Historic graphic novel to draw out a new audience

An image from Fallen
An image from Fallen
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A PROJECT to preserve the memories and history of the people of Edinburgh for future generations has taken a novel approach to bringing their work to a whole new audience.

Graphic novel Fallen, produced by the Living Memory Association, tells of a sailor’s return to 1920s Leith after years away at sea and his attempt to locate his wife and daughter. His quest takes him across the area, taking in landmarks along the way. But all is not as it seems . . .



Though the story itself is fiction, it is directly based on the experiences of people who lived in Leith and Newhaven between the wars.

Living Memory Association’s Miles Tubb, 50, who wrote the story, told the Evening News: “We’ve produced other publications in the past but we wanted to do something a bit different this time that would vividly bring the past to life, and perhaps speak to a different audience.

“One of our volunteers, Ian Emerson, is a fantastic artist and has a keen interest in comic books so we thought this would be a great thing to try out.”

Artist Ian, 59, said: “I’ve done illustrations for children’s books before, but those were more personal projects. I’ve always been interested in comic books and I’m a particular fan of a lot of artists who were round in the mid 1970s, particularly a guy called Frank Bellamy, who worked on comics for shows like ThunderCats and Doctor Who.

“I’m already working on another longer story Miles has written, which should be 66 pages once it’s finished. I’m only on about page 25, so it’ll probably be about another three months before it’s done.”

Miles continued: “This particular story is based on an anecdote told to us by Rose Minto, who has been the source of a lot of fantastic material we have archived. She has a very evocative way of describing the past.”

Rose, 92, told the Evening News she was “shocked” when she saw the final product, saying: “I couldn’t believe that this had come about partly because of stories I had told.

“I am a Leither born and bred, and I’ve always been very proud of the area, though I feel it’s changed now. There’s not the same sense of community, it’s not as friendly as it used to be.”

Rose revealed that the Living Memory Association was not the first to pick up on her talent. She said her old headmaster had said she “had a unique brain”.

Jim Tweedie, chairman of the Leith History Society, said he thought the book was “an excellent idea”, adding: “This idea can bring a wee bit of local history into the present and I wish them the best of luck with it.”

For more information about the graphic novel and the Living Memory Association visit www.livingmemory.org.uk.