Cutting back to the kitchen sink in the middle of the drama of the launch was an idea I really loved. Not only was it a chance to bring back a sense of ordinary life outside the space program, the reactions of the various family members made for some great drama. gagarin, first space flight, yuri's mother, slippers, russian slippers

The ‘dropped plate’ motif to express the shock of the neighbour as she hears the news on the radio was corny, so it served me right when I realised it had landed me with one of the most difficult picture research problems in the whole book: What would a 1960’s Soviet housewife be likely to be wearing on her feet while doing the chores? It took me a few days to discover the wonderful world of lapti, light footwear made of woven fibre from the bark of the linden tree. By the 1960’s these would have been very old-fashioned, but fluffy mules just didn’t seem right . . .

I also had a lot of fun with the dialogue, most of which comes word for word from the accounts in Starman, of the family themselves. I loved the overexcited neighbour’s tactless ‘Not yet!’ in response to poor Yuri’s mother’s natural response when hearing unexpected news of a son in the airforce. I also took great delight in the response of Yuri’s sister: So absolutely right -and expressing the human emotional counterweight to all that cold, male technology.

I wished I could have gone on longer, there are many more fascinating anecdotes in Starman of the shock and excitement that the news of Yuri’s flight produced at ground level.

This entry was posted in Making a Graphic Novel, The Space Race, Yuri Gagarin, YURI's DAY, Yuri's Flying Machines, Yuri's life. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Pingback: Yasmine Youssef

  2. Pingback: Andrew J King

  3. Pingback: P Hodkinson

Leave a Reply


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>