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The First Law Graphic Novel

Today we’re delighted to bring you a blog post from Joe Abercrombie himself, about an exciting development in the First Law Universe . . .

It is with the greatest pleasure of which my withered prune of a heart is capable that I announce the release of a project that has been a long time in the pipeline, which is, as many of you may already have guessed, a full colour, comprehensive Graphic Novel adaptation of that pillar of 21st century fantasy fiction: The First Law Trilogy.

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It’s been put together by Rich Young of Blind Ferret, adapted by Chuck Dixon, with art by Andie Tong, colours by Pete Pantazis, lettering and design from Bill Tortolini, all done under the horrifying gaze of my single flaming unblinking eye.  I am hugely pleased with the results, which, no lie, have exceeded every expectation.

But the thing that’s of particular interest to me about this project, and probably will be of some interest to you as well, is the method of distribution. Mainly – that we’re giving it away to anyone with an internet connection.

Yes, you heard me right.  We’re serialising it, free, at www.firstlawcomic.com.

The first twelve pages are up there now.  You can go look at them.  For nothing.  And there’ll be new pages added every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, if things go according to plan, for years to come.  And you’ll be able to look at those too.  For nothing.  The hope is, that when we’ve finally completed this project, there’ll be well over a thousand pages of high quality First Law graphic novel up online.  For nothing.

But, eager to give the hungry public as many bites of the cherry as they can stomach, and aware that some might not be satisfied by a page here and a page there, you can also get hold of it in advance, issue by issue, via the world’s biggest digital comic distributor, Comixology.  The entire 24 page first issue is available there now (http://www.comixology.com/Joe-Abercrombies-The-First-Law/comics-series/10349), for 99 cents.  Further issues will be available there for $2.99 when we start to serialise them for free at firstlawcomic.com.  So the day the first page of an issue comes out for nothing, you can pay for all 22 pages, and enjoy the envy of your friends, acquaintances and colleagues for seven weeks.  What could be sweeter?  Plus via Comixology you get, as a bonus, guided view (which, for those unfamiliar, takes you through panel by panel in a cinematic styley), and a package of pencils, inks, and character designs with every issue.

Finally, for those who want something to grace their coffee table, we’ll be collecting every four issues into a hardcopy collection, with further bonus material.  Availability and price of that to be confirmed.

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When you work with an artist, my feeling is you’ve got to give them the leeway to draw it as they see it.  I’ve had an awful lot of input at every stage.  Full editorial control, indeed, though I’ve generally gone for a fearsomely firm yet lovingly gentle touch.  But, in a sense, this is Andie Tong’s vision of the material, given extra verve and variety by Pete’s colours.  It’s one possible interpretation.  One that’s evolved as we’ve worked on it, and no doubt will continue to evolve.  But it’s one that I fully endorse, and am very proud of.  So some of you might not like everything about it.  One option would be for you to close your eyes really tight and stick your fingers in your ears and shout, ‘blah lee lah lee lah, I’m not listening, I’m not listening!’ whenever I talk about it.  That, believe me, will be no skin off my sizeable nose at all.  I suspect, though, if you give it a chance, most will find a great deal to like.  Not least among those things?  It won’t cost you a dime.

You can see the first few pages right now.  Tell me what you think.  Moan about how this or that doesn’t look the way it did inside your head.  Maybe even enjoy it.

Go on.  I dare you.

For Nothing.