A few months back in his Jinxworld newsletter, comics writer Brian Michael Bendis teased a multi-book deal with artist André Lima Araújo and a major book-market publisher. Details were finally revealed today of the deal, with Bendis and Araújo having signed a three-book deal with Abrams ComicArts. The first book, which arrives this September, will be Phenomena: The Golden City of Eyes.

Phenomena: The Golden City of Eyes

In his official newsletter, Bendis revealed that the cover colors were provided by Chris O’Halloran. Here’s how the publisher describes the graphic novel:

The first book in the series, PHENOMENA: THE GOLDEN CITY OF EYES (Abrams ComicArts; September 13, 2022; U.S. $24.99; Hardcover with jacket) tells the story of a young boy named Bolden and his warrior friend Spike—survivors of a phenomena that took over Earth years ago. Not an apocalypse . . . something far more interesting. We follow Bolden and Spike as they are forced to team up with another lost orphan of the world, Matilde. The trio of heroes go on a globetrotting adventure that takes them to a magical, mysterious place called the Golden City of Eyes.

Charles Kochman, Editorial Director of Abrams ComicArts, who negotiated the three-book deal and will be editing the books along with Janine Kamouh of William Morris Endeavor (WME), expressed his excitement for readers to explore this new world from two topnotch creators:

“From the moment the proposal landed on my desk until now, it has been hard to contain my excitement and resist the urge to share the news surreptitiously. Now that our secret is out, I am excited for readers to dive into this—dare I say—phenomenal universe they have created.”

Bendis revealed some of the influences behind this graphic novel:

“André and I have spent the last couple of years conjuring an entire brand-new world filled with inspiration, ideas, and imagination,” said Brian Michael Bendis. “Inspired by the philosophies of our heroes and our hope for a better world, we introduce you to our exciting new heroes and their varied and dangerous world-changing quests.”

Araújo added:

“I drew and drew and drew, and then Brian wrote and wrote and wrote, and something that felt like magic happened.”

It goes without saying that this project has been in the works for some time. In his official newsletter Bendis revealed that this project came together before he moved his Jinxworld imprint to Dark Horse last year. In fact, Phenomena was at one point going to be published through Jinxworld when it was still at DC. However, after realizing it was no longer a fit at DC and seeing the success of the YA book market with Miles Morales and Naomi, Bendis and Araújo hit upon the notion of the traditional bookstore market.

Moreover, Phenomena: The Golden City of Eyes marks a fundamental shift for Bendis as he also hinted that after working in the comics industry for over three decades, he may be pivoting away from the monthly comics format and towards these types of “special projects” and graphic novels.

Phenomena: The Golden City of Eyes retails for $24.99 and goes on sale September 13th. The second book in the series is scheduled to publish in fall 2023, and the third book scheduled to publish in fall 2024. You can pre-order Phenomena: The Golden City of Eyes from Abrams ComicArts here. Check out preview pages and book details can be found below.

By Brian Michael Bendis and André Lima Araújo
Abrams ComicArts | September 2022
U.S. $24.99 | CAN $31.99
Hardcover with jacket | 144 pages
6½ x 9¾” | Black-and-white illustrations throughout
ISBN: 978-1-4197-6169-0
e-book ISBN: 978-1-64700-666-2