The eagerly awaited Rourke the Hexbuster Volume II continues with a journey from Ireland to Africa, and European comic books fans are elated that Federico Memola’s second book in his mini series is now ready for printing in a 200 pages edition.
DieGo Comic Publishing is an independent publishing house, which aims to introduce great Italian authors to an English-speaking audience. The company rightfully feels Italy has a rich comic scene and it’s something that needs to be shared with a global community.
Their first full series is Rourke the Hexbuster, a horror-fantasy set in Ireland, filled with demons and magic, witches and other supernatural horrors.
Rourke is a heavy drinking antihero, burdened with a dark power: the ability to adopt people’s curses. With the help of his teenage daughter and the ghost of his mother, Rourke protects his clients, destroying their curses and setting them free.
The first two episodes, Moon Worshippers and The Silent Dwelling, introduced the hero, who quickly discovered witches do indeed exist. In Rourke’s world they are organized and powerful, secret associations that have waged battle with the Church for centuries.
DieGo first presented this tale at the 2013 MCM London Comic Con, where it was well received.
Rourke was first published in Italy between 2009 and 2010, in a series of eight episodes. DieGo’s English edition groups these together, offering four fully-realised 200 page volumes, each containing two episodes.
The series is written by Federico Memola, writer of Jonathan Steele, Harry Moon, Enchantment Agency and other acclaimed Italian comics. He is assisted by author Francesca da Sacco, and the renowned Italian illustrators Cosimo Ferri, Val Romeo, Enza Fontana and Manuela Soriani.
The second volume of Rourke contains the episodes ‘Africa’ and ‘Bor’s Mark.’ First, Rourke flies into the heart of Africa where he must deal with powerful, native magics. Then in Bor’s Mark, we get a greater understanding of Rourke’s past, and we learn about his family and powers as Memola makes way for the rest of the saga.
Planned for publication in May 2014, the publisher will be seeking Kickstarter. “This is the first of a series of crowd-funding campaigns that we will launch in 2014, to celebrate our second year of activity,” explains Giuseppe Pennestri who started the company with his sister, in an interview about their Kickstarter campaign.
“Rourke is an amazing horror fantasy comic by one of the most prolific Italian comic authors… But this project is more than that,” he explains. “It will help us further build upon our young independent publishing house. Backers of this project will be creating a new force in the fantasy field, both for literature and comics, a publishing house that will produce quality graphic novels and books by leading non-English authors that feature stellar artworks. Some publishers still choose to refrain from translating European/Italian comics into English, something that we feels deprives the reader of an opportunity to read talented authors.”
Giuseppi is an ardent comics fan, he says. “Before I became a publisher and an entrepreneur, I was a reader of comics and books. My personal library, which is still in my parents’ house, stocks thousands of titles,” he reveals. At some point my mother made my choose, saying to me: ‘You or your books.” So then I had to move out!”
The publisher has a selection of exclusive prizes for pledges of any size for the Rourke the Hexbuster project, including the first volume of Rourke and their other publications, original artworks, two oil painting by Cosimo Ferri and signed books – even an invitation to the 2014 London Film and Comic Con. They say a few other rewards will be added during the campaign.
“Support is greatly appreciated,” says Giuseppi. “and will not only help bring the second volume to life, but also the rest of the Rourke series, and comics from many other amazing Italian authors.
Beyond their Rourke project, Diego have some ambitious plans for 2014. “In March, we’ll launch a new crowd-funding to translate and publish Clockwork, the first book in Augusto Chiarle’s Shadow of Mars steampunk series,” says Giuseppi reveals. ” In April, we will launch Sleepless, a 15-episode graphic novel that we want to present at the London Film & Comic Con in July.
“We are also starting three contests: the first will be to select the next hilarious comic book to be included in our Diego’s Parody November volume,” he adds, “the other two to select short stories for our upcoming anthologies, which will include both Italian and native English authors.
“Are we ambitious? In a word, yes. How else can anything be achieved unless drastic chances are taken and a constant belief maintained? At DieGo Comic Publishing, we believe in what we do and we work hard to accomplish our goals.”
• Rourke the Hexbuster Volume One can be purchased at www.diegopublishing.co.uk, at Amazon and selected comic stores in UK. The second volume, release date May 2014, can be pre-ordered at www.diegopublishing.co.uk The third and fourth volumes in the mini-series will be released in November 2014 and May 2015.