stunning illustrated talk by the authors. Influences from as far ranging as The Ramones, Persian art and off course underground comic book creators are discussed. Robert Crumb, Chris Ware and the Hernandez Brothers are presented as artistic influences that inform John and Sandra’s work. The pair take the audience on a journey through their career to date, discussing their early comic book Strange Weather Lately right up to their latest release of The Red Shoes. Metaphrog create graphic novels with powerful messages and exciting visuals and the event was a unique opportunity to get behind the creative process from two of the most original voices in comics. From the talk this afternoon it looks like John and Sandra are going to continue this successful formula in the future and hopefully they will return to Glasgow to share the results.