Sunday’s Child

2019

This graphic novel is based on the written recollections of my Grandfather, telling the story of his childhood in Germany. It grew out of a much shorter version that was completed during my final year at the Royal College of Art in 2013, where it was awarded the Brian Robb Scholarship Prize, and was highly commended for the Quentin Blake Narrative Prize. It also won the IdeasTap Graduate Award for Graphics & Illustration in 2014.
It was published with Jonathan Cape in 2019 and can be ordered here.
My Grandfather grew up in Germany during the 1930’s, the son of Polish immigrants. Over time, he overcame the stigma of his Polish heritage in nationalist Germany and joined the Hitler Youth like most German boys. Later he attended various other military training programmes, spending the entirety of his youth in Nazi education facilities.
While he was alive, I knew about his successful achievements in later life, but very little about this youth. He had a habit of painting a big and golden picture of himself and repeating the same success stories of his adult life over and over. After he died, a closer inspection of his short written recollections helped me learn more, and inspired me to dig behind his facade of great achievements.
The book is based on my Grandfather’s own recollections of his past. However, it is not just a re-telling of his account. Alongside his neatly chronological and optimistic story is another voice – mine – which adds omitted details and contradicts some of his statements. By dissecting his words and unpicking his white-washed stories, I am able to get a little closer to the real, felt truth, of his experience.
"Magnificently unsettling… beautiful and extraordinary…There is, I think, real daring here, as well as empathy and imagination. What would you have done? she quietly asks: an age-old question, but still an enduringly good one."
Rachel Cooke, Observer


"A beautifully drawn and very melancholic book."
Strong Words


"Katt’s visual reimagining of that time…has more than enough texture and terror in it to make an impact."
Herald


"Tender yet incisive...‘Sunday’s Child’ considers what we choose to remember and to forget."
Paul Gravett, Varoom Magazine



"An extraordinary piece of work"
Stack Magazines


Ingeborg’s Reise 



An illustrated book, inspired by the wartime letters written by my maternal German Grandmother to her husband in 1945.
Her letters have a powerful, almost theatrical narrative quality. They tell the story of her journey as a young German mother, fleeing the invading Russians in Czechoslovakia to return to her hometown, Hamburg, at the end of the Second World War. At the beginning of the journey she was heavily pregnant, and traveling alone with her infant daughter. Along the way she encountered many other refugees, some like herself, some from the liberated concentration camps and some from reclaimed land along the German borders. She traveled mainly on foot, relying on the kindness of strangers for food and shelter. Her journey took three months, during which time she gave birth and fell dangerously ill. 
Beginning this work was a means for me to question who she was, and to begin to answer the many questions I had about her own beliefs and complicity with the fallen Nazi regime. Many of my questions remain unanswered, but what emerged was a story about survival; a vivid and moving account of an ordinary German woman’s experience of war torn Germany and the strength of the human spirit in dark times.

German-English Illustrator and Artist based in Brighton, UK

My work explores how illustration can be used as an active tool for understanding, interpreting and re-evaluating dominant narratives and discourse about historical events. How can illustration add to our understanding of history, how can it challenge it, and what is the value of providing alternative viewpoints to the mainstream?

I am interested in exploring and highlighting the ways in which history is recorded, suppressed, remembered and distorted. I have become particularly interested in how meaning and underlying power structures contained within archival records can be interpreted through the act of drawing. Often working with archival artefacts and personal testimony, I create narrative sequences and visual essays that explore my own relationship to history.