NEWS — last updated 8-23-2022
The Abolition of Man, World's First A.I. Illustrated Comic Series
Gets 5th Issue, Written by Oxford Philosopher of Information
(BALTIMORE, MD) -- (August 2022) -- Living the Line Books and Diamond Comic Distributors are proud to announce that The Abolition of Man, the first comic series entirely illustrated by a computer, has been expanded to include a fifth issue.
World renowned Philosopher of Information, Luciano Floridi has contributed an essay that will form this special final issue of the series.
Award-winning oil painter turned Eisner-nominated cartoonist Carson Grubaugh opened the five-issue comic book series, The Abolition of Man, by supplying the Midjourney A.I. with lines from C.S. Lewis' groundbreaking lecture, “The Abolition of Man." Similarly, Floridi's words have been fed to the same A.I. to create this capstone to the series.
Floridi holds a double appointment as Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford, Oxford Internet Institute and as Professor of Sociology of Culture and Communication at the University of Bologna and is deeply engaged with emerging policy regarding the implications of digital technologies. He has worked closely on digital ethics (including the ethics of algorithms and AI) with the European Commission, the German Ethics Council, and, in the UK, with the House of Lords, the Cabinet Office, and the Information Commissioner’s Office, as well as with multinational corporations (e.g. Cisco, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Tencent).
Regarding his involvement in The Abolition of Man, Floridi says, "The evocative illustration of ideas by the latest technology: this is the amazing encounter between the medium of comics, the content of philosophy, and AI as a new form of agency, all supervised by the mind of the artist. The result is remarkable, and it is a unique privilege to be part of such an exciting experiment so significantly coherent with our digital age."
The Folridi penned issue #5 follows issues #2 and #3 (co-scripted by Grubaugh and LTL publisher Sean Robinson), which tell a satirical story of a dystopian future where automation has left humankind devoid of dignity, and issue #4, which is both written and illustrated by A.I. Floridi counters the bleak outlook of the first four issues with a hopeful note that explains how the concept of human dignity can help us design a future worth building.
Abolition of Man is on the leading edge of a wave of discussion regarding the potentials of AI technologies, both utopian and dire. Grubaugh and Robinson discussed these possibilities with the legendary artist Dave McKean, who had this to say about the Abolition of Man miniseries. “The Abolition of Man is a thorough test drive of AI image making, and the results are extraordinary, appalling, compelling, cold, hot, beautiful, repellent, and should be abolished," said McKean.
The Abolition of Man #1 will be available in English-language comic book shops worldwide in October of 2022, distributed exclusively by Diamond Comic Distributors. It is available for pre-order at comic shops using item code APR228727.
Retailers interested in placing wholesale orders for these PREVIEWS Exclusive items are encouraged to place their orders online. Business owners interested in opening an account should contact Diamond Comic Distributors’ New Accounts Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The solicitation text follows.
THE ABOLITION OF MAN #1 (OF 5) (MR)
48 pages • $6.99
What do you get when you take a groundbreaking philosophical essay and feed it into an AI image generator, one line at a time? The world's first (and only) entirely-computer-illustrated comic book, The Abolition of Man #1, by oil painter turned Eisner-nominated cartoonist Carson Grubaugh (Strange Death of Alex Raymond). Alternately hilarious and terrifying, Abolition gives a chilling peek into the world of the future, where humans and their most treasured passions have lost all purpose. Part 1 of a 5 issue miniseries.
Order Online or via Email by August 25!
ABOUT DIAMOND COMIC DISTRIBUTORS (DCD) -- Diamond is at the nexus of comics and pop culture merchandise. Based in Baltimore, MD, DCD is the world’s largest distributor of English-language comic books and pop-culture related merchandise, servicing thousands of specialty retailers worldwide. For more information, visit Diamond on the web at www.diamondcomics.com.
ABOUT LIVING THE LINE -- Living the Line Books is a publisher of dynamic, visually-striking comics and graphic novels, founded in 2020 by writer/illustrator Sean Michael Robinson. Living the Line's graphic novel debut, The Strange Death of Alex Raymond (Dave Sim and Carson Grubaugh) was recently nominated for an Eisner Award, for "Best Reality-Based Work." Visit Living the Line at LivingtheLineBooks.com
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The World's First Entirely AI-Illustrated Comic Book Is Here, and Boy Is It Terrifying.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14th 2022
Living the Line Books and Diamond Comics are proud to present a pioneering new series: the first comic book entirely illustrated by a computer.
Award-winning oil painter turned Eisner-nominated cartoonist Carson Grubaugh has created a four-issue comic book series, The Abolition of Man, in collaboration with an AI image-generation system, MidJourney AI. For the duration of the miniseries, Grubaugh, an accomplished illustrator and painter, has handed over all illustration duties solely to an AI image generator, which operates by responding to text prompts from the user. For this first issue, Grubaugh supplied the AI with lines from C.S. Lewis' groundbreaking lecture, “The Abolition of Man”, and used the images generated by the AI unit.
Surprisingly, the AI's illustrations are compelling and haunting, creating a running commentary on the essay that alternately illustrates and expands upon the text. The AI, trained on images from the entirety of human art making, has created striking compositions that elevate and amplify Lewis' thesis: that human's ability to control nature will lead to a purposeless and diminished form of humanity. Alternately hilarious and terrifying, ABOLITION gives a chilling peek into the world of the future, where humans and their most treasured passions have lost all purpose.
The computer's vivid imagery and illustration technique is reminiscent of the greatest of the modern surrealist painters, and the acclaimed work of comics veterans like Dave McKean and Bill Sienkiewicz. The final three issues of the series promise to push the conceptual gamesmanship to another level, with a near-future science fiction arc for issues two and three, and a machine/machine collaboration for issue four— with AI responsible for the writing as well as the illustration.
“It's been a wild few months since this technology has slowly crept into the public consciousness”, says Living the Line publisher Sean Michael Robinson, “and I've been searching for art to make sense of this technological cusp. Grubaugh's Abolition miniseries promises to capture both the wonder and despair inherent in this new technology.”
Artist Grubaugh says: “I've spent years as an artist abusing many different publicly available app-fads, in an effort to illustrate what could be called a "Banal, Content Apocalypse,' in which we've generated so much semantic content that something genuinely new is near impossible to come by. These new art-making AI open up both new means for generating previously unimaginable content, but also speed the production to the point where all we will have left to us is to transmute the meaning-rich gold of the past into recycled lead of the present.”
Grubaugh concludes, “In a world where there is nothing new under the Sun, choose to change the Sun.”
The Abolition of Man #1 will be available in English-language comic book shops worldwide in October of 2022, distributed exclusively by Diamond Comics. It's available to preorder now from Diamond Comics-affiliated comic shops, or the PreviewsWorld ordering system, using the Previews order code APR228727.
Living the Line Books is a publisher of dynamic, visually-striking comics and graphic novels, founded in 2020 by writer/illustrator Sean Michael Robinson. Living the Line's graphic novel debut, The Strange Death of Alex Raymond (Dave Sim and Carson Grubaugh) was recently nominated for an Eisner Award, for "Best Reality-Based Work."
The solicitation text is below.
ABOLITION OF MAN #1 (OF 4) (MR) • 48 pages • $6.99
What do you get when you take a groundbreaking philosophical essay and feed it into an AI image generator, one line at a time? The world's first (and only) entirely-computer-illustrated comic book, The Abolition of Man #1, by oil painter turned Eisner-nominated cartoonist Carson Grubaugh (Strange Death of Alex Raymond). Alternately hilarious and terrifying, ABOLITION gives a chilling peek into the world of the future, where humans and their most treasured passions have lost all purpose. Part 1 of a 4 issue miniseries.
STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND Eisner Nomination!
We are thrilled to announce that Strange Death of Alex Raymond has been nominated for an Eisner award for "Best Reality-Based Work"! Congratulations to Dave and Carson! If you haven't picked up the book yet, copies are available now world-wide.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Sean Robinson, Publicist, Living the Line
Visionary Cartoonist Yokoyama Yuichi is Back with PLAZA, a Maniacal Manga Extravaganza!
Art and literature historians of the future will be flabbergasted that Yokoyama Yuichi existed in our time. He is a visionary on the level of William Blake. PLAZA is a parade of invention, set to the beat of turning pages.
— Dash Shaw (Cryptozoo, Discipline)
"PLAZA is the purest expression yet of Yokoyama's unmatched style. A circus for the eyes, this book is a magic trick disguised as a graphic novel, one that reminds us of the medium's limitless power."
— Matt Seneca, cartoonist/comics critic
A dazzling sensory barrage of speeding lines and swoops! Witness the torrent of joyous spectacle, the inner workings of a cosmic parade machine!
— Lale Westvind, (Grand Electric Thought Power Mother, Grip)
Living the Line Books is proud to present the latest from avant-garde manga artist Yokoyama Yuichi, the stunning PLAZA, coming to book stores and comic shops internationally in September of 2022.
Bigger, bolder, and louder than ever before, neo-manga artist Yokoyama Yuichi is back with PLAZA! Inspired by Carnaval in Brazil, PLAZA offers a maniacal extravaganza of marching, dancing, leaping, firing, cheering, smashing, and exploding over the course of 225 eye-and-eardrum-confounding pages. Originally published in Japan in 2019, this oversize English edition of PLAZA brings to full, hyper-animated life the spectacular graphic art of this genre-defying work of avant-garde comics.
Yokoyama Yuichi is Japan's leading creator of avant-garde comics. Born in 1967, he studied painting in art school, then turned to manga in the late 1990s. Characterized by modernist abstraction, sparse dialogue, oversize sound effects, obsessive movement and speed, and a wry sense of humor, Yokoyama's "neo-manga" cross the boundary between art and comics. Among his many books are New Engineering (2004), Travel (2006), Garden (2007), Outdoors (2009), Baby Boom (2009), World Map Room (2013), Iceland (2016), and Plaza (2019). His works have been extensively translated, and have featured in museum exhibitions in Japan and around the world. He has been nominated for an Eisner award, and is a two-time LA Times Book Prize finalist.
This English-language edition of PLAZA, translated by noted manga scholar Ryan Holmberg, also includes the most extended and informative interview with the artist to date.
PLAZA will be available internationally through Diamond Comics, Diamond UK, and Diamond Book Distribution.
Art samples and preview PDFs for PLAZA are available upon request.