Henny Beaumont’s graphic novel-in-progress A Hole in the Heart was one of the six projects earlier this year to make it onto the Myriad First Graphic Novel Competition’s prestigious shortlist. The competition, of course, is one that we have covered extensively this year at Broken Frontier given both its importance in nurturing new creative talent and my own role as one of the competition judges, alongside Myriad’s Corinne Pearlman, novelist Meg Rosoff, and graphic novelists Woodrow Phoenix and Nicola Streeten.
The victor, as many will no doubt remember, was Jade Sarson’s For the Love of God, Marie! and you can read more on her reaction to winning the competition in our report on the FGNC event at the British Library in May here. But, given the quality of the entries of all six creators, it’s always pleasing to hear of the progress of the other books that achieved a place in that final half dozen. Just this very month, for example, Jessica Martin – another Myriad First Graphic Novel Competition shortlistee – announced exclusively in our interview here at BF that her graphic novel Elsie Harris Picture Palace will be published in 2015 (look for that from Miwk Publishing next year).
Henny Beaumont presenting at the Myriad First Graphic Novel competition event at the British Library in May
Beaumont’s A Hole in the Heart is an autobiographical account of the experience of having a child with Down’s Syndrome from that initial diagnosis forwards. While the graphic novel is yet to find a publisher there’s major coverage in the family section of today’s Guardian newspaper in the UK with an interview with Henny where she talks about her daughter Beth, family life and how Down’s Syndrome changed their lives for the better. You can read the article online here where there’s also an extended preview of A Hole in the Heart.
While I was only privy to a selection of pages from the book during the judging process – entrants submitted up to thirty pages of a work-in-progress for consideration – the element of A Hole in the Heart that most impressed me was Beaumont’s ability to use the unique properties of comics as a form to convey emotional states, and allow the reader to share in the experiences she was portraying, in a way that I believe no other medium could accomplish. The image below is just one sterling example of this.
For more on Henny Beaumont you can visit her website here. I firmly believe that it’s only a matter of time until all six of those shortlisted works find publishers. Today’s Guardian article makes that inevitability a step nearer for Henny Beaumont and A Hole in the Heart…