Titan Comics has announced it has secured rights to Belgian artist Marvano‘s adaptation of the award-winning military SF novel The Forever War, written by Joe Haldeman.
Drawn in ligne claire style and originally published in Dutch as De Eeuwige Oorlog, The Forever War was first published in 1988 as a graphic novel trilogy by Dupuis, drawn by Marvano (Mark van Oppen) and scripted by Haldeman. NBM published the series in English in the early 1990s.
Initially serialised in Analog Magazine before being published as a novel in 1974, The Forever War, inspired by Haldeman’s own experiences during the Vietnam War, tells the contemplative story of soldiers fighting an interstellar war between Man and the Taurans. It won the Nebula Award in 1975, and the Hugo and the Locus awards in 1976.
Forever Free (published in 1999) and Forever Peace (1997) are, respectively, direct and thematic sequel novels. The novella A Separate War (1999) is another sequel of sorts, occurring simultaneously to the final portion of The Forever War.
Reanimator director Stuart Gordon, who later worked with Joe Haldeman on Robot Jox, came close to making a PBS miniseries of the epic war novel in the 1980s (concept art was created by Batman artist Neal Adams), but ended up turning it into a stage play which he directed instead, produced by Chicago’s Organic Theater Company in 1983, starring The Sentinel‘s Bruce A. Young as Mandella. Also in the cast were Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, Gary Houston, Alex Kerr, Linda Kimbrough, Richard Lavin, J. and Pat Miller.
A board game has also been published based on the books.
Last year, although Blade Runner director Ridley Scott had long held rights into turning the book into a film, but in May 2015 Warner Bros. won the rights to the novel and will develop the project with writer Jon Spaihts and Channing Tatum attached to star.
Born in Zolder, Belgium in 1953, Mark Van Oppem (Marvano), started his comics career in 1982, working on the Dutch magazine, Orbit. He became head of the comics department at the Flemish publisher De Gulden Engel in 1986. His comics success working on various magazines enabled him to realise his dream of developing The Forever War as a graphic novel, working with Joe Haldeman who he first met at a Belgian SF convention in 1980.
He has since gone on to work on numerous series including Berlin and Dallas Barr, the latter working again with Haldeman.
“I had some input [on the Forever War comic] since the artist is an old pal,” author Joe Haldeman told Strange Horizons back in 2004. “When we did [the graphic novel for] The Forever War, I was down at the level of storyboards and I actually supplied all of the dialogue and scripted it like a movie.
“Then I did three more [graphic novels] with [Marvano] that were in the Dallas Barr series, a character in my novel, Buying Time. I wrote three of them and then I rented him the franchise… He’s a wonderful artist.” In all, Marvana created seven volumes of the Dallas Bar series.
The comic series was well received (it was voted one of the 20 best graphic novels of all time by the users of stripinfo.be, alongside Maus and Watchmen) and spawned a follow-up trilogy series, set in the same universe, mainly after the war has finished, told primarily from the viewpoint of Marygay Potter, one of the main characters of the original comic trilogy. Comprising Une Autre Guerre, Exode and Revelation, it has never been published in English.
A collection of all the stories has also been published in several languages, originally by Dupuis, in 2008; some editions feature new art and other material.
Perfect for fans of Moebius, Jodorowsky, Universal War One, and The Light and Darkness War, the first issue, which will debut on 15th February 2017 features stunning variant covers from the industry’s top talent including series artist Marvano, Steve Kurth (G.I. Joe), Nick Percival (Judge Dredd, Slaine) Marc Laming (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), and Adam Gorham (The Violent).
• Forever War #1 hits stores and digital platforms on 15th February 2017 and is available to order from the December edition of Diamond PREVIEWS.
• There’s a biography of Marvano in French here, detailing his various works
Forever War #1
Writer: Joe Haldeman
FC – 32pp – £3.99
The visionary Hugo and Nebula Award-winning SF tale by Joe Haldeman is beautifully realised in full color by the legendary artist Marvano. An epic SF war story spanning space and time, The Forever War explores one soldier’s experience caught up in the brutal machinery of a war that reaches across the stars.
Cover A: Marvano (order code: DEC161903)
Cover B: Steve Kurth (order code: DEC161904)
Cover C: Marc Laming (order code: DEC161905)
Cover D: Nick Percival (order code: DEC161906)
Cover E: Adam Gorham (order code: DEC161907)
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.