Liverpool paper turns to graphic novel for 50-foot spider story

The Liverpool Daily Post told the terrifying story of a giant spider stalking the city’s streets – with the help of an eight-page graphic novel pull-out.

The paper’s reporters were out in force to see the imposing 50-foot, 37-tonne mechanical spider La Princess which made various appearances cross the city last week as part of the celebrations for Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture.

Seen clinging from the Concourse Tower next to Liverpool Lime Street Station on Wednesday and the Echo Arena on Thursday, the spider is the work of French company La Machine which were behind the robotic Sultan’s Elephant that appeared in London in 2006.

But instead of simply reporting the robot arachnid’s movements as a straight-forward newspaper story, the paper produced an eight-page supplement in the style of a graphic novel, a first in the paper’s 153-year history, that used the paper’s photographs to create a comic-book style read.

“Because this whole event had an air of the baroque we wanted to report it in a way that captured the character and uniqueness of what people were seeing,” said Daily Post editor Mark Thomas.

‘So alongside our news coverage of La Princess’s visit we decided a graphic novel, manipulating our photographers’ images to look like drawings, was the perfect vehicle for the story.”

Thomas added that the paper’s coverage had generated a lot of interest: “I hope it shows that there’s scope for newspapers to try out new ideas in print as well as online,” he said.

The photos were manipulated by Mike Price, electronic picture desk manager for the Post & Echo, and the supplement designed by Daily Post revise editor Haydon Wood.

Post and Echo staff also ran a live blog of the event, with photographs from staff, members of the public and the Daily Post’s Flickr group, videos, live streaming and text and Twitter updates.

The liveblog ran from Friday to Sunday night and can be re-read at http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/la-machine/live-blog/

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