Comic book origin stories can be a hit-or-miss proposition and can completely impact whether a reader decides to invest themselves into a story moving forward. Even with a title like Angel Catbird–which, admittedly, might be the most pleasantly quirky graphic novel title I’ve heard in years–the writing and the art have to marry in such a way that the origin has to be spot-on. However, with an author like Margaret Atwood, you know she’s going to stick the landing.
And from the preview pages that Dark Horse has released today of Atwood’s Angel Catbird Vol. 1, due out this fall, stick the landing she does. Even if the pages don’t exactly explain everything at once, I’m intrigued enough to read on. Give them a gander below!
Angel Catbird Vol. 1, written by Margaret Atwood with Johnnie Christmas on art, hits this fall from Dark Horse Comics.
From the official press release:
This fall, Dark Horse Books will publish one of the most eagerly anticipated and unusual books of the year: ANGEL CATBIRD, the first graphic novel by Margaret Atwood, the Man Booker Award-winning author of The Blind Assassin, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Heart Goes Last. For her first graphic novel, Atwood is collaborating with artist Johnnie Christmas (Sheltered) and colorist Tamra Bonvillain (Doom Patrol) for a weird and wonderful tale about a part-cat, part-bird superhero. Timed to Atwood’s appearance at the American Library Association Conference in Orlando, FL this week and ahead of her appearance at San Diego Comic Con next month, Dark Horse Books has revealed the first look inside ANGEL CATBIRD.
“I grew up in the 1940s drawing comics, and I’ve continued: I even drew a strip in the 1970s. So what better way to explore cat/bird interactions and the welfare of both than through a flying catbird superhero? I’m thrilled to be working with Johnnie Christmas, who can draw way better than I can!” said Margaret Atwood
ANGEL CATBIRD is the latest politically charged book by Atwood, who was recently named the recipient of the 2016 PEN Pinter Prize for her political and environmental activism. ANGEL CATBIRD is being published by Dark Horse Books in tandem with Keep Cats Safe and Save Bird Lives, www.catsandbirds.ca, an initiative led by Nature Canada, the oldest conservation charity in the country.
“This project has been a fun mix of advocacy, humor, and adventure,” said Johnnie Christmas. “Margaret Atwood is a fountain of ideas, it’s been an absolute blast working with her. And our tale of ‘half-cats’ gets a fine boost from the wonderful Tamra Bonvillain. Her vibrant colors help bring the world of ANGEL CATBIRD to life.”
ANGEL CATBIRD will be a 3 volume series of 6 x 9 full color hardcovers, priced at $14.99 each. More information about the ANGEL CATBIRD graphic novels and Nature Canada’s campaign will be released throughout 2016.
About Margaret Atwood:
Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa, and grew up in northern Ontario and Quebec, and in Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master’s degree from Radcliffe College.
Margaret Atwood is the author of more than forty volumes of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and non-fiction, but is best known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman (1969), The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), The Robber Bride (1994), Alias Grace (1996), and The Blind Assassin, which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000.. MaddAddam (2013), is the final volume in a three-book series that began with the Man-Booker prize-nominated Oryx and Crake (2003) and continued with The Year of the Flood (2009); the series is currently being adapted for HBO by Darren Aronofsky. The Tent (mini-fictions) and Moral Disorder (short fiction) both appeared in 2006. Her most recent volume of poetry, The Door, was published in 2007. In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination, a collection of non-fiction essays appeared in 2011. Her non-fiction book, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth was adapted for the screen in 2012. Her latest works are a book of short stories called Stone Mattress: Nine Tales (2014), and a novel, The Heart Goes Last (2015). Netflix and Canadian broadcaster CBC recently greenlight an adapation of Alias Grace as a six-hour miniseries from Sarah Polley (Away from Her) and Noreen Halpern’s Halfire Entertainment. And Hulu has given a straight-to-series order for the drama based on the bestselling novel The Handmaid’s Tale, starring Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men). Ms. Atwood’s work has been published in more than forty languages, including Farsi, Japanese, Turkish, Finnish, Korean, Icelandic and Estonian.
About Johnnie Christmas
Johnnie Christmas is the co-creator of the critically acclaimed Image Comics series SHELTERED, which has gone on to translation in multiple languages. He is the creator, writer and artist of FIREBUG, serialized in ISLAND Magazine; as well as co-creator of the sci-fi series PISCES. A graduate of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, Johnnie makes Vancouver, BC his home.
About Tamra Bonvillain
Tamra Bonvillain is originally from Augusta, Georgia, and took an interest in art and comics at a young age. After graduating from the local Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School in 2000, she majored in art at Augusta State University. She later attended the Joe Kubert School, and upon graduating in 2009, she began working full time as an assistant and designer for Greg Hildebrandt and Jean Scrocco’s company, Spiderwebart. During this time, she also began to take on work as a comics colorist, eventually leaving the company to pursue a career in the comics industry full time. In the years since, she has worked for many major comic publishers, including Dark Horse, DC Entertainment, Dynamite, Boom, Image, and Marvel. She is currently the colorist for Rat Queens, Wayward, and several other titles.
About Dark Horse Comics:
Founded in 1986 by Mike Richardson, Dark Horse Comics has proven to be a solid example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. The company is known for the progressive and creator-friendly atmosphere it provides for writers and artists. In addition to publishing comics from top talent, such as Eric Powell, Mike Mignola, Geof Darrow, Brian Wood, Gail Simone, Stan Sakai, and Guillermo del Toro, and comics legends, such as Will Eisner, Milo Manara, Kazuo Koike, Neil Gaiman and Frank Miller, Dark Horse has developed its own successful properties, such as The Mask, Ghost, X and Barb Wire. Its successful line of comics, manga and products based on popular properties includes Dragon Age, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens, Conan, Tomb Raider, Halo, The Witcher, Serenity, Game of Thrones, and Avatar: The Last Airbender. Today Dark Horse Comics is the largest independent comic book publisher in the US and is recognized as one of the world’s leading entertainment publishers.
About Nature Canada
Nature Canada is the oldest national nature conservation charity in Canada. Over the past 75 years, Nature Canada has helped protect over 63 million acres of parks and wildlife areas in Canada and countless species that depend on this habitat. Today, Nature Canada has over 45,000 members and supporters and is the national Voice for Nature in a nature network of more than 350 nature organizations across Canada. See more at: http://naturecanada.ca.