Barrington Stoke is delighted to have acquired English language rights in ‘Alpha’, a graphic novel created by ‘Line of Fire’ illustrator Barroux, in collaboration with prize-winning novelist Bessora. ‘Alpha’ follows its eponymous hero on a long and dangerous journey from Africa to Europe as he seeks to be reunited with his family.
Barrington Stoke will partner with Amnesty International UK on ‘Alpha’ and an associated education programme. Nicky Parker, Publisher of Amnesty International UK says, ‘It’s with huge sensitivity that Barroux shows the horrors of life as a refugee, his drawings providing a moving insight into this kind of journey. Alpha is emblematic of the refugee crisis today – he is one of millions on the move, some fleeing war and others in desperate hope of a better life for their families. He, like so many, is willing to face a journey full of dangers rather than stay in a place without a future. Alpha shows the human condition at a time of extreme stress and Amnesty International UK is proud to partner on it.’
”Alpha’ counters the dehumanising discourse around refugees that shows no signs of letting up,’ says Barrington Stoke MD Mairi Kidd. ‘With pared-back text and powerful imagery, it has serious impact and is a perfect example of the power of graphic novels to speak to a wide readership of adults and teenagers. We are delighted to publish this book and believe it could not be more timely.’
To increase the story’s resonance, Barroux created the art in materials that Alpha might be able to access – felt markers and water – and drew in a bound book as though in a visual diary. This gives the work an stunning immediacy and power.
‘Alpha’ will publish in summer 2016 in simultaneous hardcover and enhanced paperback format, with English translation by Sarah Ardizzone, in a new imprint. An exhibition of Barroux’s original artwork and a series of related events is planned for the Edinburgh festival 2016.Buzz around the book has begun early with translator Sarah Ardizzone running a series of ‘Amazing Translation Machine’ events at the South Kensington Children’s Festival on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 November, during which members of the public are invited to create their own translations of ‘Alpha’. Barroux will also be at the Festival on Saturday 21 November.
Sneak peaks from the rough proofs: