Comic Book Artists Use Their Own Blood for Ink

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Debut Graphic Novel from HarperCollins Depicts Chinese Economic Domination

The Art of War Graphic Novel

“There’s a monstrous tradition of using cremated remains and blood to make comic books” states author Kelly Roman.

HarperCollins author Kelly Roman and illustrator Michael DeWeese will celebrate the completion of their debut graphic novel, The Art of War, by extracting their own blood before a live audience and stamping it on book samples that will be given away to fans. The event will take place in Columbus Park, in Manhattan’s Chinatown neighborhood, on May 19th at 7PM.

The event marks the beginning of a year-long awareness campaign for the 336-page comic book that !t Books, the pop-culture imprint of HarperCollins, will publish in Spring 2012.

The book depicts a future when China is the dominant economy and Wall Street is militarized. Author Kelly Roman was inspired to write the story in 2007 after reading a Wall Street Journal article about China investing billions of dollars in Blackstone, an American private equity firm. The 50-page sample is currently available for free on the book’s website:

“There’s a monstrous tradition of using cremated remains and blood to make comic books” states author Kelly Roman, “Marvel editor Mark Gruenwald had his ashes mixed with ink and made into commemorative issues of Squadron Supreme. KISS had their blood used to print their first comic. We are adding a live performance element.”

A medical doctor will extract the artists’ blood. A custom stamp featuring the Chinese characters for “The Art of War” will be used to stamp the blood on bound 3-chapter samples that will be given away to fans. Clear tape will be placed over the dried blood.

Named after and drawn to look like Kelly Roman, the book’s protagonist has his own Facebook page and Twitter page. The author has also created a YouTube channel to feature videos of average Americans expressing their views on China becoming the most powerful nation on Earth.

The book sample has begun to generate buzz in the comic book community. “Kind of a James O'Barr vibe with the art. I dig it,” tweeted Lee Black, who writes for Marvel Comics.


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Ben Chabala
Chabala Comics Comminications
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