MOONRAY by Brandon Graham and Xurxo G. Penalta

Living the Line and Moonray PBC are proud to present Moonray Book One, the first volume in a bold new science fantasy graphic novel series written and drawn by Eisner-award-winning author and artist Brandon Graham (PROPHET, KING CITY, RAIN LIKE HAMMERS), and featuring artist Xurxo G. Penalta. Moonray Book One will be released in comic book stores and book stores worldwide in October 2023. The lavishly-produced oversize hardback volume will run 160 pages and will retail for $35 USD.

In a post-human world, the man of miium is born. Created to avenge a slain goddess, our nameless warrior travels an unrecognizable landscape, constantly evolving with new wonders and terrors: Zanikam pirates, deadly reflections, a living bridge, and a red tear in the sky. Written and drawn by Eisner-award-winning author and artist Brandon Graham (Prophet, King City, Rain Like Hammers) and featuring artist Xurxo G. Penalta, Moonray presents a mind-altering new dawn for a distant sci-fi future unlike any other. This bold graphic odyssey births the Moonray universe, from comic book to video game and beyond.

Since the release of King City in 2008, Brandon Graham has been known for making the most experimental and stylish action comics in the business, a true international cartoonist with a distinctive and compelling style. Moonray is the culmination of those fifteen years of development, and takes all of his stylistic influences to their pinnacle: graffiti culture, science fiction manga, clean-line European comics, ukiyo-e prints, and collage, all mashed together into one of the most distinctive visual signatures in comics.

Moonray is a daring experiment in world-building, a true graphic epic that began in a truly unusual way. Moonray the graphic novel series shares its name and characters with a surreal 3rd-person multiplayer battle arena game set in a fantastical sci-fi world. Featuring intense combat, stunning visuals, and a world-class soundtrack, Moonray the game has been in development by the independent game developers Moonray PBC since 2019, and will be available publicly in an arena-combat form this fall of 2023.

But Moonray was written and drawn almost entirely in reverse of the normal process of a video game “tie-in” book. Rather than fit his comic work into an existing story and set of rules, Graham was instead hired by Moonray PBC to draw out the ideas at the game's core, to in essence develop the sketched-in ideas that were present before his involvement. Rather than developing a book based on a game, the team is developing a game based on an their own book.

Moonray ten page preview 7-25-2023.pdf

Writer/artist Graham takes up the origin story.

The idea for Moonray started with Rodrigo Etcheto and his brother Diego's interest in far future surreal science fiction, which led them to my work.,” says Graham. “The world of It-Ao, the goddess Iltar, and most importantly the idea for miium, the living material that could be absolutely anything, was already in place. They hired me to explore it all.”

At the same time I was newly living in the desert of Las Vegas, which felt like moving to Mars,” continues Graham. “At the start me and my old friend Farel Dalrymple were doing sketches of all the places and creatures and weapons that could exist in the Moonray universe. Eventually I enlisted Xurxo to draw another story set in the same world.”

I approached my own pages often without a map of where exactly I'd go next,” continues Graham. “As much as the miium hero was figuring out himself and the world he's found himself in, I was figuring out each week's pages as I went, setting up questions for myself to figure out the following week.”

We knew from the very beginning that we wanted to develop a style of sci-fi that would be different from anything else out there,” says Moonray PBC CEO Rodrigo Etcheto. “We wanted to explore ideas that touch on surrealism, consciousness and the struggle to know your true nature. But we wanted to set those ideas in a world which would draw gamers and readers in with magnetic visuals. Brandon was the obvious person to create something this ambitious.”

Brandon Graham was born in 1976, the grandson of pin-up artist Bill Randall. He grew up in Seattle around a lot of graffiti and comics from all over the word. His books include KING CITY, MULTIPLE WARHEADS, PROPHET, ROYALBOILER, and RAIN LIKE HAMMERS.

Xurxo G Penalta is a Galician artist who’s collaborated with Brandon on KIEM and PROPHET. He's been published by Image, Dark Horse, IDW, Marvel, and illustrated for multiple music labels and live events. He focuses on science fiction and fantasy artwork in the European clear line style, with late 70s and 80s influences from comics, animation and film.