Philip Pullman‘s The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship offers high-octane action and a deep twisting mystery combine in a visual feast of a time-travel tale of adventure on the high seas, due for release in June 2017.
Originally seen in The Phoenix comic, Pullman’s story fearless art by Fred Fordham and is being published by David Fickling Books.
Serena’s father is on a mission to sail the world, but when their ship is struck by a storm she’s swept overboard. Rescued by the mysterious schooner Mary Alice, Serena soon finds herself far from home…
Lost at sea, and shrouded in the mists of time, the Mary Alice sails the endless waters, her crew desperate to find a way home. But things aren’t that simple – each crew member has been ripped from their own time – from ancient Rome to the twentieth century. They must work together to find a way back to their families; to the places and years they belong to.
But something is stalking them across the open oceans, an otherworldly, malevolent force hell bent on capturing the Mary Alice and her crew. And it will stop at nothing to get what it wants…
Philip Pullman grew up reading the adventures of Dan Dare and Batman, and his lifelong love of comic books has grown into The Adventures of John Blake, a beautiful graphic novel offering a swashbuckling Treasure Island for a modern audience.
Pullman is the author of the bestselling fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials, and is considered one the greatest storytellers of all time. He has won numerous awards, including The Carnegie Medal, The Guardian Children’s Book Award, The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and The Whitbread Book of the Year.
A massive champion of the power and importance of stories, he was named by The Times as one of the 50 greatest writers since 1945, His Dark Materials having sold close to 17.5 million copies worldwide.
“I wanted to do this because I love the comic form,” says Pullman, who lives in Oxford with his wife. “You can do things in comics with great economy, swiftness, force and effect, and I just wanted to use those potentialities.”
Fred Fordham is a London-based artist who has always been interested in painting and drawing, but never thought it was something he could do for a living. When he was studying Politics and Philosophy at university in Sussex he discovered Persepolis by Marjane Sartrapi and began to understand the power of comics and graphic novels as a storytelling medium.
He gave himself a crash course in comics after graduation, before releasing his debut graphic novel series, Nightfall. He has since gone on to work as an illustrator for numerous publications, including Aces Weekly and The Phoenix.
David Fickling Books is an independent publisher of high quality books with a focus on brilliant storytelling and world-class illustration. They publish picture books and novels for all ages, as well as graphic novels based on the strips in The Phoenix comic.
David Fickling set up David Fickling Books in 1999 as an imprint of Scholastic and then developed the same brand as an imprint of Random House from 2001 until 2013. During this time, he published Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (which went on to become both a bestseller and an award winning play), as well as John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Jenny Downham’s Before I Die and Andy Mulligan’s Trash – all international bestsellers and, later, hit Hollywood movies.
In 2012 he launched a weekly story comic for children called The Phoenix. Rated the second-best comic in the world by TIME Magazine in 2013 (pipped to the post by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s Sex Criminals!) The Phoenix recently celebrated its 5th birthday and its 300th weekly ssue will be published in October.
A 32-page weekly comic for boys and girls aged 6-12, it features numerous top quality stories, non-fiction and puzzles, created by a small team in Oxford and some of the best comic creators in the UK.
• The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship by Philip Pullman and Fred Fordham will be published by David Fickling Books on 1st June 2017 – pre-order it from amazon.co.uk (using this link helps support downthetubes)
• The Phoenix will publish its 300th issue on 29th September 2017