Guest Post — Greg Wilson and the Icarus Graphic Novel

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With BREACH ZONE about to release in FOUR DAYS OH MY F*!KING GOD I CANT BREATHE you are being steadily bom­barded with self-promotional tweets let­ting you know about reviews, events, guest posts, and the like. It’s the me-show, 24/7. Even I’m get­ting sick of myself.

I fig­ured I’d give people a break, and let someone else have the podium for a change. Here’s my friend Greg, who has a cool project he’d like to tell you about. Please forget about BREACH ZONE AND HOW INSANELY PANICKED I AM ABOUT ITS PENDING RELEASE for a bit and give Greg your ear. And your eyes. I mean, fig­u­ra­tively. Don’t actu­ally give him your … *sigh* Nev­er­mind. Here’s Greg:

 It all started with a piece of artwork.

                 That’s not quite accu­rate, actu­ally.  It really started with my first novel, a work of epic fan­tasy called The Third Sign, which came out in 2009 from Gale Cen­gage.  Icarus final cover 500dpi Recep­tion for that book was largely pos­i­tive, but when first trying to sell it I heard a lot of vari­a­tions on this: “This is great, but tra­di­tional epic fan­tasy is over­sold, and this isn’t dif­ferent enough from every­thing else.”  For­tu­nately my acqui­si­tions editor and readers mostly dis­agreed, but the crit­i­cism stuck with me, and when I set out to write my second novel I was deter­mined to make some­thing still fan­tas­tical but dif­ferent enough from, well, every­thing else, as far as I could manage it.  My orig­inal inspi­ra­tion was actu­ally a Cirque du Soleil per­for­mance in which a winged crea­ture con­fronts many bizarre and fan­tastic crea­tures in another world, and that expe­ri­ence com­bined with an interest in mythology led to the writing of Icarus, a book told from the alter­nating per­spec­tives of Icarus (2)two seem­ingly very dif­ferent char­ac­ters:  Icarus, a tall, fair-skinned young man with wings, incred­ible powers, and no memory of any­thing other than his name, and Jellinek, a short flamepetal prospector with tough red skin, a two-tailed lava resis­tant crea­ture called a “solar” for a com­panion, and a gen­eral dis­like of everyone around him.  Together, they must defeat a race of tyrants who have enslaved the world of Vol, and through the course of the story they dis­cover that they are more alike than they can pos­sibly imagine.

                When I began to submit this man­u­script, it appeared I had achieved my ini­tial goal, to both good and bad effect.  People liked the con­cept and much of the exe­cu­tion, but often made com­ments more or less like this: “This is great, but it’s so dif­ferent that we don’t know where to put it.”

Icarus promo 1                 I was stuck, and for a time I put Icarus on the back burner and moved on to other things.  But I always thought Icarus is a very visual story, so when I saw some of pro­fes­sional comics artist Matt Slay’s illus­tra­tions for Silence in the Library’s Time Trav­eled Tales anthology–including the one for the pro­logue to Icarus, which I had orig­i­nally sub­mitted to that antho–I knew I had found someone who could bring the story to pic­toral life. I spoke to Ron Garner at SitL (who just wrapped up an enor­mously suc­cessful Kick­starter for the all female spec­u­la­tive fic­tion anthology Athena’s Daugh­ters) and pitched him the idea for a graphic novel of Icarus, and the rest is his­tory.  And I haven’t been dis­ap­pointed since, because as the art above shows, Matt really knows how to paint vibrant and evoca­tive images of great vitality.  The more I’ve seen from him the more excited I’ve become to see my world rep­re­sented in this form; and if the early recep­tion to the Kick­starter, which launched on Jan­uary 14th and hit its ini­tial funding goal in less than a week, is any indi­ca­tion, other people are as excited as I am.

                We’ve got lots of great stretch goal authors and artists, and even an Icarus game in the works at the higher levels.  But most impor­tant to me is the fact that I’m get­ting the chance to share some­thing striking, beau­tiful, and I hope moving, with a new audi­ence of readers–as dif­ferent as it may be.  If you’re inter­ested in checking it out your­self, you can find it at http://​www​.kick​starter​.com/​p​r​o​j​e​c​t​s​/​1​0​3​8​7​9​0​5​1​/​i​c​a​r​u​s​-​a​-​g​r​a​p​h​i​c​-​n​o​vel –and thanks!Icarus promo 2

  • Albedo

    Got it on my kindle totday from the pre­order. I’ll begin tonight :)