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Foyles becomes a comic strip for Comica

Books, Illustration

Posted by Mark Sinclair, 2 November 2012, 16:48    Permalink    Comments (3)

Panels by JAKe (two shown, left); Karrie Fransman (two shown, centre); and Krent Able

Ahead of tonight's Comica Festival launch at Foyles' flagship shop in London, the bookseller has unveiled a timeline of the store's history, illustrated by some of the artists appearing at the month-long comics event...

The comic book history of Foyles is installed over 28 panels of the hoarding currently in front of the former Central St Martins building, where the bookshop will move to in 2014. The story charts the history of Foyles from its founding in 1903, by brothers William and Gilbert Foyle, drawn by John Miers, to a wordless depiction of the new site in the last panels of the series by Rian Hughes.

It's an amusing take on the story of one of the capital's most famous bookshops, with plenty of laughs at its own expense. For example, Oliver East's panel (shown below) illustrates Foyles' once notorious queuing system where customers had to obtain an invoice for a particular book they wanted to buy, pay the bill at another till, and then collect the book in another location. East also describes the way in which books were shelved by 'publisher', as opposed by author or subject.

Panels by Hunt Emerson (two shown, centre)

The comic strip is installed on the hoarding in front of 107-109 Charing Cross Road, the former Central St Martins building, next door to Foyles flagship bookshop on 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London.

If you're unable to see the installation in person, all the panels are here on participant John Miers' site. A few more of our favourites are below.

Foyles is hosting many of the Comica Festival events including a world premiere of the live performance version of 'The Tale of Brin and Bent and Minno Marylebone', Aline and Robert Crumb's only UK appearance, and an evening with artist, Posy Simmonds. More details on this year's Comica, which runs until the end of November, at

By John Miers (panel one)

By Steven Appleby (panel four)

By JAKe (panel six)

By Woodrow Phoenix (panel 15)

By Oliver East (panel 17)

By Warren Pleece (panel 19)

By Rob David (panel 24)

By Donya Todd (panel 26)

By Rian Hughes (panel 27)


Great idea, panels look amazing.
2012-11-07 14:33:18

Any chance this could be published as a print comic? I'd snap it up in an instant.
I used to work at Foyles back in 1978 and I remember Christina Foyle and the infamous triple queing system very well :-)
Stig Olsen
2012-11-08 16:21:45

Brilliant - love the contrasts in style.
2012-11-13 19:27:24

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