The proud author raises his glass of prosecco to the applause of the nation’s literary elite.
“Speech, speech,” they chant, eager to witness the author’s legendary ability to win over a crowd with his wit and easy charm.
The author blushes and tries to modestly wave off their demands. The chants grow louder. It’s clear the cream of the book world won’t be denied the pleasure of hearing the great orator. The author, showing startling agility, bounds up onto a chair, clears his throat and addresses his adoring readers…
That is what would have happened if I wasn’t launching a new book in November 2020. As it is I am back in lockdown in England for another book launch. Kerry and the Knight of the Forest came out in July (and is still available, perfect Christmas gift etc etc) and now The Book Tour.
And yet it is a source of great excitement for me as it has been a long time coming and it’s a book I am immensely proud of. I am extremely bad at tooting my own horn (not a euphemisim) and often hide behind self-deprecation but I honestly believe it’s one of the best things I’ve done.
I will celebrate from the kitchen, pour myself a glass of cava from the already opened bottle from Phil’s birthday, raise a glass to my literary heroes of Maupassant, Beckett, Pinter and Pam Ayres and address the giddy, bustling and entirely imaginary crowd of my book launch.
The advantages of an imaginary crowd are legion. Firstly they turn up in numbers, you don’t have to provide them with oceans of free booze, they only say flattering things, there’s no need for awkward small talk, they arrive in my own kitchen and are polite enough not to mention the grimy corners of the skirting board and they aren’t breathing on each other in a potential super-spreader event.
It has all the upsides and none of the downsides.
Of course, if this is the future of book promotion then the events of The Book Tour would never happen. Mid-list writer, G.H. Fretwell’s small humiliations and embarrassments that spiral nightmarishly out of his control wouldn’t occur. I would not have been inspired to describe his misadventures and the world would have never appreciated that, "Watson’s adeptness at capturing body language and facial expressions combines with nuanced dialog and a keen sense of irony to create a hugely entertaining page-turner."— Library Journal (starred review)
Swings and roundabouts.
Not to belabour the point or crudely make plain my pretext for starting a newsletter in the first place but: buy my book!
UK readers can support their local independent comic shop or bookstore if they have a mail-order service. Bookshop.org and Hive are useful. OK Comics and Gosh are two UK comic shops who support a wide range of titles. Order from the fine folks at Page 45 and your copy will come with a signed bookplate. Although UK comic shops might not receive their shipments until next week.
Naturally it’s widely available online. There is also Kindle and comixology.
I also have a A3 giclee poster for sale at my store and it looks amazing.
I hope you enjoy the book,
A page-turning, Kafkaesque dark comedy in brilliant retro style, this graphic novel watches one man try to keep it together while everything falls apart.
★ ★ ★ Official Selection of the Angoulême International Comics Festival ★ ★ ★
"A darkly humorous read." — Booklist
"Watson neatly balances moody atmosphere and light comedy... [a] deadpan funny riff on artistic insecurities." — Publishers Weekly
"Andi Watson's retro line and daring dialogue make this graphic novel a British delight." — Le Monde
"Watson’s adeptness at capturing body language and facial expressions combines with nuanced dialog and a keen sense of irony to create a hugely entertaining page-turner." —Library Journal (starred review)
"A darkly humorous read." — Booklist
"Packed with black humor. We were carried away by the tempo of the drawing." — RTL
"A real treat. Between Ionesco and Beckett." — France Inter
"Black comedy, delicious and scathing." — Télérama
"A little surrealist gem." — Comixtrip
"Andi Watson embarks the reader on an adventure that mixes absurdity and dark humor. It almost feels like a new Raymond Carver." — Franceinfo
"A fascinating maze in which we lose our bearings." — Les Inrocks
"A little masterpiece of tongue-in-cheek humor." — dBD
"Whatever the anxieties that led to the genesis of this book, they have allowed a beautiful exorcism... funny and chilling." — Trois Couleurs
"Andi Watson gives The Book Tour the best of his art." — Livres Hebdo
"Brilliant... a Kafka-like tale that immediately proves captivating." — aVoir aLire
"A clean line that gives full measure to a Kafkaesque atmosphere." — Canal BD
"Andi Watson delivers an offbeat graphic novel, with absurd dialogue recalling Monty Python." — Let's Motiv
"Delicious suspense that bathes in the absurd." — BoDoï
"A fantastic and breathtaking story." — RTBF