NIGHTWORLD #1-4 (Adam McGovern / Paolo Leandri)

Le premier numéro de la mini-série Nightworld, en gestation depuis plus de 8 ans et finalement financé l’année dernière sur le site internet Kickstarter, sortira enfin chez Image en août prochain.
Décrit par ses auteurs, le scénariste Adam McGovern et le dessinateur Paolo Leandri, comme un “petit budget inspiré par les classiques Kirby et films de monstres Mario Bava”, Nightworld raconte le combat du démon Plenilunio contre le maléfique Empyre avec lequel il a marchandé, dans sa demeure hanté, pour sauver sa femme somnambule.

La mini-série comprendra quatre numéros.

[quote]NIGHTWORLD #1 (of 4)
AUGUST 6 / 32 PAGES / FC / E / $3.99
Sad demon Plenilunio rules a haunted castle with his sleepwalking lover Lidia, and unwisely bargains with the evil Empyre to wake her. He’s in a race for the mystic Soul Key with teen-from-hades Hotspot and the ruthless Hellena – agents of the Empyre with secret agendas. A four-part thrill ride to hell starts here, with humor, horror, tragic romance, and blockbuster monster fights, from the cult-hit team of ADAM McGOVERN & PAOLO LEANDRI (DR. ID, Idoru Jones).[/quote]

Le site de l’éditeur:

Quelques images supplémentaires de Nightworld, suivies de la genèse du projet par Adam McGovern:

[quote]NIGHTWORLD possessed me nine years ago. I was writing for the Jack Kirby Collector tribute-zine when Paolo Leandri of Città di Castello, Italy sent me some samples of mutant-Kirby comic stories he had done for skate-punk and rock rags in his native country, plus some other concept pages.

We ended up collaborating on the idea I brought him for the self-help sorcerer, Dr. Id, Psychologist of the Supernatural, but one strip in Paolo’s original pile kept speaking to me. It was a haunting five-page short about this weird kabuki-lucha-looking bat-human, bizarre yet tragically dignified, and his ghostly lover, each pacing a sad decrepit castle. I had told Paolo that if he ever wanted to try an American adaptation I thought this romantic tragedy could be a hit in the States.

In the meantime, we finished a one-shot’s worth of Dr. Id, nominated as Outstanding Comic of 2006 in the Ignatz Awards, and two stories of the six-part graphic novel The Urban Legend of Idoru Jones (which eventually ended up on with more to come eventually — it’s set in the future, so that will still be there).

Then NIGHTWORLD overpowered us — I asked Paolo for a rough English translation for me to adjust into American vernacular and transposed poetry (I would later work this way on 50-plus issues of nine comics for Italy’s GG Studio with co-writer Andrea Plazzi and numerous original scripters and artists, from 2010-12). In the grand tradition of our shared idol Jack Kirby, who if you pointed out that a thumb was on the wrong side of Galactus’ hand in one panel, would fix the problem by drawing you a new four-page foldout, Paolo assured me he could do much better than he had before, and soon I had 20 new pages of the extended NIGHTWORLD epic.

I gave the series its gothic-themepark name, and christened most of the characters, surprising Paolo by asking that our vampiric lead, Plenilunio, keep his Italian name — leaving it in struck me like a revelatory dubbing error in one of the overseas monster-movies of my youth, and the name had a lovely lilt and an evocative explanation (it’s a word for the night of a full moon in Italian).

Plenilunio is a man who gambled with fearsome forces which he thought would unlock a certain secret of the universe (and of the human heart, even more mysterious to him); his entranced lover Lidia is in a sleepwalking state we suspect has some connection to his occult explorations. He strikes a bargain with a corporatized, sci-fi-ish variant on medieval hell called The Empyre, for the powers to find a mystic artifact he believes will awaken Lidia. This transforms him into the apparition we see, but his plan is complicated by some competing demons, the teen-from-hell Hotspot and the formidable warrior-queen Hellena, who (unlike the principled Plenilunio) work for the Empyre’s roguish Underboss but may have secret rebellious intentions of their own. Among the way outsize humor and tragic horror collide along with driven demons and nightmare creatures. While Plenilunio & Lidia’s fragile love hangs in the balance. And is complicated by an implicit romantic triangle between them and Plenilunio’s long-suffering neighbor Ludmilla, put in harm’s way along with her grumbly Grandpa Lowe by the demons’ conflict. In a book like this we could have gone for a love pentagram, but we’re passing the savings on to you, the discerning reader, in a compact four-issue introductory miniseries.

But those four issues ran into complications of their own. Publishers emerged and disappeared. A three-year detour as my own parents’ full-time caregiver interceded. Discouragement and competing projects refocused Paolo’s attention and vast creative energies for a few years. Ideas and resolutions for stories came and went like dreams.

But the dream was one we couldn’t ever really waken from until we knew that it walked freely. NIGHTWORLD took on more flesh as we lived through its necessary stages. The first issue was done “Marvel style,” with Paolo fully drawing it for my overlain interpretations in the text; as we proceeded, the story treatments got more and more like full-script, with whole sections written out…and sometimes whole scenes surprisingly redrawn, to keep my off my toes and keep the storytelling as unpredictable to us as it should be for the reader.

A new publisher surfaced and we think we’ll be able to speak its name soon. A cycle of high hopes and towering challenges has proved the immortality of our cast. And now that I’ve gotten over the fact that this spooky book won’t see the light of day within the only year I’ll ever live that has a “I3” in it, I’m ready to look for good omens.[/quote]


[quote]Nightworld #1
Story by Adam McGovern
Art by Paolo Leandri
Cover by Paolo Leandri
Publisher Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date Wed, August 6th, 2014
Sad demon Plenilunio rules a haunted castle with his sleepwalking lover Lidia, and unwisely bargains with the evil Empyre to wake her. He’s in a race for the mystic Soul Key with teen-from-Hades Hotspot and the ruthless Hellena—agents of the Empyre with secret agendas. A four-part thrill ride to hell starts here.[/quote]


[quote]NIGHTWORLD #2
Written by: Adam McGovern.
Art by: Paolo Leandri, Dominic Regan.
Cover by: Paolo Leandri, Dominic Regan.
Description: Hidden tombs, troubled dreams and big-budget hellscapes set the stage for tragic demon Plenilunio’s fight for redemption against the Empyre and its agents Hotspot and Hellena - but surprise alliances may form as new perils surface! The super-horror quest continues as the widescreen crazy amps up!
Pages: 32.
Price: $3.99.
In stores: Sept. 3. [/quote]


[quote]NIGHTWORLD #3
Written by Adam McGovern
Art by Paolo Leandri
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: October 1, 2014

Lost soul Plenilunio glimpses heaven from his private hell, while Hellena’s dragonoid hordes surround the castle of Ludmilla & Lowe. See Hotspot and Plenilunio in all-out metaphysical fisticuffs! See the tragic origin of Hellena! See the runaway hotrod to hell hurtle toward its first arc’s worldshaking conclusion![/quote]


[quote]NIGHTWORLD #4
Written by Paolo Leandri, Adam McGovern
Art by Paolo Leandri, Dominic Regan
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: November 5, 2014

The forsaken spirit Plenilunio’s secret! The final confrontation at Hellena’s fortress! The smart@$$ schemes of Underboss! The high-speed chase to hell comes to its explosive, emotional finale as mortals and demons stand against their most frightening foes-but what will happen when they come face-to-face with themselves?[/quote]