Feature: Corpse Talk: Dead Good Storytellers. Adam & Lisa Murphy

Corpse Talk Dead Good Storytellers Adam & Lisa Murphy

Today I am delighted to be hosting this stop on The Corpse Talk: Dead Good Storytellers Blog Tour with bonus featured content from the author & illustrator husband and wife team Adam and Lisa Murphy! 

When the email for Corpse Talk popped up in my inbox it was an instant yes for us. Bringing to books a popular The Phoenix series we were sold by the idea of non-fiction in a graphic novel style illustration with a little bit of weird! 

Corpse Talk Dead Good Storytellers Adam & Lisa Murphy

The idea behind Corpse Talk is that a fictionalised version of author Adam Murphy hosts a comic book chat show from a graveyard talking to the disinterred bodies of famous people about their life & works in this case Great Storytellers in History making a blend of snapshot biographies and bite size versions of the heavy hitting classics of literature with a twist. 

Ok it’s not fluffy bunnies but it’s definitely going to pique the interest of fans of Jon Klassen’s picture book collaborations, Amelia Fang, Skeleton Keys or any young illustrated fiction with a spooky or dark humour twist. 

As a huge fan of this aesthetic Littlefae actually squealed joyfully ‘WHAT IS THAT!?!’ when she saw this arrive and had a wonderful time curled up on the sofa devouring page by page (going backwards through time actually)! 

I was excited to see William Shakespeare on the cover because he is one of my favourites! I love this because it’s a comic style book and I am really enjoying {those types of books} because they are awesome and a mix of words and colour pictures. The stories are illustrated beautifully even if he’s talking to dead bodies- it’s funny. 


Despite the gruesome context the book has some breathtaking spreads including the CorpseTalk versions of Li Qing Zhao’s Like a Dream and Keat’s La Belle Dame Sans Merci, and I was especially pleased to see there is a lovely range of different cultures and times in the history of literature from Ancient Sumerian to 20th Century children’s literature via Greek Historiography, Medieval English and the birth of the Gothic movement, with representation from Middle Eastern, Asian, Black, Female author, not just ‘Dead White Dudes’. 

Corpse Talk Dead Good Storytellers Adam & Lisa Murphy

I was particularly interested in how Adam and Lisa came to choose which Great Storytellers and Stories to include in this edition and I’m delighted to be able to host their answer! 

CorpseTalk: Dead Good Storytellers is a collection of interviews with the reanimated zombies of famous writers from history, along with comic-book versions of their famous stories, plays and poems. While we might have had an idea of which of their stories we wanted to include, in many cases, the choice of writer came first.

Originally, when CorpseTalk was just being published in The Phoenix magazine, and books were just a hopeful dream of the future, we were basically just doing random people. Most of them were actually kids’ suggestions – The Phoenix asked readers to write in with ideas for people we could interview. Some of the most amazing and unusual people we’ve interviewed came through reader suggestions. When we started to make themed books (Scientists, Women, Queens & Kings, Rebels and now Storytellers) we looked at who we’d already done interviews with, and then thought about who the best people would be to fill the remaining pages. We have basically a massive spreadsheet of existing interviews and possible interviewee names, grouped under existing and possible books, and then we juggle them around with Anthony, our brilliant and remarkably patient editor at DFB. We’ve always tried to fill each book with as many different points of view as possible; with lots of women, different ethnicities, different parts of the world and also different time periods. But most of all, making sure every guest is fascinating, unique and has a great story to tell.

Once we knew we wanted someone in the book, we would decide which of their works to include. Sometimes it came down to familiarity: I have a lot of thoughts about works like The Odyssey, Macbeth, Frankenstein and Dracula, since I’ve been reading and re-reading them for a long time. Some I had to read specially (and/or watch the movie), like Jane Eyre. Sometimes it came down to popularity: everyone knows of War & Peace, even if it’s just that it’s really long. In some cases, it was just a question of which one would make the best comic. Most of the works of Enheduanna (the Sumerian poet-priestess, and the first known writer in all of history, who kicks off the book) are long and complex hymns to strange, ancient deities. But one, her Hymn to Inanna and the Mountain, is an action-packed little story full of explosive fight scenes and special effects. So, naturally, we went with that one!

Corpse Talk Adam & Lisa Murphy
Image provided by Adam & Lisa Murphy

Absolutely brilliant stuff!!!

We have been delighted by this blend of non-fiction and graphic novel illustration with a dash of spooky eccentricity and Littlefae has already seen the other editions at back of the book and wants more!!

Thank you so much for joining me on my stop today and I encourage you to check out the other stops on the tour!!

Corpse Talk Dead Good Storytellers Adam & Lisa Murphy

Corpse Talk: Dead Good Storytellers by Adam and Lisa Murphy is published by David Fickling Press

Thank you so much for our copy 💜

7 thoughts on “Feature: Corpse Talk: Dead Good Storytellers. Adam & Lisa Murphy

    1. Deserve to be it’s such a clever concept!! Littlefae immediately showed me the back and asked for the others.
      I think the Corpse idea is funny so maybe the ideal present to recommend for cool aunt/uncle/parent friends to gift!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Yeah definitely. I got A Day in the Life of a Poo, a Gnu and You in at work over Christmas (have you seen that one? It’s another graphic novel style non fiction) and that proved a super popular gift, think these would do just as well.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. I keep seeing it pop up and to be honest Littlefae is in that age where bum/poo/noises are fascinating, disgusting AND hilarious so I should buy it. She’s recently been torturing my mum with the Wee & Poo issue of OKIDO at bedtime 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

    4. Haha! It’s actually pretty deceptively titled as there’s not much poo in it! Each page is a different comic style strip about a whole range of different things. But it is great.

      Peapod is also obsessed with poo. Especially rhino poo which makes its way into every game we play!

      Liked by 1 person

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