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Open Book

King of Nowhere #1

BOOM! Studios

Story by Maxwell Prince
Art by Tyler Jenkins

* Eisner Award-nominated writer W. Maxwell Prince (Ice Cream Man) comes to BOOM! Studios with Eisner-nominated artist Tyler Jenkins (Grass Kings, Black Badge) for an unforgettable thriller that explores the miraculous, the mundane, and all the mysteries in between.
* Lovable drunken lowlife Denis awakens on the outskirts of a mysterious village called Nowhere, home to a friendly populace of deformed, mutated, just-left-of-normal citizens-and he has no memory of how he got there.
* But just when Denis starts to regain his memories, his past catches up to him… literally.
* What at first seems like merely a bad trip quickly heightens into a drama of mistaken identities, small-town conspiracy, and high-stakes fantasy fulfillment.

Diamond Code: JAN201321
FOC due February 10th, 2020
In stores on March 4th, 2020

Why It’s Cool:

“What’s the boundary between dreams and reality, and how little would it take, really, for us to confuse the two? King of Nowhere has a lot going on in its first issue and all of it is awesome: animal people, giant iguanas, fistfights with six armed men, you know the drill. W. Maxwell Prince and Tyler Jenkins have created a fascinating book that reminds me of the best of Jeff Lemire’s work as well as classic 90’s Vertigo comics. The real star of the show though is Hilary Jenkins gorgeous color work that swirls like watercolors and only add to the sumptuous, not quite real vibe.  “Good Luck pal, say’s the deer in the jeep”, just before Denis stumbles into Nowhere, and based on the last few pages, something tells me he’s going to need it.”


Q&A with W. Maxwell Prince & Tyler Jenkins:


Tell us a little bit about King of Nowhere. How did everything come together?


W. Maxwell Prince – Eric Harburn (BOOM! Studios Senior Editor) and I have known each other for a while, but could never really land on a project to do together.  But after the (moderate) success of Ice Cream Man (and also a very generous endorsement from a fellow creator at a BOOM! editorial retreat), we got back to talking and agreed to take a trip to Nowhere along with the Jenkins family. I’m not very good at pitching stories, but “an addict walks into a town full of mutants” was enough to excite Eric and the BOOM! brass.


Tyler Jenkins – From my point of view, this project took a helluva long time to come together, actually. I spent weeks (read as months) “researching” to find the look and tone of the imagery. It was very specific, what I was looking for, though I didn’t know what I was looking for until I was staring at it. Some projects are like that.


What are you reading/watching/listening to as inspiration for this work?


WMP – I reread some of my favorite short fiction for KoN, as it is itself a piece of short fiction: Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son, George Saunders’ Civilwarland in Bad Decline (especially the novella at the end of the collection), all of Grace Paley’s stuff. And I listened to a lot of Lou Reed, although I’m always listening to a lot of Lou Reed.


TJ -I don’t usually listen to or watch anything as specific inspiration for a specific project. I listen to what inspires me, and watch what inspires me. My entire life revolves around art and projects etc, and whatever I am working on is inspired by who I am at that moment. Right now, I am inspired by slow grinding music, hard emotions and pain in the songs…pain or anger, real emotion. (that being said, I NEVER listen to happy music, haha) and I am not watching anything, really. Music documentaries, occasionally, but I have watched all the music documentaries on Netflix worth watching. I have started a bunch of movies, but most movies right now are so fucking bad, it’s impossible to make it all the way through.  I do go to a lot of live music at venues near me, some fucking great local bands and touring shows. Saw Ron Gallo last weekend—AMAZING.



When you started this project who did you have in mind as an audience for this, and did it change by the time you finished?

WMP – I’ve learned that it’s best for me not to think about audience when I’m writing.  I have so little control over who will read or like my work.  All I can do is tell stories I’m interested in, tell them honestly, and hope that the reader feels something that isn’t contempt once they put the book down.


TJ – I don’t determine the audience, and I rarely think about it anyway. The work will find its audience. The audience for this is probably adult, and if it wasn’t, I probably wouldn’t have done the project to begin with


Can you give us an idea of what readers can look forward to in this series, maybe a little down the line?

WMP – Readers can look forward to a bizarre, mutated supporting cast brilliantly brought to life by Tyler and Hilary Jenkins; readers can look forward to a guy named Bob; readers can look forward to a fair amount of blue language; readers can look forward to a small story that maybe has something bigger folded inside it; readers can look forward to foreboding origami; readers can look forward Tree-Greg; readers can look forward to Fish-Jed; readers can look forward to excessive deployment of semicolons.


DM – Perspective shift.



What’s great in comics right now that you’re currently reading?

WMP– I think Matt Fraction’s Jimmy Olsen book is the first real Internet 3.0 comic—it’s got these simple little 2-page stories that accrete into a larger, much more complicated whole.  It’s a perfect representation of how our brains (or at least, mine) work right now, in these fragmented little screen-scroll stops and starts.


TJ – Faithless is pretty damn awesome. There are others.


Is there another comic with mutants in it worth reading this spring?


WMP – Not to my knowledge.