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‘Abel’ coming from AiT/Planet Lar in September

by  in Comic News Comment
‘Abel’ coming from AiT/Planet Lar in September

Official Press Release

[Abel]

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. (May 21, 2002) Publisher Larry Young announced
today that AiT/Planet Lar‘s upcoming September offerings will include
ABEL, by William Harms and Mark Bloodworth. AiT/Planet Lar book designer
and cover artist Brian Wood works his magic on his eleventh AiT cover
for ABEL.

“ABEL’s a hard book to classify, and, as such, makes it a perfect book
for us to publish,” said Young. “It’s an extremely literate work,
addressing the same themes and tonality as Steinbeck’s GRAPES OF WRATH…
death, guilt, repression, rage, tragedy, silence. Billy and Mark have
constructed a graphic’novel’ that really deserves the name.” Ostensibly
a story of racism, and the hatred the members of a small American town
has for a kindly Asian man, ABEL is rather a coming-of-age story, with
the grown-up lessons learned those of the betrayal and lies which rumble
beneath the Norman Rockwell veneer.

“ABEL started out as a short story I wrote for a fiction-writing class
in college,” said Harms. “My original plan was to write the story as a
novel — the short story version was published twice — but I decided to
do the story as a graphic novel instead. I’ve always been interested in
creating comics that are more literary in tone, that explore the same
issues that pervade the works of prose fiction.”

“After I had read the script I did my level best to make sure I pulled
out all the stops because I felt that ABEL deserved to be out there on
the shelves. It was that good,” said Bloodworth. “More importantly, the
comic book reader deserved to have that choice. To have something other
than the usual blah-blah-blah. A story about people making decisions…
some right, some wrong, and the consequences of those actions. Something
that might just make the reader think a few minutes after finishing and
perhaps even discuss what happened with someone else… Working with
William Harms on ABEL was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had with
a writer. He is, quite frankly, one of the few reasons I even still care
about the medium.”

Artist/designer Brian Wood plays with the form with this latest, using a
matte finish on the cover stock and a sepia-tone for the key ink
interiors, so the physical form of the book echoes the thematic notes of
the story.

ABEL also includes an afterword by World Fantasy Award-winning author
Rachel (SWAMP THING) Pollack.

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