Work is proceeding apace on the Kickstarter-funded Rok the God graphic novel from John Wagner, Alan Grant and Dan Cornwell, the sequel to Rok of the Reds, out next year. One element of the campaign was a limited edition variant cover by Brian Bolland – and the artist has now revealed the final cover.
“John Wagner, I think, said I could share my cover for his Rok of the Reds,” says Brian. “Hope his book continues to do well.”
For those of you who came in late, Rok of the Reds is the creation of industry legends John Wagner and Alan Grant, teaming up with artists Dan Cornwell and Abby Bulmer and letterer Jim Campbell to bring you another action-packed, cosmos-spanning adventure starring the alien in disguise turned professional footballer.
The successful crowdfunder for Rok of the Gods – which raised just over £28,000 to bring it to life – offered some amazing goodies, including this Brian Bolland variant cover, a poster and original art from Simon Bisley, an amazing Neil Blackbird Sims ROK of Arkady Statuette, available to just one backer, and original Dan Cornwell sketches – and much more.
“When I told people we were doing a football story they couldn’t believe we’d be so stupid (though we’d done plenty of stupid things in the past),” said John Wagner of the project. “Comic fans just didn’t like football. ‘Ah, but it’s not just football,’ we’d tell them. ‘There’s an alien in it. A big red alien. With horns.’ And they would shake their heads sadly, or tut, or attempt to take our temperature.
“… In truth a few still doubt our sanity, but it has been very pleasing to see our readership steadily growing and the enthusiasm they display for the book, especially among longtime haters of any sport.
The resulting first Rok of the Reds story was shortlisted by the Scottish Book Trust for Teenage Book of the Year, 2020, much to the delight of the creators.
“So we had to do a sequel. There was never a thought in my mind that we wouldn’t.“
On gaining funding, John happily assured backers “Rok the God is going to be a great book, every bit as good as Rok of the Reds, and once again thank you for giving us the opportunity to make it happen.”
• Check out the Rok of the Reds Facebook Page and follow the project on Twitter @RedsRok – head over to the website at www.rokofthereds.com for more information on the first series | Read a Rok The God preview (PDF)
With thanks to Michael Powell for the heads up… or should that be header?
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.