In Preview: Apollo, a stunning new graphic novel about the first Moon landing, touches down in stores next month

Apollo GN - Cover

Out next month from SelfMadeHero is the eagerly- anticipated Apollo, written Dead Canary Comics founders Chris Baker and Matt Fitch with art by Mike Collins – and this story of the first moon landing is looking absolutely stunning.

Apollo is a full-length graphic novel published by SelfMadeHero and part-funded by Arts Council England, recounting the story of the first men on the moon, unpacking the urban legends, the gossip and the speculation to tell a story about life, death, dreams and the reality of human kind’s greatest achievement in exploration.

Apollo GN - Art Sample

Apollo GN - Art Sample

In 1969, mankind set foot on the moon. Neil Armstrong, Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin and Michael Collins carried the fire for all of humankind. Backed by the brightest minds in engineering and science, the three boarded a rocket and flew through the void – just to know that we could.

In 150 pages of full-colour sequential art, Apollo weaves public information, records and recordings relating to the mission into a fact-filled odyssey, with creative interpretations of key events hypercharging the motivations, fears and excitement surrounding this bold voyage led by three astronauts: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins.

I’m really looking forward to reading this, and judging from the reviews from the likes of Publishers Weekly, my enthusiasm (driven in part by being TV witness to the real landing, back in 1969, and all the excitement that surrounded it) is not misplaced. Mike Collins work looks amazing, as you can see from the samples here, complemented by gorgeous colour work by Kris Carter, lettered by Ian Sherman.

Apollo GN - Art Sample

From sinister origins writing and producing TV commercials and other branded content, Matt Fitch and Chris ‘C.S’ Baker turned their creative powers to good, co-founding indie-publisher Dead Canary Comics and quickly becoming a staple of the UK indie scene before landing this, their first ‘proper’ graphic novel deal with SelfMadeHero.

Along the way Matt and Chris have worked with such talented artists as Jacen burrows, Shaky Kane, Conor Boyle and Caspar Wjingaard to name just a few and have received deserved high praise from reviewers for their imaginative characters, wicked twists and deep moments of human emotion.

The creative team behind Apollo at London’s Science Museum - Mike Collins, Matt Fitch and Chris ‘C.S’ Baker
The creative team behind Apollo at London’s Science Museum – Mike Collins, Matt Fitch and Chris ‘C.S’ Baker

Mike Collins should need no introduction to downthetubes readers: his numerous credits include Spider-Man and X-Men for Marvel; Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman for DC Comics; and for 2000AD, “Judge Dredd”, “Sláine” and “Rogue Trooper”, among others.

Aside from his commercial comics work, Collins is a regular storyboard artist on the BBC’s Doctor Who television series and has both written and drawn Doctor Who strips for Doctor Who Magazine.

Apollo, art in progress, from inks to letters art, to colour
Apollo, art in progress, from inks to lettered art, to colour

The NASA missions of the 1960s are hardwired into Mike’s life. Not only was he born the same day Alan Shepherd made his first Sub-Orbital flight, but he also shares a name with the Command Module Pilot of the Apollo 11 mission…

SelfMadeHero is an independent publishing house committed to producing ground-breaking work in the graphic novel medium. They commission independently minded, commercially successful work while championing the very best graphic novels in translation.

• If you’re interested in this project, head on over to the official blog – apollocomic.com – where you’ll receive behind-the-scenes access to every aspect of the book’s production, from script and art development right through to finished product and beyond. You can also follow the project on Twitter @apollo_comic

• Follow Matt Fitch on Twitter @Mattfitch81 | Follow C.S. Baker on Twitter @csbakercomics

• Mike Collins official site: www.freakhousegraphics.com | Find him on Facebook

Check out this preview on the SelfMadeHero web site

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", working as an editor, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years. His credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel UK and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines. He also edited STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics, including Team M.O.B.I.L.E. and The Beatles Story. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare” for Tian Books. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.