Coming in Fall 2012 from Fantagraphics:
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Here’s the publisher’s description:
Chris Wright’s Blacklung is unquestionably one of the most impressive graphic novel debuts in recent years, a sweeping, magisterially conceived, visually startling tale of violence, amorality, fortitude, and redemption, one part Melville, one part Peckinpah. Blacklung is a story that lives up to the term graphic novel, that could only exist in sequential pictures — densely textured, highly stylized, delicately and boldly rendered drawings that is, taken together, wholly original. In a night of piratical treachery when an arrogant school teacher is accidentally shanghaied aboard the frigate Hand, his fate becomes inextricably fettered to that of a sardonic gangster. Dependent on one another for survival in their strange and dangerous new home, the two form an unlikely alliance as they alternately elude or confront the thieves and cutthroats that bad luck has made their companions and captors. After an act of terrible violence, the teacher is brought before the ship’s captain and instructed to use his literary skills to aid him in writing his memoirs. He is to serve as scribe for a man who, in his remaining years, has made it his mission to commit as many acts of evil as possible in order to ensure that he meet his dead wife in hell. As the captain’s protected confidant, finding his only comfort in the few books afforded him, the teacher bears witness to monstrous brutality, relentless cruelty, strange wisdom, and a journey of redemption through loss of faith.
I know nothing about Chris Wright’s work in comics, but the cover of Blacklung definitely has my attention. Throw in the publisher’s intriguing description of the book and the glowing notice that a preview PDF of Blacklung (supplied by the author) has already received from Chris Schweizer over at Robot 6, and I may have no choice but to pre-order it!
UPDATE (11 September 2012):
Earlier today over at the Flog Blog, Fantagraphics employee Mike Baehr posted to alert buyers to an unfortunate flaw in the printing of Blacklung:
A small warning: now that we have the printed books in hand, we noticed that due to a strange and unique confluence of events, page 36 is accidentally repeated on page 27. Fortunately, there are no missing pages, and somehow it doesn’t even mess up any other page spreads — like we said, strange. So when you come to that page and it seems out of sequence, just skip on to the next page and everything will be fine.
I’m sure there are folks out there who won’t mind buying Chris Wright’s book despite the repeated page, but I’m not one of them. I’ve cancelled my preorder.
UPDATE (14 September 2012):
Chris’s mea culpa is almost enough to make me reconsider my pre-order cancellation…