IDP : 2043

So, last year I was at the Edinburgh Book Festival, doing kids' workshops with The Phoenix, and I got a strange request. Would I like to be a part of a collaborative graphic novel, being commissioned by the Book Festival, to celebrate their 30 year anniversary?
Well, not likely I was going to turn it down. Especially when they explained the premise: Scotland 30 years into the future (30 years of the book festival - 30 years in the future...) after a massive global-warming-induced flood has left all the major cities underwater, and a new city of refugees (the Internally Displaced Persons of the title) has sprung up around SkyFarm, a new high-tech farming skyscraper in New Wanlockhead, the highest village in Scotland.

Complicated, high-concept and full of social injustice; just how I like 'em. My job was to take the characters of the first chapter (written by comics legend Pat Mills, although at the time I didn't know that - they were very cloak-and-dagger about who was actually involved in the early stages), tell the story of how they met and flesh out the world a bit.

Well, the result is IDP:2043, a glorious sprawling bastard mutant of a book, throwing 10 wildly different writers and artists together and kind of just seeing what comes out. Comics and crimewriting goddess Denise Mina had the unenviable role of story editor, in charge of herding this group of cats into some sort of coherent narrative.


(Photograph by Stewart Attwood)

Celebrated French graphic novelist and illustrator Barroux, Costa Award winner Mary Talbot and artist Kate Charlesworth, ‘godfather of British comics’ and creator of 2000AD Pat Mills and graphic novelist Hannah Berry, enfant terrible of Scottish letters and author of Trainspotting Irvine Welsh and graphic artist Dan McDaid, graphic novelists Adam Murphy and Will Morris. Story editor: crime writer and graphic novelist, Denise Mina.

A selection of pages, one from each of the six, wildly different chapters:

IDPBerryidp-2043-will-norris-page-5IDP_Ch2_P01 copyidp-2043-irvine-welsh-dan-mcdaid-freight-books-edinburgh-book-festival idp-2043-denise-mina-barroux-freight-books-edinburgh-book-festival Page1-Ch6

Here's a few more pics from my chapter, coloured by my wife, Lisa:

Illustration from IDP 2043


Articles and reviews:

The Edinburgh Book Festival - official press release

The Scotsman "It’s great to see the book festival try something new but IDP: 2043 isn’t the “white knuckle ride of a thriller” promised on the jacket, it’s a plodding presentation of a few interesting ideas and a lot of clichés." Brian Ferguson (Ooh, burn!)

The Herald "But what I'm hopeful for is … God, am I hopeful for anything?" Hannah Berry, in interview with Teddy Jamieson

The Guardian "It's far from tidy, and the final chapter has to make some improbable leaps to get to its conclusion, but this is a quirky and thoroughly enjoyable work." James Smart

The Independent "Special note must be made of Murphy and his larger than life chapter, focusing on Cait’s anger at a dinner party for the rich, and exposing the class tensions that have been bubbling away. It is here that our protagonist truly comes into her own, more than just paper and ink, demonstrating real emotion that pulls the reader in to her life, crackling with anger alongside the fiery redhead." Laura Sneddon.

Wow 24/7 "Those who have caused most of the issues can’t see those who suffer. “I think it’s a wonderful metaphor for what’s going on.” Me, quoted from the EBF panel discussion by Heather McDaid

Buy the book here.