Thursday, June 11, 2015

History and Legend Inspire Strange Fruit


Comics that take a look at important moments in history have a special feel to them that's nearly impossible to replicate. There's a sense of authenticity in the tale and its characters that resonates better with the reader, offering a glimpse at an event or era that otherwise might not garner much attention. Strange Fruit from BOOM! Studios is one such project, pairing Mark Waid with J.G. Jones to offer a look at the historic Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.

“J.G. Jones and Mark Waid are two of the most beloved creators in our industry—working with them on a passion project of this magnitude is such an honor,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “This is a complex, challenging narrative that’s pushed both creators to deliver their best work. Anytime creators this talented crank their craft in overdrive it’s truly something to behold.”

It’s 1927 in the fictional town of Chatterlee, Mississippi, and the rain is heavy. The Mississippi River is rising, threatening to break open not only the levees, but also the racial and social divisions of this former plantation town. A fiery message from the skies heralds the arrival of a visitor, one that will rip open the tensions in Chatterlee. Some will see him as a savior, others will see him as a threat. All the while, the waters are still rapidly rising. Strange Fruit is a provocative examination of the heroic myth that confronts themes of racism, cultural legacy, and human nature through a literary lens, drawing from Southern folklore and tradition.

“I have always had a passion for history, as well as the tales told by the old folks when I was a kid growing up in Louisiana,” said J.G. Jones. “The River usually figured in there, somewhere. It was the lifeblood of the Delta, as well as the sleeping giant you hoped would never rouse. When I tossed out the idea for a historical drama to BOOM!, I was half expecting them to say, ‘Interesting... what else you got?’ Instead, they were really excited about the concept of Strange Fruit. Since I was batting pretty well at that point, I figured I’d buttonhole my old pal Mark Waid, a fellow Southerner, and bring in one of the finest writers in comics to help steer this little boat through the swamp with me. I couldn’t be happier with the results, and I’m thrilled to have such a great team to bring Strange Fruit out into the world.”

“I’ve been listening to J.G. tell me about his fascination with this chapter in Southern history practically since the day I met him, and I guess he finally got tired of me yelling at him to write it down. But he knew, quite rightly as a fellow Southerner, that I was just as spellbound by the true story of what was, at the time, the greatest natural disaster ever to hit North America,” said Mark Waid. “Together, J.G. and I have introduced a new element to this historical drama that turns it into what we hope becomes a timeless tale. It’s a very risky venture, creatively—and BOOM! has backed us right down the line.”​

Strange Fruit #1 arrives in comic shops on July 8th with a main cover by Jones for the price of $3.99 under Diamond order code APR151180. Also available in a limited quantity are a Jackpot variant cover (1 in 100 intermix), a BOOM! 10 Years incentive cover and a retailer incentive cover, all illustrated by Jones. The Final Order Cutoff deadline for retailers is June 15th.

Full press release below.
J.G. Jones and Mark Waid Draw on History and Legend with 'Strange Fruit'

Strange Fruit #1 Jackpot Variant Cover
Strange Fruit #1 Jackpot Cover by J.G. Jones

Strange Fruit #1 10 Years Cover
Strange Fruit #1 10 Years Cover by J.G. Jones (full wraparound image shown)

The Spire #1 Incentive Cover
Strange Fruit #1 Incentive Cover by J.G. Jones (full wraparound image shown)
June 10, 2015 (Los Angeles, Calif.) - Award-winning publisher BOOM! Studios is pleased to announce the July debut of prolific creators’ J.G. Jones (52, Wanted, Y: The Last Man) and Mark Waid’s (Irredeemable, Superman: Birthright, Kingdom Come) deeply personal passion project, Strange Fruit. Beautifully hand-painted and set during the historic Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, Strange Fruit is a provocative examination of the heroic myth that confronts themes of racism, cultural legacy, and human nature through a literary lens, drawing from Southern folklore and tradition.

It’s 1927 in the fictional town of Chatterlee, Mississippi, and the rain is heavy. The Mississippi River is rising, threatening to break open not only the levees, but also the racial and social divisions of this former plantation town. A fiery message from the skies heralds the arrival of a visitor, one that will rip open the tensions in Chatterlee. Some will see him as a savior, others will see him as a threat. All the while, the waters are still rapidly rising…

J.G. Jones and Mark Waid are two of the most beloved creators in our industry—working with them on a passion project of this magnitude is such an honor,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “This is a complex, challenging narrative that’s pushed both creators to deliver their best work. Anytime creators this talented crank their craft in overdrive it’s truly something to behold.”

“I have always had a passion for history, as well as the tales told by the old folks when I was a kid growing up in Louisiana,” said J.G. Jones. “The River usually figured in there, somewhere. It was the lifeblood of the Delta, as well as the sleeping giant you hoped would never rouse. When I tossed out the idea for a historical drama to BOOM!, I was half expecting them to say, ‘Interesting... what else you got?’ Instead, they were really excited about the concept of Strange Fruit. Since I was batting pretty well at that point, I figured I’d buttonhole my old pal Mark Waid, a fellow Southerner, and bring in one of the finest writers in comics to help steer this little boat through the swamp with me. I couldn’t be happier with the results, and I’m thrilled to have such a great team to bring Strange Fruit out into the world.”

“I’ve been listening to J.G. tell me about his fascination with this chapter in Southern history practically since the day I met him, and I guess he finally got tired of me yelling at him to write it down. But he knew, quite rightly as a fellow Southerner, that I was just as spellbound by the true story of what was, at the time, the greatest natural disaster ever to hit North America,” said Mark Waid. “Together, J.G. and I have introduced a new element to this historical drama that turns it into what we hope becomes a timeless tale. It’s a very risky venture, creatively—and BOOM! has backed us right down the line.”

Strange Fruit #1 arrives in comic shops on July 8th with a main cover by series artist J.G. Jones for the price of $3.99 under Diamond order code APR151180. Also available in a limited quantity are a Jackpot variant cover (1 in 100 intermix), a BOOM! 10 Years incentive cover, and a retailer incentive cover, all illustrated by J.G. Jones.

The Final Order Cutoff deadline for retailers is June 15th. Not sure where to find your nearest comic retailer? Use comicshoplocator.com or findacomicshop.com to find one! It’s also available for order directly from boom-studios.com.
ABOUT BOOM! STUDIOS
Founded by Ross Richie in 2005, Diamond Gem Award-winning “Best Publisher” BOOM! Studios (boom-studios.com) generates a constellation of best-selling Eisner and Harvey Award-winning original and licensed comic books and graphic novels with the industry’s top talent. BOOM! Studios is comprised of four distinct imprints. The original Studios imprint is home to Mike Carey's Suicide Risk; James Tynion IV's The Woods; Mark Waid's Irredeemable; Sons of Anarchy; and Big Trouble in Little China. Steven Grant’s graphic novel 2 Guns was released as a feature film from Universal Pictures, starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. BOOM!’s all-ages imprint KaBOOM! publishes Charles Schulz’ Peanuts; Jim Davis’ Garfield; Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time, Regular Show, The Amazing World of Gumball, and Steven Universe; Mike Kunkel’s Herobear and the Kid; and Natasha Allegri's Bee and PuppyCat. BOOM!'s experimental imprint BOOM! Box publishes The Midas Flesh and Lumberjanes. In June 2013, BOOM! acquired Archaia Entertainment (archaia.com). Archaia is the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning graphic novel publisher of Mouse Guard, Cow Boy, Gunnerkrigg Court, Rust, and Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand. In October 2013, BOOM! Studios entered into a unique first-look relationship with 20th Century Fox, giving the studio access to its library of titles and giving the publisher access to Fox's vast catalog of films. In August 2014, BOOM! Studios began a similar first-look relationship with 20th Century Fox TV to develop properties for the small screen.

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