Gainesville, Florida, August 8, 2006: Alternative Comics has announced the release of POWER OF SIX: TWISTED APPLES, PART ONE, the first half of a new two-part graphic novel by New York cartoonist Jon Lewis, the creator of the Ignatz Award-nominated, Xeric Grant-winning TRUE SWAMP series.
Lewis' work in TRUE SWAMP, GHOST SHIP, and other titles earned him a reputation as one of the most inventive writers in the field of independent comics, and in 2002 he was tapped by DC Comics for a two-year stint writing the monthly ROBIN title. That extended assignment, he says, led indirectly to POWER OF SIX.
"While I was writing a mainstream superhero title, I tried to make the material as personal as I could while still obeying the strictures and conventions you have to obey to work in that world. It was fun work, but I was also building up notebooks full of story ideas I knew I could never use in that job. Not because they were too obscene or weird-- these ideas were just geared very closely to what I myself would want from a superhero comic, so I could never do them without complete control of the story."
The ultimate result of this fermenting process is POWER OF SIX, Lewis' own idiosyncratic take on the age-old tradition of the superhero team book. It tells, in the classic mode, of an ensemble of extraordinary people sharing a house, beset by threats, embroiled in mysteries; yet it's not far in feeling from TRUE SWAMP's philosophical woodland fantasies and GHOST SHIP's surrealistically humorous pirate tales.
"It isn't a satire or deconstruction of superhero teams-- it's simply the superhero team book I would want," says Lewis. "So it's tangled up with all the bizarre shared houses I lived in in my twenties, and the adversity comes not so much from supervillains or paramilitaries as from supernatural mysteries, because that's what interests me."
The comic's titular group, The Six, is led by Doktor Codexus, a paradox-loving scholar of the esoteric, and includes Modulisa, whose body parts can break apart to act independently; Heurequeque, the mighty, statue-headed scion of Hystra Island; Rook McCairn, a terrifying crow-like apparition who may or may not conceal a shred of humanity; and Everynewt, an amphibious shapeshifter.
But that only makes five. Thus the journey undertaken by the first story's protagonist, Jerry Weiss, aka The Convenient Boy, who's intent on impressing Codexus with his mismatched jumble of abilities. In doing so, Jerry unleashes malign forces that vie to demolish the house of The Six. And then there's the mystery of the twisted apples...
Lewis plans POWER OF SIX as a series of self-contained graphic novel-length stories, each broken into two or three parts: "Twisted Apples will be around 100 pages complete; this is the first half at 48 pages, with the conclusion to follow toward the end of the year." Also slated for winter publishing is the long-awaited next installment in the TRUE SWAMP series: "I've circulated a few copies of the work in progress for the next TRUE SWAMP, and the response has been truly exciting. Writing scripts is great, but it's fantastic to draw the whole thing myself again."
POWER OF SIX: TWISTED APPLES, PART ONE, a $4.95, 48 page comic from Alternative Comics, is in comic book stores everywhere.
ISBN: 1-891867-87-3; Diamond Code: MAY062803
For more information, visit http://www.indyworld.com/lewis