Media Release — Dark Horse is proud to announce that one of the most eagerly anticipated and unusual books of the year, Angel Catbird Volume 1, by the Man Booker Award-winning author Margaret Atwood, artist Johnnie Christmas, colorist Tamra Bonvillain and letterer Nate Piekos of Blambot, will debut as the #1 Hardcover Graphic Novel on the New York Times bestseller list for September 25.
Angel Catbird is the first graphic novel and the latest politically charged book by Atwood, who was recently named the recipient of the 2016 PEN Pinter Prize for her political and environmental activism. Angel Catbird is being published by Dark Horse Books in tandem with Keep Cats Safe and Save Bird Lives, www.catsandbirds.ca, an initiative led by Nature Canada, the oldest conservation charity in the country.
“I’m so thrilled with the reception of Angel Catbird,” said Margaret Atwood. “None of my books has ever shot up a New York Times list so quickly — thanks to the excellent work by Johnnie and Tamra, but thanks especially to the readers who have welcomed young Angel Catbird and his friends and enemies so warmly. A catnip and birdseed toast is in order!”
Artist Johnnie Christmas (Sheltered) and colorist Tamra Bonvillain (Doom Patrol) have collaborated on the art for the story of this most unusual of superheroes, who is part cat and part bird.
“I couldn’t be happier that we’ve debuted at top of the New York Times bestseller list,” said Johnnie Christmas. “I’d like to thank all the readers who’ve taken flight with us into the world of Angel Catbird. Congrats to Margaret (one of the world’s greatest writers) and Tamra (one of the world’s greatest colorists) and everyone who had a hand in bringing the book into the world and getting it onto shelves.”
“This is very exciting news,” said Tamra Bonvillain. “It’s great to see something we’ve all been working on for some time finally come out and be so well received.”
Angel Catbird Volume 2 will be published on February 14, 2017 and Volume 3 will be released next fall.
While Angel Catbird is Atwood’s first foray into writing a graphic novel, she ran a strip called “Kanadian Kulture Komics” for This Magazine in the 1970’s, about a Canadian superhero who could not fly. Next month, on October 18th, Dark Horse will publish the highly anticipated anthology The Secret Loves of Geek Girls: The Expanded Edition, featuring cartoons by Atwood created for the anthology, that detail her personal experiences as a young woman. The Secret Loves of Geek Girls is edited by Hope Nicholson, who served as project consultant for Angel Catbird. Atwood’s cartoons will appear alongside a dazzling mix of prose, comics, and illustrated stories about love, dating, and sex, featuring more than 50 creators including Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer), Trina Robbins (Wonder Woman), Gisèle Lagacé (Ménage à 3), Marguerite Bennett (A-Force), Marjorie Liu (Monstress), Carla Speed McNeil (Finder), a foreword by Kelly Sue DeConnick (Bitch Planet) and a new cover by Noelle Stevenson (Nimona).
“I’ll admit, I’m pretty excited to see cartoons by Margaret Atwood in The Secret Loves of Geek Girls,” said Johnnie Christmas.
Praise for Angel Catbird:
“Angel Catbird is a triumph of genre play, a superhero comic book that looks like a superhero comic book, reads like a superhero comic book, but gleefully capsizes all the usual notions of what a superhero comic book should be.”– National Public Radio
“Full of action, romance, humor, and even a message about making our world safe for cats and birds. It’s also beautifully illustrated by Atwood’s collaborators, artist Johnnie Christmas and colorist Tamra Bonvillain.”– Mental Floss
“Beautifully drawn…. Very funny.”– Maclean’s
“A real trip… Half cat, half bird, half pulp adventure and half environmental treatise.”– Polygon
“Channels the storytelling sensibilities of series like Captain Marvel, Dick Tracy, and Pogo. Artist Johnnie Christmas and colorist Tamra Bonvillain bring Atwood’s concept to the page with clean detail and bold energy… and excellent work.”–AV Club
“Atwood’s debut is coming at just the right moment in the history of comics.”– London Free Press
“A good old-fashioned superhero romp, full of bright colors and vibrant characters… The comic is adorned with cat facts, providing helpful info and real-life statistics about the animals.”– Entertainment Weekly
About Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa, and grew up in northern Ontario and Quebec, and in Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master’s degree from Radcliffe College.
Margaret Atwood is the author of more than forty volumes of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and non-fiction, but is best known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman (1969), The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), The Robber Bride (1994), Alias Grace (1996), and The Blind Assassin, which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000. MaddAddam (2013), is the final volume in a three-book series that began with the Man-Booker prize-nominated Oryx and Crake (2003) and continued with The Year of the Flood (2009); the series is currently being adapted for HBO by Darren Aronofsky. The Tent (mini-fictions) and Moral Disorder (short fiction) both appeared in 2006. Her most recent volume of poetry, The Door, was published in 2007. In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination, a collection of non-fiction essays appeared in 2011. Her non-fiction book, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth was adapted for the screen in 2012. Her latest works are a book of short stories called Stone Mattress: Nine Tales (2014), and the novels The Heart Goes Last (2015) and Hag-Seed (2016). Netflix and Canadian broadcaster CBC are currently shooting an adaptation of Alias Grace as a six-hour miniseries from Sarah Polley (Away from Her) and Noreen Halpern’s Halfire Entertainment. Hulu is currently shooting a drama based on the bestselling novel The Handmaid’s Tale, starring Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men). Ms. Atwood’s work has been published in more than forty languages, including Farsi, Japanese, Turkish, Finnish, Korean, Icelandic and Estonian.
About Johnnie Christmas
Johnnie Christmas is the co-creator of the critically acclaimed Image Comics series Sheltered, which has gone on to translation in multiple languages. He is the creator, writer and artist of Firebug, serialized in ISLAND Magazine; as well as co-creator of the sci-fi series PISCES. A graduate of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, Johnnie makes Vancouver, BC his home.
About Tamra Bonvillain
Tamra Bonvillain is originally from Augusta, Georgia, and took an interest in art and comics at a young age. After graduating from the local Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School in 2000, she majored in art at Augusta State University. She later attended the Joe Kubert School, and upon graduating in 2009, she began working full time as an assistant and designer for Greg Hildebrandt and Jean Scrocco’s company, Spiderwebart. During this time, she also began to take on work as a comics colorist, eventually leaving the company to pursue a career in the comics industry full time. In the years since, she has worked for many major comic publishers, including Dark Horse, DC Entertainment, Dynamite, Boom, Image, and Marvel. She is currently the colorist for Rat Queens, Wayward, and several other titles.
About Nature Canada
Nature Canada is the oldest national nature conservation charity in Canada. Over the past 75 years, Nature Canada has helped protect over 63 million acres of parks and wildlife areas in Canada and countless species that depend on this habitat. Today, Nature Canada has over 45,000 members and supporters and is the national Voice for Nature in a nature network of more than 350 nature organizations across Canada. See more at: http://naturecanada.ca.