Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, set for graphic novel translation in 2020

Publisher BOOM! Studios recently announced a brand new graphic novel adaptation for Kurt Vonnegut’s American classic novel, Slaughterhouse-Five. The acclaimed anti-war novel interpretation will be full color, and set for September 2020, under its Archaia imprint.

This work will be a first in graphic novel for the work, and done by Eisner Award-winning writer Ryan North (How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler) and Eisner Award-nominated artist Albert Monteys (Universe!) with color assistance by Ricard Zaplana, available.

Slaughterhouse-Five, also known as The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death was first published in 1969, and written by Kurt Vonnegut. The book follows the life of war vet Billy Pilgrim, from his early years to his time as an American soldier and chaplain’s assistant during World War II, to his later years. There is some abstract science fiction involved as Billy time travels throughout. Much of the story focuses on his capture by the German Army and his survival of the Allied firebombing of Dresden as a prisoner-of-war. This reflects a personal experience by the author, having lived through that.

Slaughterhouse-Five would eventually receive worldwide attention, and very timely in a time of rising anti-war protests. It would be nominated for multiple awards, and adapted into multiple other entertainment formats, including film, theater, and a radio play. It would also end up challenged for censorship, and banned in places for its adult and “anti-Christian” content.

Ryan North is known for much current work, including Dinosaur Comics, the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning Adventure Time comic series, the bestselling anthology series Machine of Death and best-selling Eisner-Award winning Unbeatable Squirrel Girl comics published by Marvel. His latest book, How to Invent Everything, A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler is a humorous look at civilization, and worth checking out.

“Like most people, Kurt Vonnegut has been one of my favourite writers since I first read his books decades ago, and it’s been such an honour—and challenge—to adapt his most famous work for a new medium. Slaughterhouse-Five is a deeply funny and deeply moving book, and my goal with this project was to keep all of that, while still making something that feels at home in this medium,” said writer Ryan North. “I picture it as a window into an alternate universe where Kurt (and Kilgore Trout) worked in comics instead of prose. Every medium can do things that others can’t, I’m beyond excited to share this new version of Slaughterhouse-Five with you very soon.”

Albert Monteys is a Spanish graphic novelist and illustrator, best known for his work in El Jueves, a weekly satirical magazine that he directed from 2006 until 2011. Monteys also created the series Carlitos Fax for the children’s magazine Mister K. In 2014, he founded a satirical monthly publication Orgullo y Satisfaccion (Pride and Satisfaction) with several other cartoonists, and began to publish a science fiction comic, ¡Universo! (Universe!) in Panel Syndicate, winning a 2017 Eisner Award nomination for Best Digital Comic.

“What a challenge, what an opportunity! When I was presented with the chance to collaborate in the graphic novel adaptation of Slaughterhouse-Five my first reaction was ‘this is one of my favorite books and it can’t be adapted.’ That was until I read Ryan North’s script, nodding enthusiastically at every great idea, every moving moment, every scene that made me want to grab my pencil right away.” said artist Albert Monteys in a recent press release from BOOM! “A good adaptation shines new light on the original, I hope we managed to do just that. I think we did, somewhat, in the telegraphic schizophrenic manner of tales of the planet Tralfamadore—which is what comics are, after all.”

Slaughterhouse- Five will be available in print form, for sale in September 2020 at local comic book shops, and direct from Boom Studios webstore. Digital copies can be purchased from popular content providers, including comiXology, iBooks, Google Play, and Madefire.

In the meantime, here is 7-page preview, courtesy of BOOM Studios for its graphic novel release…

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