Massive Luther Arkwright tome, “Arkwright Integral” announced

Arkwright Integral Cover

Finally! At long last, a comics publisher – Dark Horse – has had the good sense to commission and publish a high quality ultimate A4 size hardback edition of the first flagship British graphic novel, Luther Arkwright by Eisner and Harvey Award-winner Bryan Talbot, together with the full colour sequel, Heart of Empire.

Coming in October 2014 at a whopping 556 pages, the collection of one of the best science fiction/steampunk comics ever to come out of Britain, telling the full story of the multiverse-spanning antihero will retail at around £36 ($59.99).
“In a swirling multiverse of endless possibilities and incalculable dangers, malign forces manipulate history through countless timelines and act to wreak destruction across universes,” the advance publicity outlines. “But amongst these infinite existences, their fate depends on one man, an anomaly who exists in but a single universe, a being of vast psychic power capable of travelling between parallel realities — Luther Arkwright!”
Luther Arkwright made his first appearance in the mid-1970s in “The Papist Affair”, published in Brainstorm Comix, where Arkwright teamed up with a group of cigar-chewing biker nuns to recover the sacred relics of St. Adolf of Nuremberg from “a buncha male chauvinist priests”. Early episodes of the ongoing tale appeared in titles such as Near Myths and then the story was completed across three graphic novels in the 1980s – the first beating Raymond Briggs’ Fungus the Bogeyman to publication as the first ever British graphic novel.

An adult science-fiction epic of boundless imagination and audacious vision, The Adventures of Luther Arkwright and Heart of Empire – most recently collected in two volumes in 2008 (Luther) and 2001 (Legacy) and a character who has also had his own audio adventures from Big Finish – are now brought together for the first time in one essential hardcover volume, with an introduction by Michael Moorcock, an afterword by Warren Ellis and a 10-page Luther Arkwright interview with Steve Bissette.

This new collection also includes a large gallery of  Arkwright illustrations and book covers by Bryan and other artists, including Dave Gibbons, Glenn Fabry and Hunt Emerson, and a Heart of Empire back cover gallery.

“Luther Arkwright is probably the single most influential graphic novel to have come out of Britain to date,” says Warren Ellis of the story.  “Bryan Talbot’s later The Tale of One Bad Rat is an absolute symphony of the form, showing how to use all the tools correctly to make a work of stunning clarity and emotional power. Luther Arkwright invented the tools. Arkwright informs Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Neil Gaiman, Garth Ennis, me, and all the rest of us. It’s probably Anglophone comics’ single most important experimental work.

“Powered by the British ‘New Wave’ sf of the Sixties, it looked for a way to tell its story in a challenging, information-rich and adult manner,” he adds. “And no-one else had done it. Not even the French comics of the Sixties and early Seventies, with their mad glee at bending the form, had provided the equipment.”

“From riveting action scenes to beautiful silent sequences, from studies in hateful obsession to humour both ribald and gentle, The Adventures of Luther Arkwright is surely one of the all-time great epics of the medium,” says Garth Ennis, while Alan Moore scribes it as “a work ambitious in both scope and complexity that still stands unique upon the comics landscape . . . stunning,” says Alan Moore. 


Read more about The Adventures of Luther Arkwright on Bryan Talbot’s Official web site

• Read the Papist Affair – the first ever appearance of Luther Arkwright in print

• Bryan Talbot is online at:


Categories: British Comics, British Comics - Books, British Comics - Graphic Novels, downthetubes Comics News, Featured News

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