Blood and belief often go hand-in-hand. This May, two talented New Yorkers will be giving their own blood to celebrate the completion of their graphic novel, The Art of War, and using it to sign free 3-chapter previews of their book. Aside from a few other select comic book productions receiving the biological treatment from their creators, Kelly Roman and Mike Deweese, author and artist respectively, are doing something sensationally different.
To give you just a little background, the book depicts a future when China is the dominant economy and Wall Street is militarized. Kelly 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 world he came up with is terrifyingly prophetic, with a gritty Blade Runner-esque feel that Mike hammers home in every single panel.
But when Kelly first proposed the idea of the bloodletting, I was skeptical. “Is that even legal?” I thought. Yet the more I mulled it over the more the idea grew on me. How could you possibly show more enthusiasm and conviction for your creation than by bleeding for it? Kelly found a way: by bleeding in front of a crowd!
On May 19th in Chinatown’s Columbus Park, the destination a courteous bow to the original manuscript’s author and Kelly’s inspiration, these guys will be having their blood drawn by a registered health care professional, dousing stamps that say “The Art of War,” and marking free copies of the 3-chapter preview for fans.
They’ve spent 5 years writing, penciling, storyboarding, digitally inking, coloring, revising, and editing this book into the beautiful graphic novel it is today. While I’ve only been riding with them for about a year now I’m just as excited as they are for the bloodletting. It will mark the culmination of a long and arduous process crafting a work that, when you look at current events, borders on the prescient.
In this insane post-Action Comics #900 world, where everyone from your grandmother to your mayor has an opinion about comic books and their role in American culture, The Art of War is going to give us even more to talk about.
The Art of War is slated for a Spring 2012 release through HarperCollin’s imprint !t Books, so this will be one of your only chances to pick up a physical copy of their work before next year. If you can’t make it to the event Kelly was kind enough to put up the 3-chapter preview over at TheArtofWarGraphicNovel.com.
Read the official Press Release for the Blood, Sweat and Tears event here
Follow The Art of War’s protagonist Kelly Roman on Twitter here
And don’t forget to like him on Facebook here