Michael Rosen is a British children's author, poet, presenter, political columnist, broadcaster, activist and served as Children's Laureate from 2007 to 2009. He has written 140 books but until now never a graphic novel. He has written shorter comics released as children's books before such as Red Ted and The Lost Things, and Send for a Superhero, but now Michael Rosen and artist Cole Henley have worked together to adapt Michael's 2005 kids novel You're Thinking About Tomatoes, which tells the tale of a boy who helped by a character from a painting and a revived mummy go on a quest to rescue purloined statues and exploited workers. You're Thinking About Tomatoes: The Graphic Novel will be published in July 2022. And Bleeding Cool has been granted a first look inside the pages.
It will however go on sale a little in advance in its launch debut at the free ticketed Graphic Brighton event at the University of Brighton on Saturday, the 28th of May, as the final event of a two-day celebration of Children's Comics. Rosen and Henley will take part in a Q&A to discuss the book, and then sign the first 50 copies of the graphic novel that will be available to the general public to buy in advance of its release later in the Summer.
Also appearing at Graphic Brighton are former Comics Laureate Hannah Berry discussing The Rez, Bob Molesworth (Star Wars Lego ), Richy K. Chandler (Eco Kids Planet Magazine / Wallace & Gromit), Zoom Rockman (The Beano), Jaime Huxtable (G Bear and Jammo), Matt Baxter (The Phoenix / Monster Fun), Zara Slattery (Tomboy), Sally Kindberg (The Comic Strip History of the World) and Woodrow Phoenix (Donny Digits).
Winner of the just-announced 2021 Sabin Award for Academic Comics Research, Dona Pursall (University of Ghent) will be talking about her research into Censorship in Children's Comics, and former Bleeding Cool contributor Chris Thompson & Will O'Mullane from charity Comic Books for Kids UK will be discussing initiatives to bring comics into hospitals and other medical facilities to help and entertain children.
Rosen published his first book of poetry for children, Mind Your Own Business, in 1974 and was described by Morag Styles as "one of the most significant figures in contemporary children's poetry" and one of the first poets "to draw closely on his own childhood experiences and to 'tell it as it was' in the ordinary language children actually use". One of the first piets to visit schools and classrooms in the UK, as well as abroad, he engaged children at a young age in poetry nationwide. His picture book We're Going on a Bear Hunt with Helen Oxenbury is still his best-known work.
You're Thinking About Tomatoes – the Graphic Novel will be published by Unbound in Summer 2022. You can find info about the original crowdfunding campaign for the book here.