"It's important to grow up. To let go of the idea that we are special ..."

Graphic novelist Karrie Fransman made a splash with her first graphic novel The House That Groaned. The film director Nic Roeg was even moved to praise it. Now she has returned with a new graphic novel, Death of the Artist, created with four friends from university. Or that's what she says. She tells Graphic Content about how it came about:

What is the origin of Death of the Artist?

On 13th August 2013 I went with a group of artist friends to the misty Peak District moors to retreat from the world for a week and to create comics. 'Death of the Artist' was the collection of the comics we made. It charts our group's birth and tragic demise as we grow up and leave our hedonistic youth behind. It is one story told through the eyes of five artists across water colour, digital art, photography, collage and illustration. 

With five artists contributing were you worried about how everything would tie together?

Not so much. I think I had pretty good control of them!

Whose contribution are you most jealous of?

I wish I was could be as romantic and loose as Manuel, as careful and neat as Jackson, as technical and sharp as Helena and as raw and free-living as Vincent. But hopefully, I'll take a bit of each of them into my next work!

Is life really just about sex and death?

It starts with sex and ends with death and the middle is a messy myriad of moments that we must make sense of. I like to shape that mess into panels on the page of a comic, paragraphs in stories or moments captured in pictures. But that's just one way to understand it all. 

 You quote Picasso in the foreword: "We are all born artists but the question is how to remain one." Have you found an answer yet?

Not at all! It's a funny one. I think we all have the ability to create when we are children and that those who still draw, play and tell stories as adults retain some of their inner child. An inner child who is unselfconscious and non-judgmental is incredibly important. But it's also important to grow up. To let go of the idea that we are special and that we ought to be noticed and listened to. This book explores that growing up - leaving your idealistic and sometimes hedonistic youth behind. It is about the death of one stage of life and the birth of another. 

The Death of the Artist, by Karrie Fransman ... And Friends, is published by Jonathan Cape, priced £14.99