Inspired by poet, author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay OBE’s arresting visual piece Superman was a Foundling, the Foundling Museum has staged a groundbreaking exhibition that explores the representation of foundlings, orphans, adoptees and foster children in comics and graphic novels from around the world.

Arranged in partnership with the Foundling Museum, this inspiring event sees Lemn Sissay himself, and comic artists Woodrow Phoenix and Asia Alfasi, draw from the exhibition’s companion book, Superheroes, Orphans and Origins: 125 Years in Comics, to explore some of the superhuman parallels between real foundlings and their illustrated counterparts.

About The Speakers

Lemn Sissay

Lemn Sissay is an author, poet and playwright and has been awarded an MBE for services to literature. In 2018 he was made Poet Laureate of Canterbury. He has read poetry everywhere, from the shores of Sri Lanka to Wigan Library and many places between. His autobiography My Name is Why was published in 2019.

Logo of Asia Alfasi

Asia Alfasi

Asia Alfasi is an award-winning British Libyan graphic novelist. Born in Libya in 1984, she spent her formative years first in Tripoli, and then in Glasgow, Scotland, after migrating there with her family. Upon discovering and falling in love with comics and manga, she realised their immense potential for humanising issues and bringing the plight of often marginalised peoples to the fore and therefore furthering understanding. Ever since, she has represented the Muslim and Arab voice through her work with the ultimate aim of harnessing the medium as a tool for cross-cultural dialogue. 


Logo for artist Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Phoenix

Woodrow Phoenix is a writer, artist and graphic designer based in London and Cambridge. His work has appeared in national UK newspapers, in magazines and comics collections internationally and in television projects for Walt Disney and Cartoon Network. His books include the critically acclaimed Rumble Strip and Crash Course, the award-winning anthology Nelson and the experimental She Lives, a gallery installation that is also a graphic novel. Woodrow is a Visiting Lecturer in Graphic Novels at Middlesex University.