With support from Arts Council England, QueenSpark Books undertook a two year project in which young people (aged between 15 – 25) created a fictional, Brighton based First World War Graphic Novel.

Following on from the immense success of Brighton: The Graphic Novel – which was long listed for the 2014 British Comic Awards, this WWI project also used the history of Brighton & Hove as a starting point.

Young participants were encouraged to use their creativity to work on this graphic novel depicting the lives of the ‘ordinary’ people of the time – focussing on local stories and images from the period between 1900-1920 to create and tell some of the lesser known histories of the city.

Material has been drawn from the archives of QueenSpark Books, Brighton & Hove Museum and The Keep, to help develop creative learning through an exploration of the City’s history.

Industry professionals Tim Pilcher and Paul Collicutt  – who led on QueenSpark’s previous Brighton – The Graphic Novel – mentored 15 new talented young writers and artists from the city to create Brighton’s Graphic War.

The result: eight illustrated fictionalised narratives that include actual events, characters, photographs and mementoes from the era. The book illustrates the huge social and military changes that took place from 1900 to 1920, and details how the first modern war of the 20th Century impacted upon the people of a then-small Sussex town.

It depicts the First World War from the perspective of young servicemen – and a young woman pretending to be a serviceman – and those on the home front in Edwardian-era Brighton & Hove; we follow daily life at the workhouse, and washday in Hove; conscripts returning home after the horrors of the front line, and rationing on the domestic front – all of which serve to build a new approach to the centenary of World War I from a local perspective.

The book will engage readers of all ages, and those who love graphic novels as well as those who’ve never read one.

This project is supported by Arts Council England. To cover the full design and print costs we set up a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Available as a hardback book direct from QueenSpark Books, and from local outlets including Dave’s Comics in Sydney Street, City Books in Western Road Hove, and in an e-book version from Amazon for Kindle and Google Play for Android readers.

Go to the Brighton’s Graphic War website for more info and useful resources

See the Kickstarter film here

and launch event videos here and here.

Funded By the Lottery and Arts Council England