The Co-operative is to release a graphic novel charting the history of the co-operative movement.

The novel, published as part of the celebrations to mark the United Nations 2012 International Year of Co-operatives, was written and drawn by graphic novellist Paul Fitzgerald.

The movement was founded by 28 weavers and artisans who got together and established a co-operative shop in Toad Lane, Rochdale in 1844. Their initiative kick-started a global co-operative movement that now features 1.4 million co-operatives worldwide including a billion members.