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Moonstone Books Kickstarts a Kolchak: The Night Stalker 50th Anniversary Graphic Novel

On Tuesday, January 11, 1972, Kolchak: The Night Stalker terrified and delighted audiences on ABC. The TV movie — written by horror legend Richard Matheson and based on an unpublished novel by Jeff Rice — was the highest-rated TV movie in U.S. history. It subsequently spawned both a second TV movie, The Night Stalker, and a cult TV series that ran for just one season, but inspired a generation of storytellers, notably including X-Files creator Chris Carter. 

Moonstone Books is celebrating this pop culture milestone with a Kickstarter campaign for Kolchak: The Night Stalker 50th Anniversary Graphic Novel, edited by James Aquilone. This all-new, 100+ page, full-color graphic novel will feature 10 startling stories chronicling the life of monster-hunting reporter Carl Kolchak. The stories are written by such master storytellers as David Avallone, Rodney Barnes, James Chambers, Nancy Collins, Peter David, Kim Newman, Jonathan Maberry, Richard Christian Matheson, Tim Waggoner, and Aquilone, and illustrated by such amazing artists as Jonathan Marks Barravecchia, Marco Finnegan, Warwick Johnson-Cadwell, Paul McCaffrey, Clara Meath, Julius Ohta, Tom Rogers, J.K. Woodward, and Colton Worley. It features covers by Colton Worley, Jerry Ordway and J.K. Woodward as well as lettering by Thomas Napolitano, coloring by Zac Atkinson, and text design by Shawn T. King.

Kolchak: The Night Stalker 50th Anniversary Graphic Novel also includes an introduction by Richard Christian Matheson, the bestselling horror author/screenwriter/producer and son of The Night Strangler writer Richard Matheson, an essay on the 50th anniversary by Mark Dawidziak, the author of The Nightstalker Companion, and a retrospective of Moonstone Book’s Kolchak publication history by publisher Joe Gentile.

The Kolchak: The Night Stalker 50th Anniversary Graphic Novel Anthology will be available in limited-edition softcover and hardcover editions, both with variant covers. In addition Moonstone Books is creating a special 40-page standalone comic for the Kickstarter, featuring the story “Satanic Panic ’88,” written by James Aquilone and illustrated by Colton Worley, and featuring a cover by Dan Brereton.

Los Angeles’ Zoot Suit Riots Are Reimagined by Latinx Cartoonist Marco Finnegan

Across America, there’s widespread unrest and growing racial tensions. On the morning of August 2, 1942, the body of José Gallardo Díaz is discovered unconscious and dying on a road near a swimming hole in Commerce, CA. Diaz dies in Los Angeles County General Hospital, without making a statement or even regaining consciousness. Despite the fact that the cause of his death is never determined and there’s insufficient evidence, 17 Mexican-American youths are arrested. On January 13, 1943, twelve of the defendants in what the tabloids called the “Sleepy Lagoon murder” are convicted of second-degree murder. They are sentenced to serve time in San Quentin Prison. 

The Sleepy Lagoon murder provides the backdrop for Latinx Cartoonist Marco Finnegan’s dynamic new YA graphic novel Lizard in a Zoot Suit, his first full-length work as a writer/artist, in which history, race, class, and science fiction collide in unexpected ways. The all-new, original graphic novel is set in LA’s Chavez Ravine neighborhood, two decades before the neighborhood was torn down to make way for Dodger Stadium. In June 1943, long-simmering tensions between the Chicano community and white servicemen led to the Zoot Suit Riots, fueled by months of fear and tension following the Sleepy Lagoon murder trial.   

In Lizard in a Zoot Suit, twin sisters Flaca and Cuata have a problem. It’s bigger than being grounded by their strict mother. It’s bigger than tensions with the soldiers stationed nearby. And it’s shaped like a five-foot-tall lizard. When this lost member of an unknown underground species needs help, the sisters must scramble to keep their new friend away from a corrupt military scientist―but they’ll do it in style. 

With striking two-color artwork and snappy dialogue, Marco Finnegan’s full length graphic novel debut re-imagines a notorious event in LA’s history to deliver a timely story about race and social unrest.

Lizard in a Zoot Suit

Charlie Adlard, Alex Paknadel, James Devlin, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, and UK Comics Laureate Hannah Berry, and more Present Planet DIVOC-91

Planet DIVOC-19

This summer, an ambitious storytelling experience will bring the world of science to comics like never before. An impressive roster of comic book creators — including Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard, Friendo writer Alex Paknadel, UK Comics Laureate Hannah Berry, colorist and designer James Devlin, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou are collaborating on Planet DIVOC-91, an ambitious webcomic debuting July 15, 2020 on WEBTOON.

The nine-part webcomic, which is funded by some of the most prestigious scientific organizations in the UK, is an offbeat sci-fi satire about a pandemic outbreak in the far reaches of outer space. In Planet DIVOC-91, all young adults between the age of 16-25 have been transported to an earth-like planet which has been terraformed, so that both humans and aliens can breathe the air. Each chapter features the work of a different creative team and cover artist and is interspersed with short articles, links to videos, and other pieces of art by young adults about issues related to COVID-19, and mixes from world-renowned DJs and Producers.  

Planet DIVOC-91 follows the adventures of two earthlings: Sanda Oung, a 23-year-old girl from the UK, and Champo Oung, Sanda’s 19-year-old, non-binary sibling. In the series, 15% of the world’s population of 7.5 billion people are now stuck on another planet, miles from the safety of home. Sanda learns that humans have been brought to Planet Divoc-91 because the Earth is at risk of an extinction-level event – and young adults have been moved to safety by the Board of Adversity Scientists for Intergalactic Leadership’ (BASIL), led by a charismatic and fearsome alien named ADRO. 

The series will feature covers from all-star artists Elsa Charretier, Marco Finnegan, Leslie Hung, Warwick Johnson-Cadwell, VV Glass, Matt Kindt, Alitha Martinez, Anand RK, and David Rubín.

The series’ first chapter is written by Sara Kenney and illustrated by legendary Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard. The first chapter features a cover by acclaimed artist Elsa Charretier, 17 pages of comic storytelling, and 17 pages of extra material. Subsequent chapters will feature between 6 and 8 pages of comic storytelling, in addition to the essays and reporting.

Planet DIVOC-91 is produced by Dr. Bella Starling, Director of Vocal at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Sara Kenney, Creative Director at Wowbagger Productions, in association with the UK Academy of Medical Sciences. The project has since grown in scale and ambition, and there is a young editorial team from UK, India, South Africa, and Malawi who are interviewing experts from scientists to historians, ethicists to anthropologists, and from that material curating articles, creating art and videos in reaction to the interviews.

The project was kick started via NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre seed funding who are providing continued support. Additional supporters include The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC); Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC); The University of Manchester through the Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund award; Sarah Iqbal,  DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance; Anita Shervington, Blast Fest and Nabeel Petersen, Interfer (South Africa). The series was inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ace Atkins’ Crossroad Blues Gets a Graphic Novel in April

Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist turned New York Times bestselling author Ace Atkins and artist Marco Finnegan team up for Crossroad Blues: A Nick Travers Graphic Novel this April.

Adapted from the beloved first novel of the Nick Travers series, Crossroad Blues is a thrilling tale of crime and mystery that brings the history of the blues and the Mississippi Delta to life on every page in moody, atmospheric black-and-white art.

After a New Orleans college professor goes missing while searching for the rumored lost recordings of bluesman Robert Johnson—who, as legend has it, sold his soul to the devil at a Mississippi crossroads—Nick Travers is sent to find him. Clues point to everyone from an eccentric albino named Cracker to a hitman who believes he is the second coming of Elvis Presley.

Crossroad Blues: A Nick Travers Graphic Novel (Diamond code: FEB180513, ISBN: 978-1-5343-0648-6) hits comic book shops Wednesday, April 25th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, March 12th. It will arrive in bookstores Tuesday, May 1st.

Almost American