French comics sensation Bengal takes aim at U.S. with 'Naja'

French artist Bengal is one of those artists whom others go out of their way to find his work. While one of his few U.S. credits is a story in the first Flight anthology from 2004, overseas he's an established name. Revered for Meka, Luminae and contributions to French anthologies, his work has been available to American audiences by import only -- or  by viewing online. But in June, an upstart publisher is bringing Bengal's work to the United States.

Magnetic Press will release Naja, a 248-page collection of the 2008 series by Bengal and writer JD Morvan, originally published in Europe by Dargaud. Naja follows an assassin immune to pain and emotion who finds herself looking for more when her bosses mark her as their next target.

"[JD Morvan's] work is tailored for my style, and he knows exactly how to rely on my storytelling," Bengal said in a statement. "We are in a comfort zone when we make a book together. I deeply hope we will bring something enjoyable enough to readers, and we would love to keep working for the U.S. market -- it's actually what we're aiming at lately!"

In fact, Bengal is already hard at work on his next project: The World of Cassyno. Created as a card deck rather than a comic series, The World of Cassyno features stunning art by Bengal and a fantasy world built from scratch with backstory, plotlines and games playable with the cards. California-based Neurobellum Productions is hoping to raise $16,000 on Kickstarter to publish the card game, as well as accompanying game booklet.

Back to the comic at hand: Magnetic Press has provided a five-page preview of Naja:

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