The Stone King, the Eisner Award-nominated Comixology Originals series from writer Kel McDonald and artist Tyler Crook, is coming to print. The Beat can exclusively announce that Dark Horse Comics will publish a print collection of the four-issue fantasy adventure series, slated for release in May 2022.
Here’s how Comixology describes The Stone King:
When you become an adult, you have to prove yourself, at least that’s how it works for the Stoneport thieves. Ave has decided to illegally harvest healing moss from the Stone King, a mighty giant who roams the lands. Her theft goes even better than she could have dreamed. The biggest gem she’s ever seen is her prize.
But what she thought would buy her a ticket to adventure and a better life, brings disaster instead. Now her home is in danger and fixing her mistakes is the city’s only hope.
Nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic in 2019, The Stone King was the first collaboration between Kel McDonald and Tyler Crook, and will be the latest book from both creators to be released by Dark Horse Comics. McDonald’s Misfits of Avalon graphic novel, which they both write and draw, has seen three volumes released by the publisher since 2014, while Crook has co-created and worked on Dark Horse series including Harrow County (with Cullen Bunn), Manor Black (with Bunn and Brian Hurtt), and Colonel Weird: Cosmagog (with Jeff Lemire). The news also comes during a big week for McDonald, as a Kickstarter for the fifth book in the Cautionary Fables & Fairy Tales series they co-edit with Kate Ashwin launched on Monday, and has already raised more than quadruple its funding goal.
In a 2019 interview with The Beat about The Stone King, McDonald described using a fantasy setting to tell a story that resonates in the real world:
“Current events affected the story, especially classism. But that’s a dynamic I’m always drawn towards. The themes just become more obvious and deliberate as I grow older. Current events probably helped me articulate my views faster. […] When you set a story in any place that isn’t right now, you can use a more extreme example of what you’re talking about to make your point or catch someone off guard. Current events can be too close to home or feel too mundane for us to be aware of what’s really going on. A few degrees of separation make it easier to discuss an issue.”
The Stone King is the latest Comixology Originals digital title to receive a print release from Dark Horse Comics as part of their ongoing licensing deal. Other Comixology titles that are slated for print release from Dark Horse include Johnnie Christmas and Dante Luiz‘s Crema, Michael W. Conrad and Noah Bailey‘s Tremor Dose, Ray Fawkes‘s In The Flood, and Erica Schultz and Mariska Cresta‘s Forgotten Home, among others. Most recently, comiXology Originals have announced that the forthcoming digital releases of Chip Zdarsky and Jason Loo‘s upcoming The All-Nighter, as well as Originals titles produced as part of Scott Snyder‘s recently-announced deal will also be available in print via Dark Horse Books.
Check out some preview pages from The Stone King below. The 136-page graphic novel will retail for $19.99, and arrive in stores on May 3rd, 2022. It is available for pre-order from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and your local comic shop now.