Official Press Release
Greg Rucka and Oni Press are pleased to announce the fourth collection of the popular QUEEN AND COUNTRY series in both regular edition softcover and limited edition hardcover formats. Continuing the tradition of rotating artists on each story arc, Jason Alexander (EMPTY ZONE) joins Rucka on this trudge through Europe's seedy side, as secret agent Tara Chase is forced to walk the narrow line between corporate espionage and service to her nation.
British Intelligence operative Tara Chace is accustomed to working in the shadows cast by world governments, but when Colin Beck, one of the Queen's most affluent subjects, is blackmailed by a French conglomerate trying to nab an important business contract with an explicit videotape starring Beck's daughter, Tara's espionage turns to the corporate variety. Little do the blackmailers know, the sex and lies they captured on videotape involved one of Tara's school-time friends, giving the agent extra incentive to foil the company and protect the interests of the Crown.
To add to the stress of Tara's job, her relationship with fellow Minder Ed Kittering seems to be deteriorating. She knows in her heart that the relationship can't interfere with her job, and she also knows that if it goes on any longer, it will start to. What does a girl to do when she realizes she is using a man she doesn't love, but who truly loves her back?
"This was the story arc that let us see Tara outside of the environment she was trained to be in," said series editor James Lucas Jones. "This is Tara without the danger and guns. This is Tara in London helping a friend who is being blackmailed by the French government and also dealing with a relationship that she knows needs to end. But will she end it, or will she and Ed stay in a relationship that compromises their job?"
"This arc was what I was building up to." noted series creator and writer Greg Rucka. "In previous arcs, Tara and her colleagues were put through the wringer. Here, it's the calm after the storm. The climax of Tara and Ed's relationship, the seediness that goes on behind the scenes of our governments without the high-octane action of the earlier arcs, and the Minders trying to live normal lives outside of their work and the field that they are thrown into when a new mission arises for them are all found within these pages."
"Jason Alexander's gritty style fit this arc flawlessly," added Jones. "The whole arc was darker and more dirty, and Jason's art meshed perfectly with Rucka's story. We couldn't be happier with this combination."
To go along with the format of the previous collections, BLACKWALL will have simultaneous trade paperback and hardcover editions. The contents will be identical to one another, but the hardback will have a faux leather cover, no dustjacket, with embossed lettering. It will be strictly limited to initial orders, with the same design as other volumes to match each other.
The QUEEN & COUNTRY: BLACKWALL collections contain 88 pages of black-and-white story and art. Both will ship to comics shops on October 22, 2003. The hardcover edition will retail for $20, while the regular trade paperback retails for $8.95. Due to violence, sexuality/nudity and explicit language, it is suggested for mature readers. The trade paperback ISBN # is 1929998686. The hard cover is only available in the direct comic book market.