(San Diego, July 7, 2008) A classic American adventure series from Eisner nominee William Messner-Loebs, Journey introduced the world to 19th century trapper and guide, Joshua “Wolverine” McAlistaire. The series’ 31 issues followed McAlistaire as he walked across the untamed wilderness of what would one day become Michigan, crossing paths and sharing adventures with an ever-growing cast of both real-life and fictional characters.
Journey takes place as America recovers from the Revolution and braces for the upheaval of the War of 1812. The result is an absorbing account of life on the 19th century frontier—sometimes fantastic, such as when McAlistaire gets a free ride on a tornado, and sometimes harshly realistic (when he gets chased by a hungry black bear). McAlistaire endures every imaginable hazard, encountering Indians, German poets, Sasquatch, and even talking spirits of the long dead.
Both written and drawn by Bill Messner-Loebs, Journey has a unique style. As one Publishers’ Weekly review puts it: “Messner-Loebs’ laid back prose style… sounds like a yard told round the campfire and echoes aspects of American literature from the era he’s evoking. …The humor is dry and the artwork is evocative of Will Eisner in use of facial expression and of backgrounds that are at once stark and detailed.”
“I tried to give a funny, serious, realistic and surreal take on the era,” according to Mr. Messner-Loebs. “My feeling was life is all those things and as a comic reflects that the reader is drawn into it. A spy story needs to be tightly plotted; a frontier saga, or my frontier saga at any rate, should have as little conventional plot as possible. Since the land beyond civilization is freeform, the story you tell should reflect that. I had homesteaded along the Canadian border in Maine for a year and I tried to get the things I had experienced there into the story. I think I got a little serious and complicated towards the end. Of course I was drawing it in hospitals, waiting for both my mother and my wife to die.”
IDW’s re-presentation of this comics classic includes issues #1–16, as well as an introduction by Eisner-winning writer/artist Sam Kieth, Messner-Loebs’ partner on The Maxx. Look for Journey, Vol. 1 in stores this August.
TPB • B&W • 424 pages • 6.625” x 10.187” • $19.99 • ISBN: 978-1-60010-191-5