Writer Mark Russell is fresh off his Eisner Award win for Best Humor Publication for Not All Robots with artist Mike Deodato Jr. Now the writer is launching Traveling To Mars, a new comic series set to be published by ABLAZE in cooperation with Arancia Studio. Joined by Italian artist Roberto Meli, the series “takes readers on an out of this world journey to the Red Planet, led by an unlikely astronaut anti-hero.”
TRAVELING TO MARS tells the story of former pet store manager Roy Livingston, the first human to ever set foot on Mars. Roy was chosen for the unlikely mission for one simple reason: he is terminally ill and has no expectation of returning. Roy is joined on his mission by Leopold and Albert, two Mars rovers equipped with artificial intelligence, who look upon the dying pet store manager as a sort of God. Against the backdrop of not only his waning days but those of human civilization as well, Roy has ample time to think about where things went wrong for both and what it means to be a dying god. A riveting story of planetary exploration and of finding meaning in your final days.
“TRAVELING TO MARS is an intimate story about the end of days,” says Mark Russell. “Both Roy’s and ours. But Mars is as good a place as any to bow out of existence, I suppose.”
“When an extraordinary writer like Mark Russell meets a crystal-clear talent like Roberto Meli, an author who has already gained accolades in the European market, the result can only be something unique,” says Davide G.G. Caci, CEO of Arancia Studio, “Creating creative bridges between Europe and the United States are among our objectives, and we believe thatTRAVELING TO MARS has enormous potential. We couldn’t be happier to be working with ABLAZE, the perfect publishing partner for this journey.”
“TRAVELING TO MARS is an extraordinary story that invites readers to explore and reflect upon some complex philosophical questions and presents a compelling adventure with a relatable, if unlikely, hero,” says Rich Young, co-founder of ABLAZE. “We are excited to partner with Arancia Studio to bring this series to English readers and look forward to them joining us for this out of this world adventure.”
As noted by the publisher, this series will be the first title from ABLAZE to be offered as returnable to the direct market.
The opening issue will feature variant covers by artists including Meli, acclaimed artist Mirka Andolfo, Zulema Scotto Lavina, and Brent McKee, with future issues releasing monthly, and featuring other notable cover artists.
Check out the covers and preview art below and look for Traveling to Mars to be available in stores and on digital on Wednesday, November 9th.