Eisner's 'John Law' debuts on Modern Tales

Press Release

This is not The Spirit. This is not Sin City. It's John Law. And Crossroads, USA.

Comics master Will Eisner has contracted award-winning writer/artist Gary Chaloner to develop all-new adventures featuring the one-eyed, pipe-smoking Crossroads cop. These stories, the first original JohnLaw adventures since Eisner worked on the character in 1948, will be exclusive to ModernTales.com from July 7!

Eisner is best known for his groundbreaking graphic novels, 'A Contract with God', 'To the Heart of the Storm' and 'The Dreamer'. His 'Comics and Sequential Art' is a seminal text book of the form. Comic readers and afficionados alike fondly remember Eisner's groundbreaking 1940s comic strip crime fighter The Spirit, currently being collected in hard back by DC Comics in 'The Spirit Archives'.

"The launching of the John Law series by Gary Chaloner represents a very important episode in my career," Eisner said. "After all, it is most unusual for a character created so long ago to be given new life in the hands of someone so able as Gary."

Chaloner, an Australian-based creator best known for his adventure character 'The Jackaroo,' approached Eisner initially about developing Law for a new comic book series.

"When Will said 'yes', you could've knocked me over with a feather," Chaloner confesses. "But working with Will to further develop his characters has been a lot of fun... and a dream come true. I'm reallypleased with the easy-going relationship Will and I have... and I think that shows in the work. I'm very proud of the results."

What can readers expect from the new John Law?

"Well, we've started from scratch really, building the main characters, supporting cast and the city of Crossroads from the ground up, using the basics established by Will back in the '40s. I've introduced quite a few new characters for the series as well," Chaloner said.

"The earlier stories Will produced featuring Law were eventually used as Spirit stories, so the characters have a muddy past that needed to be cleaned up," he continues. "Will was quite adamant thathe wanted the character moved away from any resemblance to Denny Colt and 'The Spirit' series."

"The new stories do have familiar elements: corrupt cops, gangsters, sexy femme fatales and movie stars, corrupt winners and desperate losers... but mainly the series is about friendship and the things one man has to do to survive and stay true to himself in a dishonest town. Hopefully the mix will make for entertaining and human stories with a few surprises thrown in from left field."

Will Eisner has continually broken new ground in visual literacy in a career that has spanned 70 years, from the 'Golden Age' of comics in the 30s and 40s, to his latest graphic novel, this year's 'The Name of the Game'. Now he has turned his attention to a new frontier, the internet and webcomics... and a new opportunity for the storytelling medium.

The decision was made to launch the new version of John Law on the web, taking full advantage of the web's immediacy and the popularity of cartooning and sequential art with internet users. The growingsuccess of sites like ModernTales.com made the decision that much easier.

Modern Tales is the leading publisher of professional comics on the web. They publish some of the leading lights of the independent print comics world, such as James Kochalka, Lea Hernandez, Roger Langridge and Tom Hart, as well as webcartooning giants, like cayetano garza, jr. and Jonathan Rosenberg.

Modern Tales' flagship site, moderntales.com, launched March 2, 2002 and enjoys unprecedented respect from the webcomics community. With the addition of 'Will Eisner's John Law' to the site, Modern Talespublisher, Joey Manley, states that "We are indeed living in the Golden Age of webcomics, a time of great risk-taking and bold innovation -- characteristics that have defined the career of Will Eisner."

"Mr. Eisner's entrepreneurial spirit in the early days of the print comics industry was a specific touchstone for me, when I decided to start Modern Tales," Manley added. "I couldn't be prouder that he'sjoining us now. Mr. Eisner could have easily taken 'John Law' to anybody in the webcomics industry. He chose Modern Tales. That vote of confidence in our professionalism, and in our leadership position within the industry, is appreciated. We're not going to disappoint him, and we will not disappoint his fans and readers."

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