Earlier this week Dark Horse Comics released a new collected edition of Air, the creator-owned series by G. Willow Wilson and M.K. Perker. The first volume of the new collections comes from the Karen Berger-curated Berger Book imprint at Dark Horse, and features a new cover by Perker and a new afterword by Wilson. Today The Beat is pleased to present an exclusive look at Wilson’s afterword, as well as at process artwork by Perker for the book’s new cover. Check that out below, and look for Air Volume 1 in stores now.

By G. Willow Wilson

In the fourteen years since AIR was first released, some things have changed in the world of air travel, and some have remained exactly the same. We are still inexplicably taking off our shoes at security checkpoints. It is still the most politicized form of mass transit, though for different reasons. And while most of the magic is gone, replaced by a grim slog crushed into ever-shrinking seats accompanied by nonexistent food and drink, the pandemic taught us that there is still enough nostalgia for flight that people are willing to board a plane simply to circle in the air for half an hour and land again. Suspended between earth and sky, between time zones, something uncanny happens to the way we perceive the world.

Initial sketch by M.K. Perker

AIR takes this uncanny in-betweenness and extrapolates it into something quite literally magical. What if we could travel not just through space, but through metaphor? What if there were places to which we could escape that are not tethered to geography? The result is a surreal tumble through myth, legend and conspiracy theory. There’s a love story, and a story about loss, and about navigating a world that is no longer recognizable–something we ourselves struggle with as our own world careens into a future that feels increasingly uncertain.

Finished cover minus trade dress

It’s always interesting to revisit one’s own work from decades past. It’s a tangible snapshot of who you were in that moment: what you were interested in, what you were preoccupied with, what you worried about. I hope that AIR will be as meaningful to readers today as it was to MK and myself when we first set out on this journey. So sit back, relax, enjoy a snack–we still serve complimentary meals on this flight–and get ready for takeoff.