Corpse Talk

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“Corpse Talk Season 1” is the first anthology of the comic of the same name which appears weekly in The Phoenix magazine. In the weekly feature, Adam acts as the host of chat show Corpse Talk, the “show that brings the dead famous to life”, and interviews famous people who have returned from the grave in order to chat about their achievements, including historical figures such as Gandhi, Jane Austen, Boudica and Grigori Rasputin to name a few (there are 33 episodes in this first anthology).

Murphy manages to merge the graphic novel format with non-fiction content successfully, creating a completely different take on biographical information. There is much humour in both artwork and text to delight readers but there is nonetheless a lot of facts packed into each interview, focusing on important points of each famous person’s life. The books also includes several other features, including a very unusual and fascinating “Digging Up the Bodies” timeline. A great book to dip in and out of for fans of comics and non-fiction, but also a possible stimulating tool when working on biographies.

Reading

Research obituaries/biographies - what does each include, how are they different?

 The language of comics - investigate the differences between comics and non-fiction narrative (you could use Shakelton's Journey by William Grill as a comparison with its entry)

You could makes links with William Shakespeare; Scenes from the Life of the World’s Greatest Writer also on the longlist and also contains graphic novel elements.

 Writing

 Choose a historical figure and decide which questions you might ask them on Corpse Talk.

Choose a historical figure featured in Corpse Talk and write a traditional obituary.

 

Curriculum links
Investigate alternative ways of creating biographies (if developing the chat show idea, you could show clips of Horrible Histories’ Stupid Death - for example Richard the Lionheart, which also appears in the book: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2tghq9)

Creating a comic - this can be used to create another biography or as creative writing and drawing. Phoenix Comic have a book about creating comics which can be useful "How to Make Awesome Comics" by Neill Cameron and for slightly younger children, Usborne have “Write and Draw Your Own Comics”.  There are also a lot of free activity sheets online, including comic grids.  

Creating a timeline, looking for alternative ways to present them.

 

Corpse Talk: Book 1  by Adam Murphy

David Fickling Books    ISBN: 978-1910200018