Friday, 7 February 2014

Upcoming: Celeste by I.N.J Culbard

Speaking of highly anticipated comics for 2014, here's another one to look out for. Celeste is the first original story from Ian Culbard, best known for illustrating Self Made Hero's excellent Lovecraft adaptations, and his collaborative strips in 2000AD (speaking of which, Culbard and Ian Edington's Brass Sun will finally get a collected release towards the end of the year from Rebellion). Whilst Culbard's artistic abilities are nary in doubt, it will be interesting to see what his first solo effort, in which he takes on both writing and illustrative duties, has to offer.  Publishers Self Made Hero seem to like to keep as much of their books as close to the chest as possible, rarely releasing full preview pages with texts, instead serving up a panel here and there closer to release time, but Celeste certainly looks and sounds intriguing.

A science fiction tale, the narrative is split into three strands, each following the life of a different character- one in London, one in Japan and one in LA. The book will be released in hardback, at 192 pages later this April. Below you can read an official synopsis, accompanied with a selection of panels and image snippets, from Culbard's Tumblr blog.

In London, the moment two commuters, Aaron and Lilly, lay eyes on each other on a packed Monday morning tube train, everyone else around them vanishes. In Los Angeles, Ray is sitting in gridlock on the 405 Freeway when he receives a call from an LAPD officer with news about his wife. Ray fears the worst. But just as the officer is about to give Ray the news, he is cut off. The caller has disappeared, and so has everyone else around him. Everyone except for a badly beaten man tied up in the trunk of another car. 
In Japan, comic artist Yoshi has come to the demon-haunted Aokigahara Forest to die, but the spirits of the forest have other ideas. Taking us through the deserted streets of London, the empty freeways of Los Angeles, and the dream world of the Aokigahara Forest, Celeste is a compelling and profound graphic novel about the choices we make and the courage it takes to make them.

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