Digital Publisher NeoText Will Publish The Illustrated Novella Charting A Year of Increasing Terror in A Small Town
(September 8, 2021) Acclaimed author Ben Percy and superstar artist Francesco Francavilla have collaborated on WEREWORLD, a new illustrated novella about a year of increasing terror in a small Minnesota town. The supernatural novella will be published by digital publisher NeoText this fall.
What if The Purge were supernatural? What if, instead of one night a year, the world went wild once a month? When the moon was full? What if the contagion was spreading among the population—and no one knew who was infected—only that the violence was growing more severe and widespread? You couldn’t trust anyone—not your neighbors, your friends, or even your family.
Manitou Street—in the cozy college town of Northfield, Minnesota—has always been known for its shady maples and flower-filled gardens and backyard bbq parties and general sense of safety and comfort; but over the course of twelve months, its residents become deeply paranoid and divided. Houses transform into fortresses—with deep arsenals and barred windows and steel-sleeved doors and surveillance cameras—because every time the moon grows fat, the neighborhood has to hunker down and wait out a nighttime assault, uncertain if the enemy is without or within.
“I relished the Michael Whelan illustrations in Stephen King’s The Gunslinger as much as I did the prose,” said writer Ben Percy. “My memories of A Christmas Carol are informed as much by John Leech’s art as by Charles Dickens’ story. I specifically picked up a copy of Dracula because it featured the paintings of Greg Hildebrandt. So the opportunity to join forces on WEREWORLD with Francesco Francavilla—one of my all-time favorite horror artists—was a dream (or should I say nightmare?) come true. The story takes place over the course of a year—organized by monthly chapters set in and around the time of the full moon—and as the pages of the calendar tear away, the paranoia and terror deepen. We hope you have as much fun reading WEREWORLD as we did creating it.”
“”I’ve always loved illustrated prose/literature since I was a kid,” said artist Francesco Francavilla. “I own lots of old classics illustrated by Gustave Dore’ (The Divine Comedy, Paradise Lost) and new classics illustrated by Gorey (Dracula) and Bernie Wrightson (Silver Bullet), so to have a chance to dip my artistic toes in this field was a bit of a dream come true. It also helps that Ben’s work is SO GOOD and so inspiring. I’m very happy with this collaboration and it definitely left me wanting to do more of these illustrated novellas.”
WEREWORLD will be published digitally on September 14, 2021.
Benjamin Percy is the author of five novels – most recently The Ninth Metal (Mariner Books) – three story collections, and a book of essays. He writes Wolverine and X-Force for Marvel Comics. His fiction and nonfiction have been published in Esquire (where he is a contributing editor), GQ, Time, Outside, Men’s Journal, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Paris Review. His honors include the Whiting Award, the Plimpton Prize, two Pushcart Prizes, an NEA fellowship, the iHeartRadio Award for Best Scripted Podcast, and inclusion in Best American Short Stories and Best American Comics. Learn more about him at www.benjaminpercy.com
Francesco Francavilla, an Eisner and Eagle Award winner and New York Times bestselling creator, is best known for bringing his signature neo-pulp style to the comics industry, from horror to superheroes and sci-fi. Francesco has worked on the acclaimed horror series Afterlife with Archie and Batman: The Black Mirror. He wrote and illustrated Will Eisner’s The Spirit, and is currently illustrating his own creator-owned The Black Beetle. In addition he works on movie poster art, cover art for movie and music albums, concept art and storyboards for film and TV, and editorial illustrations for a variety of books and magazines. Born and raised in Italy, he now lives in Atlanta, GA, with his lovely partner Lisa and their two cats. You can find Francesco on Twitter/Instagram at @f_francavilla and on his website www.francescofrancavilla.com.