Media Release — Just over one hundred years after the “fight of the century,” IDW is proud to publish a graphic novel biography of Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion. Available in December, The Original Johnson chronicles the life of the “Galveston Giant,” telling the gripping story of one man’s fight for equality. Long time comics mainstay Trevor Von Eeden (Batman, Green Arrow) captures the essence of a nation’s struggle through the lens of one of the best boxers of all time.
“We’re very excited to be bringing Trevor’s work to the public,” ComicMix editor-in-chief Mike Gold said. “This is one of the most meticulously researched graphic novels ever produced. It’s an important story on a great many levels: not just boxing history, but America’s evolving attitudes toward race at a time when lynching remained all too common.”
The first son of former slaves, Jack Johnson would come to embody the struggle against racism that still plagues society today when his 1908 victory over a white boxer for the heavyweight world championship sparked racial clashes across the county. Johnson became an international celebrity and a major inspiration for generations of people fighting discrimination and inequality.
“This will be the first time that this remarkable man’s story will be told in a comics format, and the first time that it will have been told by a black man,” Von Eedon stated. “I’m telling the story of Jack Johnson my own way, the way this important story needs to be told. I’ve been working on The Original Johnson for over 12 years, doing an intense amount of research and honing my artistic skills. It’s great to see that the book will finally reach its fruition.”
A co-production from IDW Publishing and ComicMix, The Original Johnson will be a two-volume graphic novel totalling 240 pages of story, plus historical introductions. The Original Johnson contains some mature content.
The Original Johnson, Volume One ($19.99, 128 pages) debuts this December. An IDW/ComicMix co-production. Diamond order code: OCT09 0999; ISBN 978-1-160010-638-5