ImproperBooks_RGBOver the years we’ve been blessed and honoured to have such an array of amazing talent and these fine folk are no exception. They’ve attended the last couple of NCCs in one form or another (Christian Wildgoose, Sara Dunkerton, Matt Gibbs) and we’re proud to have them this year as the collective, otherwise known as Improper Books!

Who are Improper Books?
Improper Books is a publishing studio focusing on creator-owned stories that have a touch of the fairy tale, the fantastical, or the otherworldly. In short, we’re a collective of creators, either collaborating together or working on our own projects, who pool our talents and skills together.

BoneChina_coverCan you tell us about the history of Improper Books?
Originally founded by Benjamin Read (Writer), Laura Trinder (Illustrator), and Chris Wildgoose (Illustrator). While collaborating on the set of the UK independent feature ARMISTICE (2013), the trio discovered a mutual love for comics, illustrated books, and the darker side of fairy tales, and set about making their own.

Our first title, PORCELAIN: A GOTHIC FAIRY TALE, by Benjamin Read & Chris Wildgoose, was released to wide critical acclaim amongst readers, fellow creators, and the comic press, and has since gone on to be translated and published in France by Éditions Delcourt.

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This has been followed by BUTTERFLY GATE, BRIAR, and PORCELAIN: BONE CHINA, by Benjamin Read & Chris Wildgoose; NIGHT POST, by Benjamin Read & Laura Trinder; KNIGHT & DRAGON, by Matt Gibbs & Bevis Musson; and MULP: SCEPTRE OF THE SUN, by Matt Gibbs & Sara Dunkerton.

Since its inception, the group has grown to include Nathan Ashworth (Colourist), Jordan Boyd (Colourist), Jim Campbell (Letterer), Derek Dow (Colourist), Sara Dunkerton (Illustrator), Luke Foster (Editor), Matt Gibbs (Writer/Managing Editor), Zoë Horn Haywood (Designer), Rose Hewlett (Production Director), Mark Kendrick (Digital Media), André May (Colourist), Bevis Musson (Illustrator), and Alexa Rosa (Colourist/Flatter).

How do you choose the projects you work on? Is there a committee or does the writer just talk to the artist and work with them?
We pitch our ideas and books internally to each other and, to tell the truth, many ideas don’t make the cut. Creating comics can be incredibly time consuming, and we want to make sure that our efforts yield the best results for us as individuals and Improper as a whole, both creatively and in helping to fund future projects.

MULP_02_coverWith the HUGE critical successes of MULP and the Porcelain series among others, how do you see Improper Books holding on to all of that talent? Or is it something you’ll work around?
Thank you, but there is nothing to hold onto really… Improper is very much a family for us, and we all enjoy collaborating on our various projects. But everyone is free to pick and choose the work they want to pursue. With the talent of people such as Chris Wildgoose, Laura Trinder, Sara Dunkerton, and Bevis Musson, they’re not short of offers, but can choose to explore their own creator-owned work under the Improper label.

What future books can you tell us about?
Benjamin Read & Chris Wildgoose are working on Ivory Tower, the third book in the Porcelain series, which will see Child/Lady becoming Mother, but perhaps not in the way you’d expect… Matt Gibbs & Sara Dunkerton are currently finishing up the third part of MULP: Sceptre of the Sun before launching into work on the fourth part, while Laura Trinder is working on an entirely new project, a modern fairy tale called Heart of Crow. All of which we’re aiming to release at some stage this year.

Briar_page01What and who will be coming to NCC this year?
Chris, Laura, Matt, and Sara will be attending Nottingham Comic Con this year; and you can expect us to have more MULP with us, plus previews of Porcelain: Ivory Tower and Heart of Crow.

I for one am extremely excited about Improper Books coming to NCC this year as I have a few of their books and am eager to get my mitts on more! Make sure you stop by their table and pick up a book or four!! (if you can’t wait that long go here!!)