Such, Such Were the Joys : A Graphic Novel


by Orwell, George, Michael Wilson, Sean, Huxtable, Jaime
United Kingdom, Great Britain

SKU: 9780745345925 Category:


by Orwell, George, Michael Wilson, Sean, Huxtable, Jaime | United Kingdom, Great Britain
Published 20/08/2021 by Pluto Press in the United Kingdom
Paperback | 112 pages, Illustrations, black and white

One of the most famous writers of all time, George Orwell’s life played a huge part in his understanding of the world. A constant critic of power and authority, the roots of Animal Farm and 1984 began to grow in his formative years as a pupil at a strict private school in Eastbourne. His essay Such, Such Were The Joys recounts the ugly realities of the regime to which pupils were subjected in the name of class prejudice, hierarchy and imperial destiny.

This graphic novel vividly brings his experiences at school to life – as Orwell earned his place through scholarship rather than wealth, he was picked on by both staff and richer students. The violence of his teachers and the shame he experienced on a daily basis leap from the pages, conjuring up how this harsh world looked through a child’s innocent eyes while juxtaposing the mature Orwell’s ruminations on what such schooling says about society.

Today, as the private school and class system endure, this is a vivid reminder that the world Orwell sought to change is still with us.


Sean Michael Wilson is a Harvey and Eisner nominated comic book writer from Scotland. He has had more than 30 books published with a variety of US, UK and Japanese publishers. Although also writing ‘western’ style graphic novels, such as adaptations of classical novels, he often works with Japanese and Chinese artists on manga style books.

He is currently the only British creator writing books for big Japanese publisher Kodansha. He is also the editor of the critically acclaimed collection ‘AX:alternative manga’ (one of Publishers Weekly’s ‘Best ten books of 2010’ and nominated for a Harvey Award) and writer of the Stan Lee Award winning adaptation of ‘Sweeney Todd’. In 2016 his book ‘The Faceless Ghost’ was nominated for the prestigious Eisner Book Awards, and received a medal in the 2016 ‘Independent Publisher Book Awards’. His book ‘Secrets of the Ninja’ was awarded a medal in the 10th ‘International Manga Awards’ of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs – the first British person to receive that award.

He has given talks on Gekiga style manga and AX in the USA, UK and Japan, to try to increase knowledge of mature, literary style manga. He has received various grants in support of his publications. In general, Wilson has attempted to do comic books that are different from the normal superhero/fantasy brands, working with a variety of ‘non-comic book’ organisations in the process. His book with War on Want, ‘Iraq:Operation Corporate Takeover’ was reported on by a variety of mainstream agencies – such as Reuters, CCTV in China and several Middle Eastern magazines. His main influences remain British and American creators – such as Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Eddie Campbell and Harvey Pekar.
Twitter: @SeanMichaelWord