Mary Talbot is now a freelance writer, working primarily on woman-centred innovations in the graphic novel format. She previously held academic posts for over twenty-five years, including Reader in Langage and Culture at Sunderland University. Her research and teaching interests have been, broadly, in language, gender and power, particularly in relation to media and consumer culture.
Her first graphic novel Dotter of her Father’s Eyes (with Bryan Talbot; Cape 2012) won the 2012 Costa Biography Award, making it the only British graphic novel to gain a major literary award. Her second Sally Heathcote, Suffragette (with Kate Charlesworth and Bryan Talbot; Cape 2014) brings a strong narrative approach to complex historical material. The Spanish edition has received Best International Graphic Novel Awards from Gremio de Libreros de Madrid and Splash Segunt Cómic. Her third, The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia (with Bryan Talbot) appeared in May 2016, with funding from Arts Council England. Earlier this year, they received an International Trajectory Award for the ‘creative coherence’ of their work together from Splash Segunt Cómic.
Mary is currently working on Rain with Bryan Talbot, an environmentally-themed graphic novel centring on the late 2015 flooding in the North of England. This fourth collaboration also has Arts Council England support.
She has also collaborated with Kate Charlesworth on a chapter for the dystopian SF graphic novel IDP: 2043, with Alwyn Talbot on a short strip for Cross: A Political Satire Anthology, with Kate and Bryan again for an Amnesty International anthology, Here I Stand, and with Bryan in a contribution to Traces of the Great War.
Mary is a founder patron of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival.