This August, Oni Press will be releasing the highly anticipated new novel from author Jamie S. Rich. HAVE YOU SEEN THE HORIZON LATELY? is the latest in a string of prose works by the distinguished comic book creator. Along with last year's pop culture hit THE EVERLASTING and his illustrated novella I WAS SOMEONE DEAD, Rich's HAVE YOU SEEN THE HORIZON LATELY? is an incisive look at interpersonal relationships in a world where entertainment and technology push us farther and farther apart.
For this story, Rich looks at the effects the life of fame can have on an artist. Seven years prior, writer Percival Mendelssohn disappeared from public life under the shroud of scandal. His philosophical works spoke to the heart of a generation, but the bright lights of his popularity blinded him to the heart of his one true love. When his wife Iris took her own life, Percy decided for all intents and purposes to end his. HAVE YOU SEEN THE HORIZON LATELY? begins when one of his young fans travels to Beijing, following a lead that her own literary guru may be hiding out there. Julia Jimenez has never traveled so far from home, has never been so daring, so though the man she finds denies being who she believes him to be, she refuses to take no for an answer.
What follows is a novel about two people who fall in love while sifting through the stories of their past and the books that inspired them. "As with Jamie's previous work, the story in the book is as important as how it is told," commented Oni Press editor in chief James Lucas Jones, "as well as the stories we tell each other, the way we communicate through pop culture references and the things that happened in our past. It's those tales that Julia and Percy use as barriers to protect themselves from their feelings, and those barriers have to come down in order for them to experience real love."
"I've always considered myself a romance writer," Rich explained. "I don't mean the kinds of romances that are written under pseudonyms and feature hunky cover stars liberating buxom ladies from their girdles, but actual romances from real life. I am interested in how people relate to one another, how we communicate, and what we do to try to connect. In this case, I have a character who has retreated and who doesn't feel he deserves to be connected. As Julia draws the truth of what happened out of him, she also draws him back into the human sphere."
Rich's prior prose work has received strong notice from fans and critics alike for his ability to capture everyday feelings and spin them into lyrical dramas. His first novel, CUT MY HAIR, was likened to the work of Nick Hornby by Alternative Press magazine, and Bookslut called it "beloved by those lucky enough to have heard about it." Last year's THE EVERLASTING inspired the Washington Post Express to claim, "When it comes to romance, Jamie S. Rich is your man," and Reader Views called it "a realistic view of man's mind and how it works…While you will find yourself smirking at the completely realistic comments and attitudes we've all experienced in our life of romance, the author's ability to truly bring the character to life is uncanny and surreal."
Rich said, "I feel that HAVE YOU SEEN THE HORIZON LATELY? is the thematic culmination of what I started back with CUT MY HAIR, looking at how one human being can care for another wholly and truly while still preserving who he is. It's not always easy, and it's not always pleasant, but hopefully this story proves it's all worth it."
HAVE YOU SEEN THE HORIZON LATELY? features cover art by Russ Manning and Friends of Lulu Award-nominee Joelle Jones. Previously, Jones and Rich collaborated on 12 REASONS WHY I LOVE HER, one of the most acclaimed graphic novels of 2006.
The new book also has a connection to Rich's comic book work in that it shares characters with his ongoing Oni Press series LOVE THE WAY YOU LOVE. "It also has characters that cross over from the other novels," Jones said. "Like all of Jamie's work, though, it stands on its own. First-time readers can jump right in. But once you start with these books, you won't be able to stop. You'll want to see how they all fit together."
HAVE YOU SEEN THE HORIZON LATELY? ships August 2007 and retails for $19.95. The novel is a 380 page, 6x9 trade paperback, with a full color cover. The ISBN is 978-1-932664-73-7 and the Diamond order code is JUN07 3781.