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Books About Town is an outreach event where custom benches are decorated to look like books, to celebrate literature and encourage reading.

Well, BAT is in London for summer 2014, and it turns out there’s an Alex Rider bench — with a design based on the STORMBREAKER graphic novel cover. Nice!

(For those of you eagerly awaiting the next Alex Rider graphic novel, SCORPIA; it’s currently being finished, and you can follow its progress on Tumblr.)

 

Over at The Beat, I spoke to Steve Morris about adapting Alex Rider to comics.

It’s a good, fairly in-depth interview talking about the process and pitfalls of adaptation, why I enjoy doing them, what to look for in the future, and more. Read it here.

 

Issue #4 of FASHION BEAST is now on sale.

One of the things that surprised me at NYCC in October was the fan and critic reaction to this comic. Frankly, I expected FASHION BEAST to be a book I enjoyed working on and was proud of, but that critics would overlook. For whatever reason, I was wrong — and I’m very happy to be so.

Here’s the issue solicit:

There is no nuclear winter in the seasons of the fashion world. And while life outside of Celestine’s empire is tumbling toward oblivion, within the doors of the temple to fashion Doll becomes enwrapped in the disdain and contempt of the Madames. But while Doll strives to raise her station from commoner to elitist, she discovers that the wrong turn of phrase can do more than ruin a career, it can take a life. For in this world only the designs of Le Patron are immaculate and everything else is terminally flawed and to be scorned, used, and eventually discarded.

The order code is OCT120827, available from all good comic stores. You can read a preview at Avatar’s website.

  • Also on sale this week is the new edition of SKELETON KEY, the third Alex Rider graphic novel, complete with the lovely new trade dress and oversized pages.

    This brings all of the Alex GNs to date (the others being of course STORMBREAKER, POINT BLANC, and EAGLE STRIKE) in line with the new format, so there’s a nice holiday gift idea for you…!

    The next two books, SCORPIA and ARK ANGEL, will continue in the same style. If you missed the announcement about those, and our new series artist, you can read more here.

     

    So I already confirmed it here last week, but now Walker Books have issued an official press release:

    Massive Success for Alex Rider Graphic Novel Series: Continued with Scorpia and Ark Angel adapted by Antony Johnston

    Walker Books UK is proud to announce that New York Times bestselling graphic novelist Antony Johnston is signed up to write the scripts for Scorpia and Ark Angel graphic novels — the next two Alex Rider adventures from Anthony Horowitz’s phenomenally successful teen superspy series.

    Sales of the Alex Rider graphic novels for children now top over 70,000 copies and Walker Books is delighted to continue bringing the well-loved character to dedicated fans — as well as new audiences — with the dynamic, full-colour format.

    Scorpia and Ark Angel are set to release in 2014 and 2015 respectively. The books will publish in the eye-catching new cover design which aligns the graphic novels with the stunning re-issues of the original Alex Rider novels.

    (Emphasis mine, just in case you glossed over it. This was the first I learned of those dates, too, and now hopefully people will stop asking… at least for a while!)

    The release continues with quotes from me and my agent Sarah Such, who embarrasses me with praise, and further confirms that Emma Vieceli has also signed to draw both books. Emma and I have been friends for years, and we’ve been trying to find something to work on together for most of that time, so I’m delighted to have her on board for Alex’s further adventures.

    So: it’s all official. I’ve already finished SCORPIA, and I start scripting ARK ANGEL in the new year. Onward!

     

    I’ve spoken before about how frustrating it is to be writing exciting things, but be unable to talk about them.

    I feel especially bad about this when the people asking are children. I’m pretty sure when I was twelve, the very idea of not wanting to talk about something as soon as it commenced would have sounded like the ravings of a madman. Why wouldn’t you tell the world about these things? What possible harm could it do?

    Alas, now that I am older (though not necessarily wiser), it’s become an everyday necessity. Which is why I’ve had to remain silent for so long about the future of the Alex Rider graphic novels

    And why I’m now delighted to confirm that last year, I signed with publishers Walker Books to script the next two GNs in the series, SCORPIA and ARK ANGEL. In fact, SCORPIA is already written, I just haven’t been able to tell anyone, because Walker were searching for a new artist.

    And now we’ve found her — say hello to Emma Vieceli, artist and adapter for VAMPIRE ACADEMY, THE AVALON CHRONICLES, DRAGON HEIR, and more!

    (If the name seems familiar to you, it’s probably because Emma also recently illustrated the discovery of Richard III’s remains.)

    Now, I honestly have no idea when these next two GNs will be published. That’s not me being coy again, I really don’t know! But of course I’ll keep you all updated on release dates as and when they’re decided, and any other big news in Alex-land. For now, though, it’s back to work — this ARK ANGEL script isn’t going to write itself…

     

    Hot on the heels of EAGLE STRIKE and the new edition of STORMBREAKER comes the 2012 edition of POINT BLANC, in the oversized format and sporting a lovely new cover.

    POINT BLANC has always been one of my favourite Alex Rider novels — it’s lean, tense, exotic, and features explosive action. And I’m not alone; it’s also a favourite for many of Alex’s dedicated young readers, and the GN was of course selected for the British School Library Association’s Boys Into Books programme.

    It was also the first AR graphic novel where I had to follow the book (STORMBREAKER was based on the screenplay) but also make significant cuts and compress the plot, in order to keep it to the commissioned length. Perhaps that’s why it has a special place in my heart.

    Or maybe I just really like the title pun.

    The new edition of POINT BLANC is on sale now in the UK. Doubtless other countries will follow… as, indeed, will SKELETON KEY soon enough. Can’t wait.

     

    Eagle-eyed (ha!) readers will have noticed that last month’s EAGLE STRIKE graphic novel had a rather different (and rather lovely) cover design to previous books in the series.

    In fact, the entire book has a new design, right down to the spine and interior title pages, all to better match the new editions of the novels.

    Of course, this was no accident. Over the coming months Walker Books will publish new editions of all the graphic novels so far, starting with STORMBREAKER (seen here) which goes on sale this Thursday in the UK.

    These really are gorgeous books; slightly oversized, full colour, and produced on the same high-quality paper as the original editions. Do check them out.

     

    Crikey, it’s all happening this week: now EAGLE STRIKE, the fourth Alex Rider graphic novel, is on sale.

    If you’re wondering why I didn’t mention this in advance, well, I didn’t actually know the exact release date, only that it was “coming soon”.

    I also wasn’t allowed to spoiler the lovely new cover design and trade dress (see right), which matches the equally fetching design of the original novels’ new editions. I’m delighted the design is finally out there, though, as I really do love it.

    Once again, Kanako and Yuzuru supply their brand of outstanding full-action artwork, and the whole thing is rather gorgeous. The ISBN is 978-1406318777, if you want to order a copy, and EAGLE STRIKE is available now from all good booksellers.

    As for more Alex Rider graphic novels…? Well, now, that’s an interesting question — but like any good spy, my lips are sealed.

     

    SKELETON KEY is now on sale in the UK and Europe (an American edition, published by Philomel, will follow soon). I received my advance copy this weekend, and it looks fantastic.

    As with POINT BLANC, this graphic novel is based on the original book, and as always, it’s drawn by the dynamic sisters Kanako and Yuzuru. Here’s the blurb:

    Reluctant teenage superspy Alex Rider is useful to MI6 in ways an adult could never be. Now they need his help once again. But a routine reconaissance mission at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships sets off a terrifying chain of events for Alex that sees him on the run from a murderous Chinese triad gang. Forced to hide out, Alex is sent to Cayo Esqueleto — Skeleton Key — an island near Cuba. Waiting for him there is General Alexei Sarov — a coldly insane Russian with explosive plans to rewrite history. Alex faces his most dangerous challenge yet. Alone, and equipped only with a handful of gadgets, Alex must outwit Sarov as the seconds tick away towards the end of the world…

    The UK ISBN is 9781406313482. As soon as I have details for the Philomel edition, I’ll post them here.

    I’ve mentioned before that this book required a bit of jiggery-pokery with Sabina’s character, seeing as in the novels Alex doesn’t even meet her until this book! But I think it worked out pretty well, and it sets us up nicely for EAGLE STRIKE, which will hopefully hit shelves in 2010…

    Also this week, according to Diamond’s shipping list, the DEAD SPACE: EXTRACTION one-shot comic goes on sale. That’s a little earlier than most of us expected, but now you get even more time to pore over Ben‘s lovely art before the game hits later this month. Here’s the solicitation:

    Take a step further into the horrifying world of DEAD SPACE with EXTRACTION, the special edition comic of the forthcoming Wii title, from the same creative team behind the original DEAD SPACE comic! Senior Medical Officer Nicole Brennan gets the chance of a lifetime when she’s assigned to the USG Ishimura… but before long, the necromorph infection breaks out and Nicole must race to unravel the horrifying clues she finds in a very special young girl!

    You can read a huge 9-page preview at Newsarama, and order it with the code JUL090350.

     

    Walker Books have announced a publication date for SKELETON KEY, the third Alex Rider graphic novel. It’s scheduled for release in the UK on September 7th.

    As with the previous books in the series, SKELETON KEY is ably illustrated by sisters Kanako and Yuzuru, it’s 176pp, and will be available in bookstores everywhere. If events follow past form, readers in the US should be able to get hold of an edition a few months afterward.

    Like POINT BLANC, this book is based directly on the novel, and is very faithful. I had to do a bit of jiggering with “The Sabina Situation” again, and anyone familiar with the novel will notice those changes, but they were unavoidable and I think it worked out well. It also sets us up nicely for EAGLE STRIKE, the fourth graphic novel, which I finished writing at the end of last year and will hopefully be out in 2010.

     

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