English Literature might be my One True Love, but I’ve always had a flirtation on the side with History. When I was little (and prior to Terry Deary getting a bit weird about libraries) I used to while away long car journeys reading out Horrible History facts to my family, which I’m sure they really appreciated.
Along with Bunny vs Monkey, Corpse Talk is one of my favourite strips in The Phoenix, so I was ecstatic when they sent me a review copy of Book 2.
(I already had my own copy of Book 1)
The premise of Corpse Talk (not Copse Talk, as I keep typing – that would be a much less interesting feature. Or maybe not. Woodland ecosystems are pretty interesting) is that Adam Murphy, your cartoonist and host, digs up a famous historical figure and interviews them about their life. The only caveat is, they have to have been dead for more than fifty years (reasonable enough – any less than that, and it could still be a bit too raw for people who knew that person and who are still kicking around).
Don’t let the two covers fool you – Corpse Talk doesn’t fall into the regrettably usual trap of assuming that “interesting famous people” could only ever mean “interesting famous men”. One of my favourite things about the series is that it has a strong focus on historical women – not just the obvious candidates like Elizabeth I and Marie Curie, but also Anne Bonny, Granny Nanny and Ching Shih.
The “interview” format of Corpse Talk is a stroke of genius, putting across historical facts and dispelling myths with an irreverence that means the subject matter never gets stale.
Unlike the guests. Sorry, Bram.
I’m about three times the age of Corpse Talk‘s target audience, and I’ve still learned plenty from reading – it’s amazing how much information Murphy manages to cram into such a small page count. Whether history was your best or worst subject in school, you’ll find something to interest you in Corpse Talk.
Alice’s books are available on Amazon and Smashwords. Her webcomics, co-created and illustrated by Emily Brady, can be found at the Footloose website. Ally rambles about writing, feminism, and odd questions that cross her mind on Twitter and Facebook.