Page Turner: She Lives! Woodrow Phoenix’s Bigger Book

The Biggest Graphic Novel Ever Made

She Lives! is a one-off wonder that is one of the highlights of the Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK exhibition at The British Library.

“She Lives!” is a one-metre-square giant graphic novel, on display in a glittering glass case in the show, yet nobody can get interact with it.

“The point of this graphic novel was that it should be read to experience the size and story in situ, so I am doing monthly live page turnings.” Says Woodrow Phoenix, creator of the giant graphic novel.

“There was supposed to be a monitor above the book which showed a movie of the pages being turned, so that people could see the entire thing, if only remotely, but that didn’t happen.”

“A lot of people expressed frustration at only being able to see a single spread, and I agree that it certainly isn’t ideal.”

So like Snow White released from her glass coffin, her creator Woodrow Phoenix will unlock the glass cabinet and the book will be accessible to the people. They will be able to look within and read all 82 pages of it.

The whole story will be presented to visitors on three special occasions during the run of the exhibition.

“I will answer questions about the process and explain some of the thinking behind it while showing each spread.”

Then once more “She Lives!” will be inhumed, to be admired from afar.


Woodrow Phoenix On The Paper Trail

She Lives! is a hand-made book. The book is hand-bound, and the illustrations are not printed, but drawn directly onto the pages. So the choice of paper was an important element of its design.

“I spent some time looking through different papers before I found my final choice: the biggest single sheet I could get was a roll 2 metres wide by 20 metres long.

The paper is made by Fabriano. It’s 220gsm which is pretty robust — I would have possibly gone thicker than that but they didn’t do any heavier weights.

I needed a large sheet in order to fold it in half to make the pages for binding into the book sections.

It was too long to fit into the bookbinding guillotines, so I had to measure and cut the sheets by hand.

The maximum width of the sheet would determine the final size of my book — folded in half it gave me a maximum page size of one metre.

In addition the paper had to be thick enough to hold the inked illustrations planned to be on both sides of the paper.

The result is hefty pages and a heavy volume 96 pages long! “

To be blunt The British Library page for these events is not clear enough, but these are the dates to consider:

Woodrow Phoenix’s Page Turner events at the British Library:

6:00pm on Tuesday 17 June 2014,

6:00pm on Tuesday 22 July 2014, 

3:00pm on Tuesday 12 August 2014.

You can also discover a one-minute interview with Woodrow Phoenix here

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