Phoenix Yard buys WWI graphic novel

Phoenix Yard buys WWI graphic novel

Independent publisher Phoenix Yard Books has acquired a diary of a First World War soldier told in pictures.

Line of Fire, drawn by French author and illustrator Barroux, is based on an unnamed soldier's diary which he found in a skip in Paris and then adapted into a black and white graphic novel. Emma Langley of Phoenix Yard Books signed world English language rights from Éditions du Seuil.

Michael Morpurgo has written an introduction to the book, calling it: "A witness statement, the untrammelled, unedited voice of someone who was there."

Langley said: "A bit like Barroux's incredible discovery of the diary and subsequent creation of the graphic novel, publishing Line of Fire seems both highly unlikely, and completely unplanned, and a matter of responsibility as much as choice. For us, a small independent children's publisher, this is the biggest project we have ever undertaken. But how could we not; this is living history that has the power to engage huge audiences in the events that formed and transformed the world we live in today."

The book is translated by Sarah Ardizzone, and will be priced at £10.99 as a paperback when it is released in February 2014. Barroux will promote the book in the UK, with a marketing campaign aimed at both adults and children. It has sold 50,000 copies in France.