In 1984, a graphic novel by the name of XIII was released to a French-reading audience. Written by Jean van Hamme and illustrated by William Vance with a story similar to Robert Ludlum's THE BOURNE IDENTITY, XIII soon established itself as a fantastic adventure full of twists and turns as readers followed the travels of a man who had no memory of who he was or what he had done. XIII has since become one of Europe's most popular comics, selling over 16 million copies and enjoying a regular print run of around 550,000 copies per book with additional printings in 15 different languages.
Yet despite XIII's massive popularity, the series has never been fully translated into English for an American audience… until now.
Dabel Brothers Productions, in partnership with Marvel Comics, recently announced that it will resume plans to release the series in graphic novel format beginning with the first volume on January 31, 2007.
"We're very excited to finally be releasing an English language version of the entire story of XIII," said Les Dabel, COO of Dabel Brothers Production. "Anyone who's read the story in its original French knows that the story of XIII rivals some of the best thriller novels and movies out there, and it's especially unique because it was created specifically for the comic book medium rather than being adapted from outside source material."
And, by popular demand, the graphic novel will contain the original art of William Vance with no censorship whatsoever.
"Censorship was one of the biggest concerns on the part of the fans with the monthly issues, and we don't want it to be a barrier any longer," said Ernst Dabel, CEO of Dabel Brothers Production. "XIII is an adult story that does contain some graphic violence and nudity. But it is certainly no more than one would find in many other graphic novels available at a major bookstore, and we see no reason to continue angering fans by censoring it."
And while XIII has been previously released in the monthly comic book format, the Dabel Brothers feel that the book will enjoy stronger sales and receive more attention in a trade paperback format.
"In Europe, XIII has been released in graphic novel format from the start," Ernst Dabel said, "at a rate of around one volume per year. Each chapter tells its own story. Each of our graphic novels collect three volumes of the European version, giving readers three years of storylines that will leave them wanting to know the answers to the many questions that are raised by the end."
The first volume of XIII will be available at comic book retailers and bookstores everywhere January 31st. The second volume is planned for this summer.
XIII TPB (NOV062343)
Written by WILLIAM VANCE
Adapted by BEN AVERY
Pencils and Cover by JEAN VAN HAMME
144 PGS./EXPLICIT CONTENT…$14.99
On-Sale – 1/31/2007