Sheep magazine Archive 2: issues 10-17


Lefty online magazine: issue 10, May 2016 to issue 17, November 2016

Tim talks about how much he learned about the graphic novel form:

‘Comic books are very much like films; it’s all angles and close ups and

long shots and building atmospheres. It takes some getting used to reading

them – you can’t read a graphic book at all like you read a novel.’

For John, the joy was in the research: ‘There’s a scene with a Jewish

geezer drowning in the canal and the only way he can get the onlooking

police to rescue him is to shout ‘Down with the Tsar!’ so they’ll arrest him.

Apparently that really was a joke of the time. Coming across stuff like that

in the first-hand accounts was a revelation.’

The authors hope the graphic novel will connect to new audiences, as

well as providing a fresh view for those who already know the history.

They chose to focus just on the year 1917 so that they could best express

the hope and potential of the revolution.


‘A lot of people I know are slightly sceptical about the project,’ says Tim,

‘like ‘why do you want to write about that?’ That reflects the dominant

opinion at the moment. I have learnt that we have an enormous

challenge in convincing people that revolution is a good idea because it’s

a big risk, as the story shows. ‘Ultimately the ending isn’t very happy, but

potentially and briefly it was a beacon to the world and still is.

‘We’re trying to connect people with the successful part of the revolution –

the part which was a beacon.’

1917: Russia’s Red Year is published this month by Bookmarks, £14.99


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