Author of books, Children's author, Illustrator

Also writes as

John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs
Booking enquiry
Metaphrog - author tools

Available for

After dinner, Interview, Talk, Workshop


Age 7 to 11, Age 11 to 14, Age 14 to 16, Age 16 to 18+, Adult


Art, Horror, Humour, Science fiction

Book types

Fiction for children, Graphic novel


  • Highly Commended for the Scottish Children's Book Awards 2011 (Formerly Royal Mail Award)
  • Best Graphic Album New and Best Title for a Younger Audience (2001).
  • The Sunday Herald Scottish Culture Awards for Best Visual Artist 2016
  • Longlisted for YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens 2011.
  • Ignatz Award nomination for Best New Talent (2001).
  • Shorlisted for The Leeds Graphic Novel Awards 2011.
  • Eisner Award nominations for: Best Coloring (2011)


  • The Association of Illustrators.
  • The Scottish Book Trust Live Literature Scheme and BRAW network


Metaphrog are award-winning graphic novelists John Chalmers and Sandra marrs, creators of the multiple award nominated and acclaimed Louis graphic novels. The Red Shoes and Other Tales, published by Papercutz, is out now.

They love to travel for author visits, and theirt events have proved extremely popular all over the UK and abroad.

They are Patrons of Reading at Northfield Academy 2013-17, and were Writers in Residence at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2015. In July 2016 they won The Sunday Herald Scottish Culture Awards for Best Visual Artist.

Comics & Graphic Novel Events:

Talks: To children or adults about how we became comic creators and how we work together as a writer/illustrator team, with Q & A and book signing.

Masterclasses: A more in-depth talk on the medium of comics for more advanced levels, including a look at our own working methods.

Workshops: For children and adults. These sessions include an illustrated talk, and the participants also get to create their own characters and comics. We provide support, professional advice and feedback. The content can be varied to accommodate different age groups, or be more workshop oriented. With Q & A and book signing.

Audience: We can adapt the content of our sessions to suit different age groups: children, young adults and adults. We prefer talking to large audiences (e.g. assemblies for schools) but also enjoy talking to any smaller groups and classes.

Content: We love to show the process involved in making graphic novels, and how we go about creating our own books and comic stories, as well as revealing some of the secrets of character design and story development. Our talks and workshops are illustrated, and we like to finish up by showing short animations.

Session lengths: A session usually lasts for a maximum of one hour, or for schools, a period. We are happy to deliver one-off sessions, or strings of several sessions where participants can get to develop their own projects and ideas.

Fees are in accordance with the Scottish Book Trust fees (session costs plus expenses). We are part of the Scottish Book Trust's Live Literature Scheme and members of the Society of Authors.

Recent events have included: The Edinburgh International Book Festival; The National Library of Scotland; SUISS; Glasgow Film Festival; Glasgow School of Art; Wigtown Book Festival; Aye Write!; Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery; a virtual Glow Meet workshop with Learning and Teaching Scotland; a Comics Lab for Scottish Book Trust; Gordonstoun School; and many Primary and Secondary Schools. Further afield, we have toured Guernsey, visited Helsinki and Eindhoven International Schools, and gone to many conventions and festivals in the US.

If you would like more information or wish to discuss an event, please email John and Sandra.

For more info, please visit



From teachers and librarians:

Thank you again for the inspiring talk and workshops you gave to our students (11-17 years) at the ISE Secondary Division! Both students and staff thoroughly enjoyed the sessions. Your presentation even got the most reluctant student to draw, and we saw many surprising characters. It was indeed a great experience for all to learn how to develop a cartoon character like Louis. We all adore him, he is so sweet and gentle!
Joy Bowker, Head of English Department Renske Laheij & Majola Slot, Librarians

Wow! What a fantastic day!! It was lovely to see the children so engaged, and the work presented at an interesting level for them.
Miss Richards, St Andrew's Junior

Metaphrog enthralled children from Year 7 at Fitzalan High School with a lively demonstration creating comic book characters and effects. All the children created their own cartoons and enthusiastically shared their drawings which showed an impressive range of humour and skills. We’d love Metaphrog to come back and visit again.
Heather Noble, Children’s Library Services Manager, Cardiff Central Library

Metaphrog were back with us through popular demand...All of the sessions were full and the kids really enjoy it. Amazing stuff! Check out the Louis books, WE'RE ALL FANS!
Anne Louise Anglim, West Dunbartonshire Libraries

Thank you again for the wonderful workshop you gave the students here in GSA Library. On a personal level it was lovely to meet with you both, and your presentation was very inspirational. I think you pitched it perfectly for our students, and they seemed to find it extremely engaging without exception.
Duncan Chappell, Glasgow School of Art

From pupils:

Amazing, I loved the lesson. Thanks for explaining how to write an actual graphic novel. It was an unmissable experience.
KS2 pupil

What I liked the most was when we made our own comics but I also enjoyed meeting the awsome writer and sketcher of the amazing book Louis. Louis is awesome!!!
KS2 pupil

I enjoyed this day very much and it was very inspiring. Metaphrog were very thorough and gave a very clear image of what it would be like to be a comic writer.
High School pupil

I thought the presentation was very good. The job they do seemed very interesting. The ‘Louis’ comic was extremely good, and the artwork was fantastic.
High School pupil

I really enjoyed the workshop with John and Sandra. I really thought making a character was the best part. The little films they showed us were cute too. I think the presentation was well done. I really hope they come back some day! I am sure their ideas and comics will develop by then and they can show us all over again!
MP2 student  (USA)

It was an interesting and inspiring presentation as it showed their points of view about their comics and gave us the opportunity to make our own comic. I like their character, and books, Louis. I think they did a great job explaining and showing how he was drawn and where their ideas came from. I also like how they interacted with the audience during their presentation as it made it a lot more enjoyable and easier to connect and understand what they were sharing.
MP2 student (The Netherlands)

This presentation I enjoy the most from all the other presentations I saw. The best thing I enjoyed was workshop. I really liked to get ideas about drawing my own comic character. I think this visit was one of the best and most interesting ones.
MP2 student (Russia)


Dark, mysterious, completely entrancing and easily the best adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's classic tale that we've ever seen. Charlotte's (7) best bit: The (slightly gruesome) solution to the poor girl's dancing shoe problem. Eeks!

Read it Daddy!


A beautiful but haunting fairy tale brought to stunning visual life.

Broken Frontier


Metaphrog have produced ... the most adorable character.

Julie Burchill in The Guardian


A delightful all-ages tale of Louis' quest for adventure, Red Letter Day is the sort of comic book that draws you into its world...and has the potential of becoming a children's classic.

Comics Buyer's Guide


An indispensable bedside book, to plunge into as in a dream.



A magical modernist mystery with implicit 1984-style warning which repays repeated readings...

The School Librarian


Louis - Dreams Never Die is their most satisfying, poetic work to date.

The Herald

Books by Metaphrog


The Little Mermaid

A graphic novel adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's classic tale. 

The Red Shoes and Other Tales

There once was a young girl, who was pretty but poor. So poor she had to go barefoot. Her name was Karen and she loved to dance. When Karen is bought a beautiful pair of red shoes, they magically come to life... 

Louis - Red Letter Day

Louis and his companion FC are two inhabitants of a simple hamlet. Louis hungers for adventure and this tale follows his attempts to live his dreams. 

Louis - Night Salad

Highly acclaimed metaphrog return with a brand new stand-alone graphic novel: the moving tale of Louis’ quest for a cure to save his friend FC. A simple story of friendship, heart-warming and genuinely transporting. 

Louis - Dreams Never Die

Graphic novel with enhanced cd. cd contatins two music tracks by Múm and Hey, and a short animation by metaphrog with soundtrack by hey and múm. When Louis and FC decide to visit Aunt Alison, little do they realise what dangers lurk in Hamlet's labyrinthine pathways.  

Louis - The Clown's Last Words

Back in Hamlet, where the Quidnuncs are up to no good as usual, Louis finds himself working with fruit. Everyone is looking forward to the Fun Day Out, but something sinister is definitely going on. Cheese, clowns and crazy carrots for all ages! 

Louis - Lying to Clive

An insinuating, multi-levelled fable for our disconnected age. 

Louis - Red Letter Day

A delightful all-ages tale of Louis' quest for adventure 

Strange Weather Lately Volume One

A graphic novel 

Strange Weather Lately Volume Two

This is a work characterised by an all pervasive paranoia and social disconnection.