Scarlett and Sophie Rickard are adapting Robert Tressell's classic novel, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists as a graphic novel, being published by SelfMadeHero. Originally published after his death in 1911, the novel follows a house painter's efforts to find work in the fictional English town of Mugsborough to stave off the workhouse for himself, his wife and his son. It is subtitled "being the story of twelve months in Hell, told by one of the damned, and written down by Robert Tressell." An edited version was published in 1914, the original full version in 1955. Selling over a million copies, it was a favourite of George Orwell. And now… a graphic novel.
Robert Tressell's groundbreaking socialist novel The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists tells the story of a group of working men in the fictional town of Mugsborough, and socialist journeyman-prophet Frank Owen who attempts to convince his fellow workers that capitalism is the real source of the poverty all around them. Owen's spirited attacks on the greed and dishonesty of the capitalist system, and support for a socialist society in which work is performed to satisfy the needs of all, rather than to generate profit for a few, eventually rouses his fellow men from their political passivity. Described by George Orwell as a piece of social history and a book that everyone should read, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is often cited as 'one of the most authentic novels of English working class life ever written'. In this faithful graphic adaptation, creators Scarlett and Sophie Rickard craft a compelling fiction that paints a comprehensive picture of social, political, economic and cultural life in early 20th Century Britain that is still acutely relevant today. The graphic adaptation is a work of art about work.
The Rickard Sisters, known for other comics work including Mann's Best Friend and Carrie's Cough say "We hope to bring this influential working class classic to another generation of newly enlightened socialists with a sensitive and faithful adaptation. In this graphic format the story is an accessible, entertaining and rewarding read, whilst retaining the bitterness, anger and compassion of Tressell's original."