We’re giant marks for of Spanish artist David Rubín here at the Beat. Whether it’s his pulsating, action packed work on Hero, Beowulf and Battling Boy, or his flamboyant guest stints on Black Hammer, Eisner nominee Rubín’s work is as beautiful as it is energetic.
And now one how he’s drawing a new graphic novel ideally suited to his talents, THE GRAND ABYSS HOTEL is coming next May from writer Marcos Prior and Rubín. It’s a timely political satire set in a dystopic world that’s a little too familiar. According to publisher Boom!/Archaia:
Imagine a world overrun by big business and “fake news” via the social media machine neoliberalism has become a state religion, while the citizens quietly and then not-so-quietly rebel, giving way to violence on the streets and sowing chaos. A masked vigilante takes on the role of hero to battle politicians, the erosion of democracy, and social media. After the fires burn low and the dust settles, social order returns. Or does it?
If that sounds like something torn from today’s headlines, well, the book was originally published in Spain in 2016. The handwriting was on the wall.
“We created THE GRAND ABYSS HOTEL in the spirit of the greatest science fiction, acting a mirror to the world to help reveal a type of violence that, unlike purely physical, primary and spectacular violence, tends to remain hidden,” says Prior, who is widely known in Spain for his work. “It’s the symbolic violence – both institutional and economic – that remains invisible although its effects may be more lasting and devastating than the more visible physical kind.”
“With THE GRAND ABYSS HOTEL, Marcos and I don’t want to give answers about the political and social moment that we are all living all over the World. Instead, we want to make people think about their role in the chaotic times that we live in,” says David Rubín. “By asking that question, we hope it helps you find your own role in the larger social and political landscape. The best weapon to fight against corrupt systems is simply an idea. Believe me, nothing is more dangerous to a bad person than asking the questions that empower the masses.”
“While Marcos and David created THE GRAND ABYSS HOTEL years ago, it feels more timely and prescient than ever when we see the rise of political extremism across the world,” said Sierra Hahn, Executive Editor, BOOM! Studios. “This is a story about the threat posed to humanity when we turn away from the toughest questions that produce the most challenging answers and the consequences of how we react to the world around us as a result of that cowardice.”
The Grand Abyss Hotel comes out in the US in May, 2019. Here’s a few more preview pages from the Spanish edition.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.