Sparko Coming Soon from SLG Publishing

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Take a Trip in the London Underground
New SLG Graphic Novel Sparko Goes to Dark New Places

San Jose, CA – November 16th 2011 – In Sparko, a new graphic novel by Karl Stephan to be released in January, a burnt-out rock star finds himself in the Walled Kingdom, a world below London’s streets where memories and ideas take corporeal form and darkness takes on a whole new meaning.

“Sparko” in Cockney slang means unconscious, and as far as Norman is concerned, that is how he can spend the rest of his life. The former rock star has descended into London’s underground (at least what he thinks is the underground), fueled only by despair and drugs. But when he crosses the wrong person, gets pitched off a bridge into the Thames, and wakes up with a pickpocket named Belle rummaging through his pockets, little does Norman know that he’s about to find out what the real underbelly of London is like.

“The wall was built under London centuries ago by the church, originally to keep certain pagan ideas inside,” explains Stephan, “but over time other ideas that have slipped from the popular consciousness started ending up there too, even people. It resulted in distorted version of the city upstairs, bubbling over with suppressed memes and stuff.”

Ultimately, Norman must decide which world he belongs in — is his life above ground worth saving, or is he another figment of London’s collective memory? With gray-shaded, black-and-white artwork that makes easy transitions from zany to ethereal, Stephan takes readers from the gutter, to a scooter chase on London streets, to the underground with its scheming denizens, and, finally, to Norman’s murky, troubled past.

Influenced by British television shows like The Black Adder and The Young Ones and underground comics like Tank Girl, the South African Stephan calls his work satire. “I find it hard to make any kind of serious statement without subsequently making fun of it,” he says.

Sparko is 176-page graphic novel, which will be available both in print and digitally in  January 2012. Its ISBN is 978-1-59362-220-6 and its cover price is $14.95, Sparko will be on sale at better comics stores as well as at Amazon.com. The digital version will be available direct from SLG DIGITAL store in three formats, .cbz, .pdf and epub and will also be on sale at the iTunes Bookstore and through the companies various app store partners like Comixology, iVerse and Graphicly.

SLG Publishing is the San Jose, CA based comic book publisher is celebrating its 25th year and best known for being the publisher of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac by Jhonen Vasquez. In addition to Vasquez, SLG has been the initial stepping-stone for many popular cartoonists including Roman Dirge and Evan Dorkin.