• Image of Issue 1221: 5-11 February

Bryan Talbot, Wigan-born creator of cosmic secret agent Luther Arkwright and the Grandville series, featuring gun-toting badgerhumans, has been at the forefront of the British graphic novel movement since the 1970s. He tells us why he believes graphic novels are so popular now and about working with his wife, who turned out to be a pretty nifty exponent of the art as well.

2018 marks the centenary of women first getting the vote. Although it’s the Pankhursts who get the most attention, our profiles of other radical women from Lancashire and Yorkshire, including Dora Thewlis and Leonora Cohen, show how the Suffragettes and Suffragists attracted support from right across society.

Rob Newman has carved a successful comedy career by being both funny and cerebral at the same time so it’s no surprise that he has 17th century philosopher Rene Descartes in his sights for his new show. What is more surprising is that the very private Newman now also discloses something of his personal life in the show.

In arts and entertainment we preview a new touring stage adaptation of Graham Greene’s 1938 novel Brighton Rock and review albums, books, independent cinema and TV.

On the news pages, we report on how new figures showing a rise in crime should be treated with caution and how local authorities are considering calls for anti-abortion protests outside clinics to be restricted so women do not feel harassed.

Composer Philip Glass writes a letter to his younger self, columnist Ali Schofield urges an end to hunting animals, and there is, as always, our crossword and Sudoku, as well as the chance to win Big Issue North merchandise.

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