NEWS: The Exile by Erik Kriek and House on Fire by Matt Battaglia are OUT NOW!
Welcome to the home of Living the Line Books. Living the Line debuted in November 2021 with the long-awaited The Strange Death of Alex Raymond, and we're excited to be working on a whole lineup of new dynamic, visually-striking graphic novels and comics for 2022 and 2023. Check below for announcements of new releases, visit our YouTube page, or join our mailing list for additional title announcements and other news! You can also download a sampler of our upcoming titles here!
Upcoming releases 2022/2023 —
Abolition of Man: the Deluxe Edition (June 2023)
Centralia by Miel Vandepitte (May 2023)
Previously released —
House on Fire by Matt Battaglia (April 2023)
The Exile by Erik Kriek (February 2023)
Plaza by Yuichi Yokoyama, translated by Ryan Holmberg (September 2022)
The Strange Death of Alex Raymond, Dave Sim and Carson Grubaugh (November 2021)
The Abolition of Man #1 by Carson Grubaugh (October 2022)
The Abolition of Man #2 by Carson Grubaugh + S. Robinson (November 2022)
The Abolition of Man #4 by Carson Grubaugh (January 2022)
The Abolition of Man #5 by Carson Grubaugh + Luciano Floridi (February 2022)
You Don't Know Jack! Dave Sim and Carson Grubaugh (September 2020)
NEWS — last updated 1-16-2022
HOUSE ON FIRE — THE DEBUT GRAPHIC NOVEL BY MATT BATTAGLIA, AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER NOW!
(ST PAUL, MN) -- 01-16-2023 Living the Line Books is proud to announce that preorders are now open for House on Fire, the debut graphic novel of cartoonist Matt Battaglia. House on Fire is now available to preorder from any local Diamond-affiliated Comic Store, English-language bookstore, or direct from Living the Line’s website.
Is she sick, or is it the world itself? HOUSE ON FIRE, the debut graphic novel by writer/artist Matt Battaglia, teases out the difference in a personal-political cruise through a fallen world, where fear is rational and obedience your only refuge.
Battaglia depicts the near-future landscape of House on Fire with wild two-color brushwork reminiscent of the great Paul Pope, and a minimalist writing style that evokes and questions rather than lectures.
“Living the Line books focuses on unique, personal books that are intensely visual, and Matt Battaglia’s House on Fire fits that bill,” says Living the Line publisher Sean Michael Robinson. “House on Fire’s passionate delivery always moves the pages forward, each page a performance in ink, where his brush’s movement across the page is visible. This gives the whole book, but the action scenes in particular, a tightrope quality that is increasingly rare in a world more and more focused on perfection of performance.”
House on Fire will be available in a 100-page softcover and will retail at $16 USD. The book will be released in stores late March. Living the Line’s website will also feature a signed version by writer/artist Matt Battaglia.
Early praise for House on Fire:
‘‘... gritty ... raw... a comic you can’t pass up.”
—Matt Lesniewski, The Freak, Crimson Flower, Faceless and the Family
“Matt Battaglia had to invent Photo-Impressionism to convey the full Force Majeur of HOUSE ON FIRE, the first of the post-pandemic WADs (We Are Dystopia) graphic novels.”
—Dave Sim, Strange Death of Alex Raymond
“HOUSE OF FIRE is powerful stuff. A human story, raw and brutal, and it really makes me miss Vertigo Comics.”
—Kody Chamberlain (Sweets, Punks, 30 Days of Night)
"A nihilistic brutal little tale, drawn in bold brush strokes in a gutsy, expressionist style. The sparsity of dialogue and context makes reading it an almost visceral experience. The post-apocalyptic backdrop for the story has long belonged to the sci fi realm, but recent history had proven that it isn't such a far fetched fantasy as we all thought... All in all a bold debut." — Erik Kriek, The Exile, Gutsman, Murder Ballads
“House On Fire is built with an almost scattered visual energy that never loses clarity through its use of a singular warm palette holding it all together while heightening the story’s emotional intensity.”
—J H Williams III (Echolands, The Sandman Overture, Batwoman, Promethea)
Matt Battaglia is an artist and video producer. His work in comics started from coloring for BOOM! Studios and Roche Limit at Image Comics. He collaborated with author Michael Moreci for their book Indoctrination at Z2 Comics. After a multi-year hiatus from making comics, he returned with his solo work Ghosts of the Carousel published by Dauntless Stories. His latest, House on Fire, is forthcoming from Living the Line. In his other professional life Matt works for Free the People, where he directs and produces a variety of video projects and documentaries.
Art samples and preview PDFs of House on Fire are available upon request from firstname.lastname@example.org.
CENTRALIA — THe DEBUT GRAPHIC NOVEL BY MIEL VANDEPITTE, AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER NOW!
(ST PAUL, MN) -- 11-28-2022 Living the Line Books is proud to announce that preorders are now open for Centralia, the debut graphic novel of the young Flemish cartoonist Miel Vandepitte. Centralia is now available to preorder from any local Diamond-affiliated Comic Store, English-language bookstore, or direct from Living the Line through a Kickstarter presale campaign.
Wandering in a World on Fire. The ground in and around Centralia has warmed so much, it’s impossible to stand on without melting. Those who survive long enough will be confronted with carnivorous birds, collapsing buildings, and the trigger-happy Simia Nasalis, armed with bazookas and stilts. Against their better judgement, a group of adventurers set out to discover the treasure of gold hidden away at the heart of the abandoned town.
"Ever since our first publication, I've been on the lookout for unique, personal books that are intensely visual," says Living the Line publisher Sean Michael Robinson. "From the first time I held the Dutch-language version of Centralia in my hands, I was in awe of the artwork and Miel's mastery of the graphic novel form. Centralia is a wild romp through a post-apocalyptic landscape, with an anything-goes approach to the setting and story, and a dynamic visual style reminiscent of European masters such as Herge and Moebius. The clean-line stylized characters are offset against improbably complex environments, all unified by a painterly approach to color and a breezy, page-turning storytelling verve."
Centralia will be available in an oversize 144-page hardback and will retail at $35 USD. The book will be released in stores late February. The Kickstarter will also feature a deluxe version of the book signed by writer/artist Miel Vandepitte.
Early praise for Centralia:
“...a beautifully drawn, dreamlike adventure story that is sure to please lovers of Euro comics masters like Herge and Moebius.”
— New York Times Bestselling author Jimmy Gownley, Amelia Rules! and 7 Good Reasons Not to Grow Up
"Vandepitte tells a thrilling, surreal, and often unsettling story that escalates as fast as heat rises. "
― Cat Webling, Fruits and Finery
Miel Vandepitte (1998) lives in Ghent, Belgium and graduated at LUCA School of Arts with a degree in Graphic Storytelling. As part of this program, he got to spend a few months in the Pacific North-West College of Arts in Portland (OR), where under the tutelage of Jonathan Hill (known from "Odessa" and other works), his interest in comics only grew. He started Centralia as part of his thesis project, and finished the book almost two years later in "The Bright Yellow Cube" , a workspace for young comic book artists in Brussels. His main interests are comics, professional wrestling and spending time with his amazing girlfriend Lise.
Art samples and preview PDFs of Centralia are available upon request.
Erik Kriek’s The Exile — a Viking Western for the ages, AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER THIS FRIDAY
(ST PAUL, MN) -- 10-20-2022 This Friday, readers will at last be able to preorder what is certain to be one of the most talked-about graphic novels of 2023— Erik Kriek's The Exile, a stunning Viking tale of life and death, revenge and redemption, impulse and forgiveness. On October 21st, The Exile will be available to preorder from your local Diamond-affiliated Comic Store, or direct from Living the Line through our Kickstarter campaign.
After seven years of exile, battle-hardened Hallstein Thordsson returns home to Iceland, only to find that old wounds haven't healed. His stepmother Solveig and his half-brother Ottar are besieged by wood thieves, directed by her unwelcome suitor, Einar. The Exile's presence disrupts the delicate balance and threatens to tip all of Iceland into violence.
A remarkable decades-spanning epic, Erik Kriek's The Exile is equal parts action “Western” and family drama, with a surprising story of violence and consequences at its core. Told in a naturalistic modern style but with tremendous fidelity to the historical period in which it is set, The Exile depicts the Viking age in all of its conflict, turmoil, and social structure, with every detail depicted vividly on the page.
Hailing from the Netherlands, Kriek is an internationally-decorated illustrator known for his work on In the Pines (2015, Fantagraphics) and Gutsman. Lushly told with gorgeous traditionally-drawn brush work, and a limited palette illustration style reminiscent of the great three-color illustrators of the 1940s and 50s, Kriek's art is alternately breezy and gritty, but always stunning, whether he's depicting a full-blown Viking battle or a wearying sea voyage.
"Ever since our first publication, I've been on the lookout for unique, personal books that are intensely visual," says Living the Line publisher Sean Michael Robinson. "From my first glance at the Exile, I was in love with its stylish limited-color art, the stunning vistas, and the sheer range of its striking visual storytelling. But it was only after I was able to read it in English that I was able to take in the nuance of its devestating story of generational violence and revenge, and the nuanced relationships at its core. We're thrilled to be bringing such a compelling graphic novel to English-language audiences."
The Exile will be available in an oversize 192-page hardback and will retail at $40 USD. The book will be released in stores late January. The Kickstarter will also feature a deluxe version of the book signed by writer/artist Erik Kriek.
Early praise for The Exile:
"Erik Kriek, the Netherlands' legendary graphic novelist and cartoonist/illustrator, brings a previously unimaginable level of historical authenticity to the Viking Age with this beautifully-lit New Way of Seeing mankind's collectivist (and individual) origins."
— Dave Sim, Strange Death of Alex Raymond
“... a punch in the stomach...”
— Steph Leuvener
"“... everything one could want in an old Icelandic story. Violence, cruelty, shamanism, women, love and envie...”
— Nadine Vansant
"A harrowing tale of generational revenge told with a gorgeous style reminiscent of classic screen print illustration."
— Carson Grubaugh, The Abolition of Man
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 email@example.com.
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.
all content copyright 2022, Living the Line, LLC.