Isabella and Blodwen

By Rachael Smith

A graphic novel about growing up, fitting in, and a witch from a bottle determined to wreak havoc!

Graphic novels & comics | Sci-fi & Fantasy
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A Signed and Sketched In Book PLUS Wired Up Wrong

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A Signed and Sketched In Book PLUS Commission

Single portrait of any character or person of your choice, in black ink on Bristol board paper, including a digital copy. Currently the only way to get an original Rachael Smith commission!

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A Signed and Sketched In Book PLUS A Portfolio Review

Portfolio review of 15-20 pages, conducted over email.

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Isabella and Blodwen is the latest book from Rachael Smith, creator of The Rabbit, Artificial Flowers, and the critically-acclaimed exploration of living with mental illness, Wired Up Wrong.

The story follows sixteen year-old Isabella who has been granted early admission to the prestigious University of Oxford. Academically gifted, but lacking in social skills, she finds navigating the hallowed halls a trial she can’t study her way out of. Mixing with older students, and struggling to find her place, she sets her heart on the coveted summer internship with her hero, Professor MacLeod. While wondering how to get the letter of recommendation she needs to be considered, she accidentally drops an exhibit from a museum she’s visiting in her bag... and Blodwen, the Witch from the Bottle enters her life!

After centuries trapped in a little silver flask, Blodwen is thrilled to find herself in the thick of things at a University dorm, and is determined to make the most of her newfound freedom. Isabella makes a number of frantic attempts to return the bottle, and Blodwen, to the museum and rid herself of this meddling witch, all foiled. After a night out goes terribly wrong, Blodwen and Isabella argue, prompting Blodwen to cast a curse on Isabella – that she can only hear people speak if they care about her.

Silence descends on Isabella’s life. After a frightening encounter with a lecturer she thought she could trust, she desperately turns to Blodwen, and the two begin to work together, to get Isabella her internship, and to get Blodwen the satisfaction she needs to be set free from the bottle, and the world, that bind her.

Aimed at a young adult audience, and exploring themes of friendship, growing up, and finding your place in the world, Isabella and Blodwen is a story that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt alone and that the world is against them.

Supporters of the book will have access to exclusive weekly updates covering all aspects of the comics creation process, as well as sneak peeks of what's to come in the book!

About the Book:

200 Page Full-colour Hardback

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The Book Signed and Sketched In

  • Rachael Smith avatar

    Rachael Smith

    Rachael Smith is a comic artist and writer based in the UK. She has created numerous, critically acclaimed comic books including House Party, Artificial Flowers, Wired Up Wrong, and The Rabbit, which was nominated for Best Book in the 2015 British Comic Awards, following her nomination for Emerging Talent the previous year. Rachael has also worked on Titan's Doctor Who Comic series, and is a regular contributor to Empathize This, a website which gives a platform to marginalised voices through the medium of comics.

  • A sneak peek at the interiors:

  • Rachael Smith has written 14 private updates. You can pledge to get access to them all.

    11th March 2020 Update #18: A new page :)

    Is Isabella feeling a little under the weather?

    11th February 2020 Update #17: New Studio (again!)

    Hello darlings,

    Firstly, I'm sorry this update is a little late! I wrestled with tax returns and deadlines, moved house, got horribly ill, then my town got hit by floods, but hopefully I'm back to some semblance of normality now. (Whatever 'normal' is, haha!)

    A few of you very kindly reached out to me to ask if I was OK due to strom Ciara - I am absolutely fine, our new house is up a hill so…

    6th January 2020 Update #16: A General Update!

    Hey folks!

    I thought I'd make a General Update (salutes) to let you know of Isabella & Blodwen plans, as well as other work plans, and also personal plans! Here goes...

    • Isabella & Blodwen plans: I'm aiming to finish the book this year! Also to give a real push to fund-raising. I feel like funding is going quite slow but my editor assures me this is normal for most projects. I'm going to apply…

    17th October 2019 Update #15 What I'm reading!

    Hey neighbours!

    I've been beavering away on Isabella and Blodwen pages these past months, so it's been kinda thin on the ground for things to update you with as I don't just want to show you pages and pages and spoil things for you :) I'll be showing you some little peeks soon, as well as talking about my favourite comics, but I thought for today I could talk about what I'm reading currently!

    4th July 2019 Update #14: Bookplate revealed!

    Hi everyone!

    Today I finalised the exclusive bookplate design! Behold:

    This bookplate will be available only to people who pledge for this reward on unbound:


    So get pledging/upgrading you pledge if you want this cutie in your book :)

    Any questions please comment on this update!

    Much love,

    Rachael xxx

    7th June 2018 Update #6: The Pitt Rivers Museum

    Hey pals,

    As many of you know by now, the story is built around an artifact in the Pitt Rivers Museum, a museum that displays archaeological and ethnographic objects from all parts of the world and all time periods. The object is a silver stoppered bottle, which is said to contain a witch. I thought for the update this week I could talk a little bit more about the bottle, and the museum that houses…

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About Cast Iron Books

Cast Iron Books is a new independent publisher of graphic novels, illustrated books and experimental fiction.

We believe in empowering writers and artists to create stories that stay with a reader long after the last page has been turned.

Most of all we believe that books should be things of beauty, that good storytelling should be an end in itself, and that if you want to make something that lasts, make sure there’s some graphite in it.

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