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The King Who Banned the Dark


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About the Author

Emily Haworth-Booth is an author/illustrator and educator, teaching courses on comics, graphic novels, and illustration at the Royal Drawing School in London, and running workshops for adults and children at other locations nationwide. In 2013 she won the Jonathan Cape/Observer/Comica Graphic Short Story Prize for her story "Colonic" and was runner-up for the same prize in 2008. Her comics have appeared in print in the Observer and Vogue.


"As a child, the king was always afraid of the dark; now that he's ascended to the throne, he decides to ban it by any means possible. To avoid outright revolt, his sycophantic advisors launch a nefarious anti-darkness disinformation campaign ('The dark is stealing your money! The dark is taking your toys and candy!') so successful that the public soon demands the end of darkness. But endless daytime--made possible by 'an enormous artificial sun installed above the palace'--soon wears out its welcome: no one can sleep, anyone who tries to turn off the lights must pay a hefty fine, and 'the days dragged on forever.' The people take charge with a mixture of civil disobedience and sabotage (members of a black-clad resistance flick the 'off' switch on the artificial sun), sanity and balance are restored, and the king learns to sleep with a night light. With a deft sketchbook style, a gift for absurd detail (even the dogs wear 'anti-dark hats'), and a palette limited mostly to yellows, grays, and blacks, British comics artist Haworth-Booth makes a satirical debut that is simultaneously funny and sobering." --Publishers Weekly

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