Today, Amazon Publishing announced the launch of a new comics and graphic novel imprint, Jet City Comics! We’re launching with a series of comics set in The Foreworld Saga, an alternate history created by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear and Mark Teppo, and full of sword-fighting, quests, and plenty of world-building. The first issue, Symposium #1 by Christian Cameron and Dmitry Bondarenko, releases today and requires no prior knowledge of the Foreworld universe. It’s new-reader friendly, and sets the stage for the larger works in the series, like The Mongoliad.
Beginning in October, we will release three projects from legendary novelist George R.R. Martin: an original comic, called Meathouse Man, and two graphic novel prequels to his A Song of Ice and Fire series (the basis for the gamma-powered Game of Thrones television series). Also coming in October is our visual trip down the silo with the comics adaptation of Wool, the bestselling science fiction sensation by Hugh Howey. We will release issues of Wool on a monthly basis via our Serials program, and then collect it in physical and digital omnibuses later in 2014.
To celebrate today’s news, we asked Hugh Howey and Neal Stephenson to share their favorite comics (see highlights below):
For those of you familiar with Wool, Hugh’s favorites should come as no surprise—running the gamut of big action and literary elements (see his comments below):
The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller: This was the book I carried with me everywhere as a kid. I practically ruined my copies. I bet I've owned a dozen editions of this masterpiece over the years.
Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons: I know it's cliche to love this book, but I can spend hours flipping through issue #5, checking out the symmetry of the panels.
Fables by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham and Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, and Jose Marzan, Jr.: These two series blew me away for their writing and storytelling--Fables, because it was so inventive, and Y for creating an audacious world that I completely believed in. Two of the best series ever.
The Infinity Gauntlet by Jim Starlin, George Perez, and Ron Lim: Another short series that I read over and over as a kid. I've never rooted so hard for a villain. It was this series of comics that made so many of us fall in love with Thanos, which is a relationship as messy as his is with Death.
As for Neal Stephenson, well, his favorites are easy: “Anything with Mister Miracle in it.” Mister Miracle, of course, being the New God created by Jack Kirby in 1971 (see his first appearance in Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus Vol. 1), and later joined the “Bwah-ha-ha!” heroes in Justice League International. Note: Grant Morrison recently enlisted Mister Miracle in his Seven Soldiers of Victory epic.
Neal also noted that he is a fan of “rock star” French artist Aleksi Briclot, who has about as diverse of a resume as I’ve seen: He is one of the main artists on Magic: The Gathering; he illustrated several Spawn comics; and he recently co-founded DONTNOD Entertainment, a video game development studio behind the recent Remember Me game (see also The Art of Remember Me hardcover, where Briclot pens an introduction).
This is only our origin tale, comics fans, and the adventure will continue in 2013 and beyond. Hop aboard as we prepare for takeoff today, and please let us know how we are doing here.