In Stores this September: The Lost Work of Will Eisner

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Our wonderful backer friends on Kickstarter already know that The Lost Work of Will Eisner is finishing up its printing process and is coming our way very soon.

Well, it’s also making its way into comic shops and bookstores this September, for all those who missed the initial campaign. We’re excited and honored to be bringing these brand “new” Eisner comics onto the shelves that his work helped build.

Diamond Order Code: JUL161747 

If you want to make sure they’ll have it in stock (for yourself or the greater good!), you can print this and bring it to your local comic shop:

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The same flyer can be downloaded in color here, especially if you’d like to share it online.

We’ll leave you with a peek at one of the shiny advance copies we’ve been cherishing here ourselves…

Eisner proof photo

Tuesday Tease: Once Upon a Time Machine vol. 2

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The book that brought Locust Moon together is coming back with a sequel! Once Upon a Time Machine began as a grassroots, pie-in-the-the-sky idea for an anthology by a bunch of folks trying to break into the industry (helped out by a few of our favorite artists, including Brandon Graham, Jill Thompson, Khoi Pham, & Todd Klein). It was picked up by Dark Horse and published as a big, beautiful, Harvey-nominated book – and inspired Chris, Josh, and I to keep doing whatever we could do to make more comics. That’s how Locust Moon Press was born.

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Now we’re working with Dark Horse again on Once Upon a Time Machine vol. 2 – and where the first book took us on a time-bending tour through world folklore and mythology, this second volume focuses on bringing one specific pantheon into the future: the Greek gods.

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Gideon Kendall and I tackled the myth of the high-flying Icarus and his father Daedalus – whose future counterparts build a (titular) time machine and test the limits of discovery in a whole new way.

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I won’t spoil it here, but I can’t help but mention that there is one particular page in this short story that marks my proudest moment in comics collaboration to date – I think Gideon and I were right on the same wavelength, and made something really special, particularly in that one moment.

Gideon Kendall is just a fantastic artist and storyteller, in case these few peeks aren’t enough to tell for yourself. If you want to see more of his work right away, check out his gross and wonderfully imaginative comic Whatzit.

– Andrew Carl

EARLY EISNER UNEARTHED: Locust Moon Kickstarting Collection of Comic Innovator’s Beginnings

(not final cover)

(not final cover)

“It’s like finding the notebooks of the boy Shakespeare.”

This was Locust Moon Press Publisher Josh O’Neill’s awe-struck reaction upon seeing the newly discovered artwork of Will Eisner — his earliest known comics, drawn when he was just a young man finding his voice.

The importance of Will Eisner in the history of comics cannot be overestimated. The restless innovator, pioneer of the graphic novel, and creator of THE SPIRIT spent the bulk of the 20th Century pushing the comics medium forward. But despite endless scholarship on Eisner and his many achievements, little is known about his earliest work — until now.

His very first known comics, never-before-seen strips from his teenage years, have recently been discovered among a collection of 1930s printing plates. The multiple Eisner and Harvey Award-winning Locust Moon Press intends to publish these strips in a definitive edition entitled THE LOST WORK OF WILL EISNER, which will highlight the first origins of one of the forefathers of modern cartooning. They launched a Kickstarter today in an effort to fund the production of this historically vital book.

These remarkable and revelatory comics were lost to history until New Jersey artist and antique collector Joe Getsinger re-discovered them, hidden among an enormous lot of 1930s-era printing plates that he purchased on a lark from a friend at a collectors’ poker game.

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At first Joe didn’t know what he had — but he became fascinated by two strips, UNCLE OTTO by a mysterious Carl Heck, and HARRY KARRY, credited to another unknown artist named Willis B. Rensie. As Getsinger studied the plates and learned more about the provenance of this massive collection, he found that it was linked to Empire Features, a company that provided printing plates to various newspapers for syndication. Eisner & Iger Studios — the partnership between the very young Jerry Iger and Will Eisner to distribute and publish their many fledgling comic books, strips, and magazines — was one of Empire Features’ many customers.

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One day shortly after becoming aware of this connection, Getsinger was looking at a reverse-printed plate and it came to him in a flash: “Rensie” is Eisner backwards. He suddenly knew that what he had here was of extraordinary historical value.

UNCLE OTTO and HARRY KARRY, it turns out, represent the earliest known sequential artwork of Will Eisner — and until now, outside of their titles and a very small smattering of strips salvaged from the few local newspapers that intermittently published them, their contents were almost completely unknown.

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Says Locust Moon creative director Chris Stevens, “In these strips you see Eisner’s imagination expanding, almost in real time. He’s experimenting with the possibilities of serialized storytelling and working through his many influences — there are very distinct E.C. Segar and Alex Raymond phases. By the end of the HARRY KARRY run you see him emerge with a close approximation of the style that brought him success and fame with THE SPIRIT in 1940.”

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In an effort to raise the funds necessary to produce this project, Locust Moon is turning to crowdfunding. This is their first such campaign since their multiple-award-winning sensation LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM lit Kickstarter up and generated over $150,000.

“Will Eisner is the pioneer of the graphic novel and one of the architects of our modern cartooning language,” says Stevens. “This material gives people a chance to see where he started, and how he became what he become. These are the roots of Will Eisner.”

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Locust Moon is seeking $20,000 to fund the publication of a prestige hardcover collecting this unpublished artwork, along with contextual essays and an introduction by historian, publisher, and cartoonist Denis Kitchen. Their Kickstarter campaign is ongoing, and ends on December 10th.

“We want to publish this important document of the genesis of one of the most influential and brilliant cartoonists of all time,” says Locust Moon Editor-in-Chief Andrew Carl. “This book will fill in valuable pieces in Eisner’s biography, and constitute a more complete history of the comics medium.”

“But we can’t do it without you.”

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1576907254/the-lost-work-of-will-eisner

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Will Eisner appeared at 2004 San Diego Comic Con. Photograph by Patty Mooney, Crystal Pyramid Productions, San Diego, California.

THE SHAMAN IS HERE

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SUPERNATURAL GRAPHIC NOVEL SHAMAN SUMMONS COMEDY FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE

In what editor Andrew Carl calls, “perhaps the greatest comic ever about a single father necromancer,” New York writer Ben Kahn and Barcelona artist Bruno Hidalgo have teamed up to bring their debut creator-owned graphic novel to stores.

In a universe populated by superheroes and megalomaniacal villains, death is nothing more than a temporary nuisance. A hero makes a noble sacrifice only to come back seven months later thanks to an implausible story contrivance. But what if resurrection was the domain of one, unpredictable man? That is the question Shaman seeks to answer.

Shaman collects five chapters of witty and wild adventures in an urban-fantasy setting. Comicosity writes, “Shaman will stretch the limits of your imagination and provide a poignantly sharp and thoughtful presentation on superhero absurdity that fans of Constantine and The Venture Brothers will be easily drawn to.” Ben and Bruno set the Shaman and his adoptive family against an imaginative array of villains, from skeletons and space heroes, to zombies and baseball monsters. Shaman is a gleeful dismemberment of superhero tropes that follows the one man in control of superhero comics’ infamous revolving door of death.

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Now, Locust Moon Press is ready to unleash this creation upon the world. Shaman is available in stores everywhere. The 132-page graphic novel features art by Farel Dalrymple, Alice Meichi Li, Rob Woods, JG Jones, James Comey, and Jim Rugg.

Kahn imbues Shaman with energy and wit. He crafts tales of imaginative characters on mind-bending adventures. And it is in Hidalgo’s deft hands that the book comes alive. Thanks to Hidalgo’s unique style, Shaman bursts at the seams with charm and character.

Shaman is available now in stores (DIAMOND CODE JUL151468), through www.locustmoon.com, and via the spirit realm.

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Bruno Hidalgo is a Spanish illustrator and cartoonist. He’s the co-creator of Shaman and has had his work featured in Dark Horse’s Once Upon A Time Machine.

Ben Kahn is a New York based writer. He is the co-creator of Shaman and a writer on several mobile adventure games. The graphic novel represents Ben’s comic-making debut.

Ben Kahn is available for interviews and press appearances. Contact him at kahanartist@gmail.com or 203.644.2522.

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Trade cover by Farel Dalrymple

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Issue 1 cover by Bruno Hidalgo

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Issue 3 cover by JG Jones

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Issue 5 cover by Jim Rugg

Tuesday Tease

Prometheus Eternal Cover frontToday we’re sharing a beautiful page from a book that’s been a true gift for us.

Prometheus Eternal is a 24-page comic (with, really, 28 pages of content – not even an inside cover goes unused!) that represents the first collaboration between the historic Philadelphia Museum of Art and little old Locust Moon. Just a few months ago now, the Museum called us in to see if we could conjure up some kind of project to tie into their fall exhibition, a collection of art that seemed to share deep connective tissue with the modern heroics of comic book superheroes. They didn’t even realize, at first, that comics re-exploring mythology and calling back to classic historical art were precisely our specialties.

And what followed was an exhilarating ride – we managed to (successfully!) wrangle some the best folks working in comics, including a few legends with whom we’d never had the chance to work before. By turning the project into a miniature anthology, we could make the turnaround time as feasible as possible (even if it was still dangerously tight), given that no creator would be on the hook for more than 5 pages of work. But we also, then, had to keep all that many more plates spinning at once, with no room for error. And, one way or another, we actually did it. The comics were delivered from the printer directly to the Museum just in time to go on display and into the gift shop. And they are beautiful.

The exhibition, “The Wrath of the Gods,” opened this past week. And displayed there, right alongside works by Michelangelo, Titian, and the centerpiece Prometheus Bound painting by Peter Paul Rubens, you’ll find a readable copy of Prometheus Eternal. (Of course there are copies for sale, too.)

The artists in this book all refer back to Rubens, to his mythical subject Prometheus, and to the grand tradition of using art to capture mortal defiance of and punishment by the gods. Grant Morrison & Farel Dalrymple, Dave McKean, Andrea Tsurumi, David Mack, Josh O’Neill & Lisk Feng, and James Comey all wove their own Promethean tales, while Paul Pope, Bill Sienkiewicz (with his front and back covers), and Yuko Shimizu contributed paintings and illustrations inspired by Prometheus and Bound.

So here is “A Portrait of Prometheus Sans Titan” from Yuko Shimizu:

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Bill Sienkiewicz Brings Fire to PROMETHEUS ETERNAL

We’re putting PROMETHEUS ETERNAL, our collaboration with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, to bed today. It’s off to press with the appropriately named Fireball Printing tomorrow. This thing features work by Dave McKean, Grant Morrison, Yuko Shimizu, Lisk Feng, Paul Pope, David Mack, Andrea Tsurumi, James Comey and Farel Dalrymple. These comics will be displayed alongside artwork by Michelangelo, Rubens and Titian, and stands proudly and rightfully beside the work of the Old Masters.

But if you want to get to the amazing stories inside, you’ll have to brave the hellfire on Bill Sienkiewicz’s startlingly powerful cover.

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Keep your eyes on the skies, friends. This book is a gift from the heavens.

-Josh O’Neill

Awards and Onwards

So… it’s a bit of a heady time here in the land of the Locusts.

Andrew went to San Diego, and came back with these things:

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Those globes are actually spinnable, and the base is made of solid wood. But beyond even their fine craftsmanship, these objects also have symbolic value. They are Eisner awards, assigned by a jury of our peers, recognizing the transcendent beauty and Herculean it-takes-a-village communal effort that is LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM.

EISNER winnerOur collective labor of love was recognized as BEST ANTHOLOGY, and Jim Rugg’s gorgeous work on the package was singled out for BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN.

We’re humbled. So much dedication and care went into the crafting of the 118 beautiful pieces contained in this collection. And we couldn’t be prouder to be behind one of the projects spearheading this surprising and splendid Winsor McCay revival – between our anthology, IDW’s RETURN TO SLUMBERLAND mini-series, Taschen’s complete Little Nemo reprint, and Katherine Roeder’s academic work WIDE AWAKE IN SLUMBERLAND, our man was the recipient of, count ’em, eight Eisner nominations and four Eisner awards. These are some pretty voluminous coat-tails, and we’re riding ’em in good company, hanging on for dear life.

Voting open through August 31, 2015Then we turn around the next week and find that LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM has been nominated for two Harvey Awards, (BEST ANTHOLOGY and SPECIAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PRESENTATION; voting open till 8/31), and Locust Moon Press was nominated for a Philadelphia Geek Award for COMIC CREATOR OF THE YEAR. The accolades for this beautiful book are coming faster than we can tweet about them. It’s a remarkable thing, to see the spectacular work and incredible passion of so many visionary cartoonists recognized by their industry and their colleagues.

BUT – lest you think we’re resting for even a moment on our laurels – we thought we might take this opportunity to give you a glimpse of what we’re working on.

Friends, this is the calm before the storm. All spring and summer long, we have been planting seeds.

Soon – the harvest.

Here’s what’s coming from Locust Moon in the next three months. Gird yourselves, comic lovers.

LITTLE NEMO’S BIG NEW DREAMS

LittleNemo_Toon_CoverWe’re pleased and honored to announce the newest incarnation of our seemingly endless Little Nemo revival project: we’ve partnered with TOON BOOKS, Francoise Mouly’s remarkable comics-for-young-readers imprint, home of beautiful children’s books by Art Spiegelman, Jeff Smith, and Neil Gaiman, to create a miniature, abridged edition of our ginormous compendium.

Gorgeously designed by Francoise herself, edited by myself, Chris, and Andrew, and featuring an introduction in comic strip form by none other than Art Spiegelman (!!!!), this beautiful new book is our attempt to create some version of our dream-tome fit for libraries, schools, backpacks, picnics, and budgets without room for triple-digit literary line items.

Due for release on September 1st, this edition is a sparkling treasure smuggled out of Slumberland while everyone was distracted by the cacophonous pomp of the LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM parade.

Some great early reviews of LITTLE NEMO’S BIG NEW DREAMS are already in from ICv2 and Kirkus.

SHAMAN

Shaman_Vol1_coverThis is a project that’s been bubbling away on Locust Moon’s most favored back burner for a couple years now, and it’s finally come to a boil. Ben Kahn and Bruno Hidalgo’s gleeful dismemberment of superhero tropes marks the long-form debut of two top-flight storytellers and one bitingly brilliant comics-making team. Ben and Bruno’s sharp, nimble, contagiously funny creative vision is about to be loosed on the world in the shape of a charming supernatural saga that’s sure to leave readers enraptured and hungry for more. In the never-ending battle between good and evil, the door between life and death swings both ways – and Shaman’s the asshole with the key.

SHAMAN: Volume One, featuring special appearances by the likes of Farel Dalrymple, Jim Rugg, and J.G. Jones, will be in comic shops everywhere October 15.

Make sure your store gets it! Diamond order code JUL151468.

QUARTER MOON: IMPRACTICAL CATS

Yes, this is a whole issue of Quarter Moon about cats. Mostly this cat…

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QM6_cover…but a lot of other cats too.

Our little quarterly-esque comics anthology is growing up, pouncing into the future with its wildest, prettiest and most ambitious iteration thus far. Featuring a cover by Lisk Feng and artwork and stories from a lineup of ringers including Paul Pope, Farel Dalrymple, Dean Haspiel, David Mack, Bill Sienkiewicz, Ronald Wimberly, and many more, this celebration of our furry friends prowls and purrs like the fine feline she is.

The sixth volume of QUARTER MOON will hit shelves by November. Our hope is that the slow boat from China gets it here in time to debut this creature at Comic Arts Brooklyn.

PROMETHEUS ETERNAL

We’ve been keeping this one a semi-secret outside of some slightly obnoxious vaguebooking, but goddamn. We’re just too excited to hold back any longer.

We’re teaming up with the Philadelphia Museum of Art (you know, from Rocky?) to produce a comic book companion to their upcoming WRATH OF THE GODS exhibition – a show featuring representations of Prometheus throughout history, including works by Rubens, Michelangelo, and Titian.

How do you answer the call to arms that comes in the form of a collaboration with one of the greatest American art museums, in a show featuring a number of old masters?

You recruit a lineup of the greatest cartoonists in the world. Our PROMETHEUS ETERNAL comic will feature illustrations and stories adapting the Prometheus myth by creators including

GRANT MORRISON
DAVE MCKEAN
LISK FENG
BILL SIENKIEWICZ
PAUL POPE
ANDREA TSURUMI
DAVID MACK
JAMES COMEY
FAREL DALRYMPLE
YUKO SHIMIZU

We’re bringing the visions of these incredible storytellers into a context in which it deserves to be seen: among other great works of art history. If our crazy plan works, this book will be the first of many, and this partnership between Locust Moon and the P.M.A. will mark the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

A little taste, courtesy of McKean…

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UPDATE: And now, Bill Sienkiewicz’s cover!

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