Raymond Briggs often lamented what he called the ‘hierarchy of snobbery in the arts’ that placed his preferred medium – cartoon illustration – at the bottom of the heap. Like many cartoonists, he believed that serious or even controversial subjects could be addressed in picturebooks and sequential art narratives, and he proved how these ends could be achieved through comic means in astonishing ways.

In this talk, Professor Karen Coats from the Centre for Research in Children’s Literature, and Dr Dmitrii Sergeev from the Faculty of Education, discuss how and why his use of shape, line, colour, and composition communicate so much more than words alone ever could.

This event is being hosted as part of Cambridge University Libraries’ exhibition, Raymond Briggs: A Retrospective (29 April – 26 August 2023). You are welcome to explore the exhibition before this event. Please note there will not be time to visit the exhibition at the end of the event.