Truman explores 'The Wilderness' on-line

Fri, February 8th, 2002 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Keith Giles, Staff Writer

[Wilderness]Unbound Comics announced this week that they will be reprinting Timothy Truman's long out of print classic, "The Wilderness," later this month.

"The Wilderness," based on the true story Simon Girty, the Revolutionary War era frontiersman who defected from the American side to fight with the Indians and their British allies, was researched, written and illustrated by Timothy Truman.

"I'm very excited about the deal I've made with Unbound," Truman told CBR News. "They seem like real nice folks and they're very straightforward in their arrangements. They've offered a great new avenue for folks to obtain the book, in it's original version, on-line."

Truman's interest in the character of Simon Girty grew the more he researched this real-life person's exploits. "The more I read about him, the less evidence there seemed to be that he was the monster that American history said he was," said Truman.

Truman's work on this book wrought some very surprising reactions from both the United States and Canadian Governments. "My books were the first to offer evidence that most of the history about him was false. I'm pleased to say that my 'Wilderness' graphic novels and the subsequent collected edition have had a very positive effect how Girty is now viewed. An official memorial was erected to him at Fort Malden in Canada. And last year America gave its first nod towards reconciliation with him: a marker was erected at Fort Hunter, near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania," he said. "I was asked by the Girty descendants to attend the event, and the family made me an honorary member. It was a very proud moment for me."

[Wilderness]Truman also spoke about the possibility that his other out of print works could find new life at Unbound Comics. "As for other projects, that would be great. 'Tecumseh' is the property of the Allan W. Eckert, the playwright, and the people who do the outdoor drama every year in Chillicothe, Ohio. However, 'Scout' and 'Dragon Chiang' are indeed contenders for the Unbound treatment, as are other properties that I own, like 'Black Lamb,' 'Time Beavers' and 'The Prowler,'"

Truman's book has been in high-demand among comic collectors and historians alike since it first went out of print years ago. "Signed and numbered hard covers of the first edition of the WILDERNESS series were selling at some antiquarian book sites for $500 for the set!"

Aaron Thacker, president of Unbound Comics provided some details to CBR News regarding their arrangement with Truman on "Wilderness."

[Wilderness]"We're happy to be focused on 'Wilderness' right now, a book that Tim, in the past, has described as his 'single most important work.' It is exactly the kind of out-of-work that we want to see available again, and we're excited that he agrees," said Thacker. "I am a fan of the book, but I can't take the credit for bringing it to Unbound Comics. That credit belongs to Andrew Foley, who has been a fan of Tim's work since 'Grimjack.' From the first days of Unbound Comics, Andrew was talking about these great out-of-print books that we could try to make available again in e-book editions. It's been his project, and he's done a remarkable job on it.

"'Dalgoda', 'Wilderness', 'Eagle', (were his) and another few projects that I can't talk about yet are on the way," said Thacker. "And I get the sense that he's just getting warmed up."

Thacker also clarified the role played by Unbound Comics in the online availability of "Wilderness." "I want to clear up a popular misconception about Unbound Comics. We aren't a publisher. We don't own any of the copyrights to the e-book editions, nor do we get royalties from them. Instead, we like to think of ourselves as a bookstore. Tim Truman is actually self-publishing the e-book edition of 'Wilderness,' and we're just giving him a space from which to sell it.

The future looks bright for Unbound Comics according to Thacker. "As for specific books and creators, I don't want to say anything until some contracts make their way through the mail, but you'll be the first to know," he said. "The word is getting around to publishers; Unbound Comics will give you a way to sell e-book editions of your work, and it won't cost you anything to try it."

 
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