Metaphrog photo

Photo by Bob McDevitt

Metaphrog are Franco-Scottish duo Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers, winners of The Sunday Herald Scottish Culture Awards 2016 Best Visual Artist.

Their graphic novels have received international acclaim and multiple award nominations, including three for the Eisner Awards (the Oscars of comics). Louis – Night Salad was Highly Commended for the Scottish Children’s Book Awards 2011.

Metaphrog tirelessly promote the medium of comics and travel regularly to talk about their work. They are Patrons of Reading at Northfield Academy 2013-17, the first graphic novelists ever to fill such a role, and were Writers in Residence at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (2015).

They have spoken at prestigious venues such as The Glasgow School of Art, Gordonstoun school, The National Library of Scotland, The Edinburgh International Book Festival, Aye Write! and international schools and festivals around the world.

Their story began in 1994 when they met in Glasgow. John, who is from Scotland and studied engineering and science, gaining three degrees, including a PhD in Electronic and Electrical Engineering in a branch of Opto-Electronics involving micro-machining, had just returned from working in the Netherlands. Sandra, who is from France and has a degree in Arts and Letters, had just packed her bags and moved to Scotland in search of adventure. Their meeting was a catalyst, and within a few months, they created Metaphrog. After working on various short comics they published Strange Weather Lately in 1996.

Their Louis series of graphic novels (2000-2011) received three Eisner Awards nominations and attracted praise in broadsheets and style magazines, an unusual thing for comics at the time, and featured in publications as diverse as: Publishers Weekly, The School Librarian, Art Review to name a few. Julie Burchill championed their work in her Guardian column, Libération called it "indispensable", while Kodwo Eshun in i-D said: "like nothing else around". The Comics Journal described it as "deceptively simple tales that manage to pierce directly to the heart of the human condition."

Metaphrog have also undertaken key commissioned work including: Skint! for the Scottish Book Trust; Time to Shine graphic novel for Creative Scotland; The First Men on Mercury comic adaptation of the Edwin Morgan poem for the Association for Scottish Literary Studies; illustrations for children's books and illustrations for an iPad game for Kelvingrove Museum.

Following the success of The Red Shoes and Other Tales (2015), The Little Mermaid, a graphic novel adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's classic tale, is out now from Papercutz. Special thanks to Creative Scotland for their support in the making of this book.


Winner of The Sunday Herald Scottish Culture Awards 2016: Best Visual Artist

Highly Commended for the 2011 Scottish Children's Book Awards

Eisner Awards nominations: Best Graphic Album New 2001,
Best Title for a Younger Audience 2001 and Best Coloring 2011

Ignatz Awards nomination for Best New Talent 2001

YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens 2011 longlist

Leeds Graphic Novel Award 2011 shortlist


The Lakes International Comic Art Festival, Kendal Library
The Magic of Metaphrog
(October 1st - 31st 2014)

The British Library
Comics Unmasked
(May - August 2014)

Scotland House in Brussels
Exhibition of Scottish comics
(Dec 2011)

London Print Studio
That’s Novel!...Lifting comics from the page!!!
Comics by international innovators and the British cutting edge. Curated by Paul Gravett
(October - December 2010)

National Library of Scotland
Local Heroes - The Art of the Graphic Novel
(May - June 2008)

University of Dundee:
Biff! Bam!! Crikey!!!: Comics As Design and Entertainment

(April - June 2007)

DGP Studio and Space:
Graphic novel work by Scotland based creators
(May - June 2005)

All contents © 2015 Metaphrog unless otherwise stated. Photo © Bob McDevitt.

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