New Italian publisher launches SF, fantasy comics range

The Tales of Nur by Gian Marco IbbaAdmittedly, this isn’t actually British comic news – but bear with me, there is a British connection!

A few years ago I wrote a number of comic strips for an Italian publisher, CJL, who were seeking to use comics as a way to teach English to Italian students. It was a fun project but the comics side of it sadly didn’t last long.

Two strips – The Grand Tour, written by myself and Mike Collins, a time traveling tourists tale,  and The Story of Aten, a story about a wannabe band who get involved with a mysterious time jumping character – remains unfinished. (The talented Nick Miller also provided a terrific humour strip, Hotel Albion, written by Antonella Caputo).

A page from "The Story of Aten" by John Freeman and Gian Marco Ibba, created for CJL Publishing, Italy.

A page from “The Story of Aten” by John Freeman and Gian Marco Ibba, created for CJL Publishing, Italy.

The Story of Aten – set in Lancaster – was drawn by a talented young artist, Gian Marco Ibba, whose work has since then also featured in the Italian adult comic Blue. Unfortunately, I lost contact with Gian some time back but by chance came across the news that the first volume of his comic adventure, I Racconti di Nur (Tales of Nur), is now enjoying publication in Italian by publisher, Books Montag, an independent publishing label created by Philip Burighel, the Editorial Director of Cagliostro E-Press.

(US readers should not confuse this Italian imprint with the California-based Montag Press Collective)

Montag Books aims to offer their Italian readers a careful selection of comics (and more…) with particular regard to emerging authors, emerging or unknown in Italy, from fantasy to science fiction.

I Racconti di Nur – Tomo Primo: Nascita (Tales of Nur Book One – Birth) is set the dawn of time, in an age so remote as to be lost in the abyss of memory. But old forces are moving, shaping the world for their own ends…. An indefatigable struggle of the Titans, in which men are in the middle, is the heart of the stories that take place in the land of Nur, where even the Gods struggle to exist. Where the struggle for life is in its infancy and more violent , where they delineate the boundaries for the first time and the distinct appearance of the same archetypes of life, death, joy and hope.

The talented Gian Marco Ibba delivers the first volume of an epic mythic – and, be warned, assuming this is as I suspect the same strip that featured in Blue, quite adult tale in terms of imagery. I wish him the very best with the project.

• I Racconti di Nur – Tomo Primo: Nascita is on sale here: I’m not sure if you can order from outside Italy from this site

• Books Montag is on Facebook and on the web at

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. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek 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.

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

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