A Flight of Angels

Standard

Graphic novel for 14 and up

Young adults and adults who are interested in angel mythology, fantasy, and comic book fans. Not your “Precious Moments” sort of angels —this is a book for sophisticated readers who are lovers of fantasy art and complex, edgy tales. Contains comic book art nudity.

Blurbs:  

“Occasionally someone executes a standard storytelling device with such dazzling skill that it reminds you why that device became standard in the first place… [A Flight of Angels] is simultaneously as old as campfire tales and as fresh and full of possibility as the dawn. It’s the sort of book that makes me proud to be a comics fan.”      —Captain Comics 

“Dark, haunting, hypnotic–perfect tales for a night when the pillars of heaven are shaking!”      —Tamora Pierce (Song of the Lioness, The Immortals, The Circle of Magic)

“An angel falls to earth, and capricious fae argue his fate. A Flight of Angelsis a dark and delectable weaving of folklore, enigma, romance, and suspense, and so beautiful I want to put it on my wall in a hundred picture frames.”      —Laini Taylor (Lips Touch Three Times, Daughter of Smoke and Bone)

Book Synopsis:

ANGELS: Guardians. Messengers. Warriors. Fallen. All these angelic aspects and more are explored in A FLIGHT OF ANGELS, a riveting tale in the tradition of The Decameron and The Canterbury Tales. A mysterious angel plummets to Earth and lands deep in a dark forest, where his dying body is found by the mystical denizens of this strange place. As the gathered fauns, fairies, hags and hobgoblins debate what to do with him, each tells a different story of who they imagine this celestial creature to be: a hero, a lover, a protector or a killer. Once the stories have been told, a verdict is rendered – and the outcome will leave you breathless.

Conceived and stunningly illustrated by fantasy art legend Rebecca Guay (Magic: The Gathering, Veils), A FLIGHT OF ANGELS is written by an all-star line-up of today’s top fantasy talent, including Bill Willingham (FABLES), Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles), Alisa Kwitney (Token), Louise Hawes (Black Pearls), and Fort Collin’s own Todd Mitchell (The Secret to Lying).

About the Artist:

Rebecca Guay did all the art for this book, showcasing her different styles and techniques. Fans of Magic: The Gathering will recognize Rebecca’s work, as she’s one of their primary artists.

See the artist’s interview

Todd Mitchell

Interview with contributing author Todd Mitchell:

How did you get picked to contribute to this creative project? 

Rebecca mentioned to me a few years ago that she wanted to do an angel book, and she was looking for writers who were willing to tell angel stories. I’d never attempted to write a comic script before, but I decided to give it a go, and I submitted a manuscript. Rebecca liked it, so she forwarded it to Karen Berger, the editor for the project, who chose if for the book. Originally, though, the project was aimed at a younger audience, so the first story I submitted was very different from the final story I wrote.

Did you know of Guay’s work before you signed on? 

Yes. Rebecca is someone I know outside of writing (she married my cousin), and I’ve been following her work for years. She’s illustrated some amazing books. One, called Goddesses: A World of Myth and Magic, is one of the most beautiful picture books I’ve ever seen. She’s also well known as one of the main artists for Magic: The Gathering cards.

Which art style/segment of hers appeals to you most and why? 

I really like the hard lines with watercolor technique she uses for the Lucifer story. I’m not sure how she pulls this off. Some panels look like they use gold foil and acrylics as well. I know that most of the panels she paints are fairly large, then they get shrunk down for the book. The layers and texture in her art is pretty incredible. 

Did you read the other stories before you wrote “The Guardian”? 

We each got to read Holly Black’s connecting story (or a version of it) so we could see who our characters were, and decide how we wanted to use their voice in our story. But we didn’t get to see the other author’s stories until the final project was put together. I think this was done intentionally, to insure that we each developed very different views and notions of angels. However, Karen and Rebecca gave us nudges along the way to make sure that our stories were very different.

How did the group decide who will write which part? 

Good question. Why I was given the flirty fairy maid’s story to tell is beyond me. Rebecca just said she needed a romance, so I threw myself into that.

Are you religious? If so, how did this affect your story? If not, how did you view the concept of an angel? 

I am religious, but the commonly conceived religious notion of angels (in our culture) was something I wanted to get away from. I’ll confess, I’ve always found heavenly beings of light playing harps and plump little cherubs popping people with love arrows to be rather nauseating. So before writing my script, I researched angel mythology, and was surprised by how many cultures have stories of angels, and how diverse the notions of angels are. Although originally, angels didn’t interest me much, the more angel mythology I dug into, the more intrigued I became.

Do you believe in any kind of angel? 

I don’t disbelieve in angels. I believe there may be other beings who exist in ways we don’t understand or comprehend. But I think it’s limiting to think that those beings are exactly the way we imagine them to be. After all, if they’re beyond our comprehension, then we can’t exactly say what they are.

What was different about writing a story in this comic book format versus others you have published?

 Things move very fast in comics. They have to. And you have to think visually –almost like a director imagining a film. In fact, the format for writing a comic script is very similar to writing a film script. Overall, I was surprised by how much you can convey in so few words.

How do four writers and one artist promote such a book? 

I wish I could say we had some unified strategy, but we don’t. Mostly, if we get any press for the book, we let the others know about it so they can spread it around. Holly Black and Rebecca got a very nice interview in USA Today a few weeks ago. And Rebecca did an interview on a west coast NBC News affiliate that was great. I’m still trying to get on NPR, but Teri Gross has yet to return my calls . . . 🙂

How do you hope the stories will impact a reader? 

Mainly, I hope the stories will broaden people’s sense of angels, and get them to see angels in more interesting ways. For those who think angels are boring, bland, boy scouts with wings, I hope this book will get them to take a second look at angel mythology, and see why stories of angels have intrigued people for literally thousands of years. 

Will there be a website or social networking site that will be a platform for reader discussion? 

That’s a great idea. Volunteers?

What was your experience working with the publisher, Vertigo Comics? 

I love Vertigo! I’ll be honest, pretty much the only comics I read before this project were Vertigo comics. Then, when I was told I’d get to work with Karen Berger on this project, I was thrilled. She’s actually the only editor in the comic book world I’d heard of before doing the project. Karen’s a legend in the business. She’s worked with writers such as Neil Gaimen, Alan Moore, and Frank Miller (which even people who never read comics are likely familiar with, thanks to the many film adaptations of their work such as Stardust, Coraline, V for Vendetta, The Watchmen, The Dark Knight, etc…). Karen sent me a bunch of comics to read, and she helped me see how the writing and art need to interact.

Do you have any other comic book stories in the works? 

Not comics, exactly. But I have been working on a book for the past three years that involves art. Hopefully, I’ll finish it soon (like today!).

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