Wigan artist and writer's Joy Division graphic novel to hit shelves

Ian Curtis drawn by Brian Gorman
Ian Curtis drawn by Brian Gorman
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A Wigan-born writer and artist has finally achieved a long-held ambition by getting his graphic novel about an iconic band published.


Brian Gorman’s work New Dawn Fades, about legendary Manchester act Joy Division, will hit the shelves in April.

Brian Gorman

Brian Gorman

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The work was mostly written and drawn around a decade ago as part of a multi-book deal he signed with Simon and Schuster but a series of disagreements and delays prevented it ever being completed.

In fact Brian at one point withdrew from creating the book and instead turned the tale into a play of the same name which has become one of his biggest successes.

Now, however, thanks to Invisible Six, the graphic novel is in the final stages and readers will be able to see Brian’s black-and-white tribute to Ian Curtis and his bandmates.

Brian said: “I got so fed up of the delays, and the endless rescheduling, that I decided to withdraw the book, and adapt the story for the stage.

“After five years of success with the show, and fans asking about the original graphic novel, I thought we needed to finally get it out there. And now we’re doing it.”

The last push to make the book a reality is being done through crowd-funding and Brian’s fans have the chance to be included in the work.

Contributors chipping in at popular website Indiegogo can pre-order signed copies and enjoy exclusive perks, including having their likeness in the story and receiving original artwork.

Like the stage play the graphic novel of New Dawn Fades ties Joy Division’s revolutionary music into the broader history of the city they came from.

Brian’s artwork guides the reader through a dazzling array of historical periods and introduces an extraordinary cast of characters from throughout time, including the Roman general Julius Agricola, famous Elizabethan alchemist Dr John Dee and 19th-century Communist revolutionary Frederich Engels.

The borough even gets a mention as Leigh punk act Buzzcocks appear in the pages. Aside from the history the book traces the rise of Joy Division and its unique frontman, telling how the post-punk group charted its path away from the three-chord rock of the 70s under the guidance of Manchester legend Tony Wilson.

The novel then looks at the shock suicide of Curtis in 1980 and how the rest of the group went on to form New Order.

Brian is no stranger to graphic novels having already completed an acclaimed book about cult TV series The Prisoner and its creator Patrick McGoohan as well as his first work Borderliners.

The stage play New Dawn Fades returns to the boards of Manchester in April, having been a smash hit on its launch at a major festival and then toured venues around the UK.

The novel is out in April. To help crowd-fund it visit www.indiegogo.com/projects/new-dawn-fades-the-graphic-novel-music/x/11474338#/