Tobias Taitt never knew his father, but he knew his mother all too well. After she killed his uncle, three-year-old Tobias was condemned to spend his early years in a series of bleak children’s homes. As a black youth growing up in Seventies' Britain he learned first-hand that the world could be a cold and uncaring place for a child of the state. But he also learned to navigate—and eventually to buck—the system.
Taitt and artist Anthony Smith’s revelatory debut graphic novel is an examination of an often-ignored piece of modern UK history. Taitt’s experiences as his mother tried, and failed, to build a better life for them in Britain speaks of systemic failures and personal hardships which are often overlooked.
This new 128-page graphic novel is printed in black and white, reflecting the stark communication of Taitt’s story. His experiences as a young teenager falling in love and into a life of crime is remarkably frank and speaks to Taitt’s complicated relationship with his own past. Smith’s art brings out nuance and empathy in a story where there are no easy answers or trite solutions.
Soaring Penguin Press is continuing to use crowdfunding as a way of increasing creator pay-outs, aiming to provide an additional sum on top of the page rate. BLACKis the second autobiography Soaring is seeking to fund in this way following on from the success of Ilana Zeffren’s Urban Tails earlier in 2021.
“BLACK is a thoughtful, engaging introspection by Taitt of his own life, deftly brought to comics by Smith’s clear, no-nonsense artwork,” said Soaring Penguin Press Co-Publisher, John Anderson.
Added Co-Publisher Tim Pilcher, “Taitt and Smith’s moving, enraging and revealing graphic novel is an important exploration of British black history. Utterly uncompromising, it promises to both shock and educate, and in these fevered times is essential reading.”
“Tobias Taitt opens a window on a world I scarcely knew existed and tells a powerful story of struggle and redemption. Visceral and moving stuff.”
—Adrian Hodges, Bafta-winning screenwriter of the Oscar-nominated My Week with Marilyn.
“…Compelling, tragic, and strangely humorous…”
—Don John, Founder of Black History Month Southampton
“…A powerful testament to one’s ability to rise up, despite whatever barriers are presented. A must read to have on your shelf. Loved it.”
—Stephen Anthony Davids, Artist
I’m really glad to be a backer of this amazing looking and interesting book. There are physical and digital options available now.