S.F Said‘s novels Varjak Paw and The Outlaw Varjak Paw are probably the best mystical martial arts tales with a Mesopotamian blue kitten for a protagonist that you are ever going to read, for reasons both bad (there just aren’t enough of them out there) and good (they’re brilliant). Way back in March 2006, it was announced in The Hollywood Reporter that Dave McKean, the illustrator of the books, was going to adapt them into his second feature film. 2006! I’d all but given up hope of ever seeing the film…

Today, McKean was in town for the Oxford Literary Festival, taking part in a discussion and Q&A with David Almond, with whom he has recently collaborated on the superb illustrated book The Savage. Varjak Paw didn’t come up in conversation at all, and neither was any Paw artwork among the many slides McKean showed us, but when it came to the Q&A session, I simply had to ask for status on the kick-ass kitty. And the news was very good.

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