The comics industry is still mourning the loss of artist John Paul Leon, but some of his finest work is getting a spectacular new edition – with profits going to benefit his family.

THE WINTER MEN, co-created by Leon and writer Brett Lewis is one of the cult comics of the aughts, and now it is getting an Artist’s Edition, funded by the crowdfunding platform Zoop.

In addition to showcasing Leon’s art for the book, the project will include new art prints by some of his closest friends, including Tommy Lee Edwards, Bernard Chang, Bill Sienkiewicz, Lee Weeks, Duncan Fegredo, Sean Phillips, Walter Simonson, Denys Cowan, Kim Jung Gi and Joe Quesada.

Accompanying this article is the an exclusive piece of Duncan Fegredo’s art from the project. As you can see, it will be something.

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THE WINTER MEN original publishing history is a fraught one – including changes in publishers, and issues appearing sporadically over the years. Its final form was a six issue mini series from Wildstorm. Despite its long march to completion, the story, set in the ruins of the Soviet Union, has been hailed as a classic, with world weary hero Kris Kalenov dealing with the after effects of a Super-Hero experiment – and the bizarre world of post Communist Russia. The original series was collected in a long out of print trade paperback in 2009 – which now goes for some wild prices on Amazon. For about the same price you can get this deluxe edition with Leon’s art printed at original size and all the extras – a bargain!

cidːii_kudhawd30.jpegThe book is being edited by Scott Dunbier, who pioneered the Artist Edition format at IDW, where he still works, don’t worry. The book includes 184 pages of full-size 12 x 17 scans of all of the original comic art pages, along with never-before-seen concepts, sketches, and unused art.

THE WINTER MEN Artist’s Edition will be available exclusively through ZOOP – the new end to end crowdfunding platform that works with creators on their campaigns. You can find more details on Zoop here in our interview with co-founder Jordan Plosky.

“The Zoop team is so proud to be the platform to share this project with the world. To benefit the family of a man who brought so much joy to so many is an honor that we do not take lightly,” says Zoop Co-Founder and CEO Plosky in a statement. “On behalf of my Co-Founder Eric Moss and myself, just seeing the outpouring of love for John Paul, and his impact, made us realize this is an important project, and a way to bring the comics community together to honor one of the greats.”

The crowdfunding program for THE WINTER MEN will be live later this month. The campaign page is now live, and can be accessed here. Sign up to stay alerted to the various options for the campaign – Zoop operates on an ala carte basis – you can order just the rewards that you want.  I have a feeling demand is going to be high because this is a very special project.


About John Paul Leon

Best known for his critically acclaimed work that envisioned and redefined the entire MARVEL COMICS universe in the maxi-series EARTH X, JOHN PAUL LEON’s bold and dramatic work has influenced many of today’s young talents. Some of his other notable works include the critically acclaimed THE WINTER MEN, LOGAN: PATH OF THE WARLORD, THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF CYCLOPS AND PHOENIX, CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN, and cover artist for DMZ.