cover image True Brit: A Celebration of the Great Comic Book Artists of the UK

True Brit: A Celebration of the Great Comic Book Artists of the UK

. Two Morrows Publishing, $21.95 (199pp) ISBN 978-1-893905-33-7

Illustrated with copious samples, this fascinating collection gives much valuable information about the British artists who have helped transform comics since the 1980s. American readers have admired the work of writers such as Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, but they may not have realized how much the success of those scripts has depended on the talents of fellow Brit artists. Beginning with a brief history of the British comic industry, the bulk of this work consists of 21 short interviews with or essays about major creators. The list includes Brian Bolland (Batman: The Killing Joke), Mark Buckingham (Miracle Man), Dave Gibbons (Watchmen), David Lloyd (V for Vendetta), Dave McKean (every Sandman cover), Kevin O'Neill (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) and Barry Windsor-Smith (Conan). There's enough information here to suggest why skilled British cartoonists were ready to leap into post-Comics-Code-Authority American comics. The big question is whether there is any such thing as ""British comic art"" anymore; the answer may be that these artists helped make comics the lively international literary field it is today.