Graphic novels: Who doesn’t love to read them, especially if they can be used to get adults, teens, and kids interested in reading? And if there’s one thing the staff at StarWarp Concepts believes in, it’s promoting literacy. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s a yearly literacy event that’s been set up to help get the ball rolling!
Will Eisner Week is an annual celebration—held this week from March 1 to March 7—and is run by the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation. It promotes literacy, graphic novels, free speech, and the legacy of the late Will Eisner, who would have turned 100 on March 6.
Eisner, for those of you who might be unfamiliar with his work, was the creator of the 1940s masked crimefighter The Spirit, and one of the founding fathers of American graphic novels. A Contract with God, A Life Force, Dropsie Avenue, and The Dreamer are just some of the fascinating tales Eisner wrote and drew, featuring ordinary people in extraordinary (and sometimes not-so-extraordinary) situations. And even though he passed away in 2005, Eisner continues to inspire generations of writers and artists. Events are being held this week around the world; visit the Will Eisner Week site for more information.
StarWarp Concepts, of course, has its share of graphic novels, and the folks there would have absolutely no problem at all if you happened to order them as your reading material for this special week. Check out the following titles—there may be one (or more) that pique your interest:
The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1: Okay, it’s not a graphic novel, but at 56 pages it’s still a pretty thick comic book, with three stories of Pan and the monsters that live in her New York City hometown. As regular visitors to this site know well, The Saga of Pandora Zwieback chronicles the adventures of sixteen-year-old Pandora Zwieback, a Gothy horror fangirl who possesses amazing powers that she just learned about, including the ability to see past the human disguises worn by monsters to blend in with society. And The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 is a 56-page, full-color special that contains two stories by Steven A. Roman (that’s me) and one by Sholly Fisch (Scooby-Doo Team-Up, The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold), and art by Eliseu “Zeu” Gouveia (Lorelei: Sects and the City, The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0), Elizabeth Watasin (Charm School), and comic-art legend Ernie Colon (Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld). “Song of the Siren,” by Zeu and me, sees Pan run into one of her boyfriend Javi’s exes—who turns out to be a mythological siren! “After Hours,” by Sholly and Ernie, is about a demon who walks into a bar for a little downtime. And the short story “Shopping Maul,” by me, with Elizabeth providing title page art, involves Pan and her fellow Fiend Club friends dealing with Elegant & Gothic Lolita vampires in a Queens, NY retail outlet.
Troubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings: Perfect for superhero fans, this graphic novel is about a supernatural team of superfolk-for-hire, consisting of a wizard, a sorceress, a female ninja, a high-tech-armor-wearing rock concert lighting designer, and a werewolf. Not every superhero team has Tony Stark’s billions to play with, you understand, and the Troubleshooters are just looking to earn a living while fighting the monsters that have always lurked in the shadows. Makes sense, right? Of course it does! Written by the husband-and-wife team of Richard C. White (The Chronicles of the Sea Dragon Special) and Joni M. White, and illustrated by Reggie Golden and Randy Zimmerman, Night Stalkings presents the TSI members on their first mission: protecting a multimillionaire from a trio of Middle Eastern demons out to raise a little hell! Critics likened it to an indie version of DC Comics’ Justice League Dark, so if you’re into superhero and dark fantasy mash-ups, then Troubleshooters, Incorporated might just be a team you want to check out.
Both titles are available in print and digital formats, so visit their respective product pages at StarWarp Concepts for all the ordering information, as well as sample pages.