Welcome back, small press fans! This week we spotlight SelfMadeHero’s upcoming graphic novel adaptation of the 1914 Robert Tressell novel, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. The “beautiful, accessible, and engaging” graphic novel by sisters Scarlett and Sophie Rickard brings the book’s core message to a new generation of readers in both the UK and North America. What is that message? Described as “a secret weapon of the grass-roots Left in Britain,” the book is “perhaps the first novel written by a working man about his working life, the utterly human story it tells scrutinizes the capitalist system with clarity and sharp wit.” 

Read a synopsis below:

“The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists traces the political awakening of Frank Owen, and the team of painter-decorators with whom he works, and whose stories are intertwined with his. Exploited by profiteering employers, abandoned by a hypocritical church, and oppressed by corrupt politicians, Owen confronts head-on the greed and dishonesty of the pre-War capitalist system. As profoundly relevant as it is today, however, this is no dry political tract. Instead, the 350 full-colour pages of Scarlett and Sophie Rickard’s sumptuous adaptation celebrate the joys of fellowship and creative endeavour as beautifully as they convey the ugliness of its exploitation.

An inspiration to successive generations of political thinkers for over 100 years, Robert Tressell’s paean to the working man and woman here finds its perfect medium. [George] Orwell called Tressell’s novel “a book that everyone should read”; the Rickards’ adaptation is a work of art that everyone should see.”

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is set to release on December 14. Gently edited by David Hine, the full-color book fits perfectly into SelfMadeHero’s range of books, from quirky to political. Take a look at the cover below!

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists