First Year's Cornish Comic Book up for Award

Joana Varandas's Men-an-tol is the first comic book in the written Cornish language, and is based on Cornish folklore.

Before coming to Falmouth, Joana had already published a few short comic book stories in H-Alt, a Portuguese sci-fi and fantasy comics magazine, which encourages writers and illustrators to work collaboratively, even if they are from different countries.

Last December, Joana’s friend and illustrator Tania A. Cardoso, (who lives in the Netherlands!) launched the challenge for both to submit a story for H-Alt entirely about Cornish folklore. The result was The Hole in the Stone, a beautiful reinterpretation of local myths and legends. 

Besides English with Creative Writing, Joana is also learning Cornish and thus decided to translate her story to the local language, with the help of her teacher Esme Tackley. The Hole in the Stone will be published next month in H-Alt, and launched in the International Comics Festival of Beja, Portugal. But as of now, it is also nominated to the Gorsedh Kernow Awards.

Surprisingly, I did all my research on campus. Our library’s resources are incredible, particularly the Cornish section
— Joana Varandas

The Gorsedh Kernow Community is proud to “maintain the national Celtic Spirit of Cornwall”, and “encourages the study of Cornish history, literature and language”, and will distinguish outstanding achievement in these areas in a ceremony to be held next September.

The Hole in The Stone is the first comic book story ever to be written in the Standard Written Form of Cornish, but regardless of the result, the plan is to make it available to local readers in a bilingual version very soon.


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