Awesome launches graphic novel studio; launches first title

Awesome Media and Entertainment (Awesome), the IP and production company founded by writer-producer Jeff Norton, has announced to be launching a new graphic novel studio after the successful launch of its fiction publishing imprint Awesome Reads in 2018. Prolific comic book writer Richard Dinnick has joined as publisher.

Awesome Reads will develop high-concept, character-driven comics for a broad, adult readership which will also be developed for the screen. The studio will debut with the launch of Retrograde, a post-apocalyptic love story about the survivors of a retro-virus that has dialled back the evolutionary clock on most of the planet’s DNA, which will debut at San Diego ComicCon. 

Retrograde is written by Dinnick (Doctor Who, Lost In Space), with art by Pasquale Qualano, colours by Charlie Kirchoff and lettering by Comicraft’s Richard Starkings along with Jimmy Betancourt.

Said Dinnick: “I’m thrilled to bring Awesome Reads into the realm of graphic novels as we’re truly in a golden age of graphic storytelling and Awesome has incredibly creative content to delight readers around the world.”

Retrograde launches on 16 July 2019, with SDCC exclusive. It will be followed in December by #Guardian, written by Erika Lewis, a modern western about a former CIA agent named Sera Renteria who becomes a self-fashioned vigilante who responds to cries for help over social media.

Awesome Reads’ titles for 2020 include Brexodus, a political thriller set in an alternative modern-day Britain as it attempts to secede from the Roman Empire, and Cortex, a high-tech mystery about hacking human memory to solve crimes.

 Norton added: “The graphic novel studio completes the creative circle we’ve been building: from book to screen and back again. We are thrilled to be on the ground floor with top talent and we’ll be partnering with best-in-class production partners to develop these visually arresting stories for the screen.”

 This initiative comes on the heels of Awesome’s development of its Dino Knights novel for television with OmniFilm Entertainment and The Jim Henson Company into a live-action show Knigths Of Panterra with showrunner Simon Barry.