Online Comic Book Attracts 25,000 Readers After Artists Shed Blood In Public

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Blood-fueled publicity stunt generates national media attention, leads to world tour for The Art of War graphic novel.

Comic book artists Kelly Roman and Michael DeWeese announced today that over 25,000 people have read the 55-page sample from their debut graphic novel, The Art of War, following national media coverage of the duo's public shedding of blood to promote the sample. The recent event, involving scantily clad doctors extracting the artists' blood before a live audience in New York's Chinatown, was featured in USA Today's influential culture blog, Pop Candy.

"We never expected the response to be this huge," states author Kelly Roman. "Within 24 hours after the Pop Candy article, 10,000 people read the sample. 24 hours after that, another 15,000 people had read it. It's cliche to say, but that's the power of the internet."

Roman uploaded the book's 55-page sample onto, a document sharing service that hosts magazines and comics and allows people to embed its patented Flash reader into millions of websites. Pop Candy embedded the Issuu reader into its article, allowing the blog's audience to open and read the book sample without leaving the site. The blog's editor, Whitney Matheson, also tweeted the link to her 21,000 Twitter followers.

HarperCollins' pop culture imprint !t Books is publishing the graphic novel in North America in 2012, and Roman has just signed with foreign book agent Chandler Crawford to set up publishing deals in other countries. Crawford reps Khaled Hosseini, superstar author of The Kite Runner, among others. Publishers in Brazil and Spain have already bought rights to The Art of War in Portuguese and Spanish respectively.

Roman has agreed to perform his now signature blood ritual in every country that publishes the book. Dates and locations for these events will be announced by the end of the year.

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Ben Chabala
Chabala Comics Comminications
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