First Pages Surface from Kathryn & Stuart Immonen’s ‘Russian Olive To Red King’ Graphic Novel
Most ComicsAlliance readers are familiar with the work writer Kathryn and artist Stuart Immonen have created together and separately at Marvel Comics, in such titles as Nextwave, Patsy Walker: Hellcat, Journey Into Mystery, All-New X-Men, and Wolverine and Jubilee. Their superhero work is characterized by an obvious dedication to storytelling craft, but the reader also comes away with the sense that the Immonens are just having fun making comics. That feeling is most prevalent in the work Team Immonen creates independently of the Big Two, like Moving Pictures and Never as Bad as You Think. These books are esoteric, romantic, express a kind of international flavor, and are of course beautifully illustrated.
We expect the same will be true of the couple's next creator-owned project: Russian Olive to Red King, a long in-progress graphic novel whose first pages have finally seen the light of day (or the light of Tumblr?)
Little is known about Russian Olive to Red King except for the fact that the Immonens have been working on it for a long time. Kathryn finished the script sometime in 2010 and Stuart has been drawing it when his work-for-hire schedule allows. The book has been referenced in several interviews over the last few years, including this one at Avoid The Future, where Kathryn described Russian Olive with some specificity:
It's two parallel narratives detailing the final days of a relationship. Red King is the man left at home struggling unsuccessfully with an overdue deadline and the unexplained disappearance of his partner, Russian Olive, who may or may not have survived a plane crash in the northern bush. It's also got petroglyphs and Chekhov. Sounds like a scorcher, right?
Over at the Maison Immonen blog, Stuart published a few completed pages from Russian Olive to Red King. Unsurprisingly, they're as lovely as they are intriguing.
We'll probably have a lonnnnng time to wait for this book, but in the meantime you can still buy the Immonen's Moving Pictures, an exquisite graphic novel set in World War II era France, where a museum curator finds herself in the uncomfortable position of having to work with a German officer to "catalogue" (read: hide) France's great works of art, a position that's made more tenuous by the intimate relationship that develops between them despite their wholly conflicting goals. Moving Pictures is on sale now in finer comics shops, bookstores and digitally from ComiXology.