Fantagraphic Books has signed Dull Margaret, the first graphic novel from actor Jim Broadbent, illustrated by comic book artist Dix.
Eric Reynolds, associate publisher at Fantagraphic Books, bought world rights to Dull Margaret from Laura Macdougall at United Agents.
An "eerie" tale of loneliness, greed and selfishness, Dull Margaret will be published in summer 2018.
The Bookseller first reported that Broadbent’s first graphic novel was up for grabs at Frankfurt Book Fair last October.
At the time the actor was inspired to write Dull Margaret after seeing Bruegel’s painting, 'Dulle Griet', which features “a strong, intense woman striding determinedly across the landscape”.
Broadbent said: “I come from Lincolnshire and have long been fixated on the flat coastal marshes, and I wanted to bring those two elements together in a film script. The story began to unfold from there, incorporating images from more of my favourite artists: Goya’s witches, Daumier’s pictures of Travelling Players, Rembrandt’s flat, low country landscapes.”
Broadbent first wrote Dull Margaret as a film script but said: “Having garnered a lot of interest in the idea of making a film, it was impossible to find anyone to put up the quite large sum of money required”. He then contacted Dix—perhaps best known for his “Roll Up! Roll Up” comics in the Guardian—and the two began collaborating.
Spreads from Dull Margaret, © Dix
Dix said: "I am immensely privileged to be working with Jim and Fantagraphics on this dark and beautiful tale. I feel I have always known the landscape and the odd characters strewn throughout its' pages. I am lost in Margaret's small world, sodden, cold, knee-deep in mud, holding a rusty knife and a severed hand and screaming at the elements."
Reynolds said that Broadbent brought the same "intelligence and passion" to his script writing as he did to his acting career.
"He and Dix make a great team and Dull Margaret is a wonderfully original book," he added.
Broadbent is best known for roles in "Bridget Jones's Diary", "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince", "Game of Thrones", and "Moulin Rouge".
Dix is an illustrator and comic book artist. He has created strips for the Guardian and his work has featured in It's Dark in London, Crisis and many more publications. He lives in Hay-on-Wye, Wales.