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How to Disappear Completely

by Si Smith

A tale of loss and loneliness in Leeds, a modern retelling of the story of Lent, and a graphic novel with its own soundtrack.

Is it possible to disappear in a world where everyone is connected by technology? The unnamed everyman at the heart of illustrator Si Smith’s debut graphic novel manages to leave his life behind after the death of his father, but escaping his own thoughts proves more problematic. As his outer world diminishes, his inner world takes over, emerging through ever more elaborate murals on the dank walls of the deserted inner-city office he calls home.

With its multi-layered illustrations of contemporary Leeds, using real locations and real people, How to Disappear Completely provides an intriguing, previously uncharted landscape that bears repeated exploration. There’s something new to discover with every reading, about art, theology, pop culture and music, and how they can each shed a little light in dark times and provide fleeting but crucial hints of hope.

"In the five short years since the London Olympics, a forward-looking and global Britain has been reduced to an inward, isolationist nation, or so it seems. As we struggle to find ourselves again, Si Smith brilliantly examines notions of identity and Britishness, spirituality and self, loss and hope in a comic strip tour de force. Quite the most beautiful thing I've read in years." Mike Maddox

"Si Smith's perfectly weighted, beautifully rendered story inhabits the derelict fringes of society. It is a story of art and self-sacrifice, exploring how hard it can be to find yourself when nobody knows you’re lost." Jared Myland


For as long as he can remember Si Smith has been an avid draw-er of stuff. Maybe it's in his genes – his father paints and exhibits, his grandfather was also an artist and his brother is a graphic designer and cartoonist. He was born in Leicester in 1966, and he currently resides in north Leeds with his wife Sue and their sons Eddie and Jonah.

During the course of his relatively uneventful life Si has been in a documentary on BBC2, witnessed Gary Lineker's football league debut and spent five and a bit years teaching in a primary school. Si has also drawn a lot of stuff, author-illustrating three children's books for HarperCollins and producing work for a range of clients including OUP, Scholastic, the BBC, Heinemann, Reed and Macmillan. Represented by the Beehive Illustration agency, he has over twenty years' experience as a freelance illustrator.

Valley Press published his graphic novel How to Disappear Completely, a tale of loss and loneliness in Leeds, in February 2018


Edition: Second, revised

Date Published: 2018-02-14

ISBN: 9781908853615

Catalogue Number: VP0119

Number of Pages: 64

Cover design & illustration by Si Smith

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