Hot on the heels of comics artist Carla Speed McNeil winning the L.A. Times Book Prize for graphic novels, her publisher, Dark Horse, plans to release both a regular hardcover edition and a deluxe limited hardcover edition of McNeil’s much acclaimed novella, Finder: Talisman. The regular hardcover edition will sell for $19.99 and the deluxe limited edition version will sell for $75. Both editions will be released in October 2012.
Acclaimed for her vividly rendered and emotionally complex drawings as well as the nuance and imaginative power of her writing, Carla Speed McNeil was awarded the 2012 L.A. Times Book Prize for Finder: Voice, the most recent installment of her much lauded science fiction series Finder. Originally launched as a self-published comics serial and trade paperback series, it has also been published as a web comic. McNeil has described it as “aboriginal science-fiction,” and it is the story of family living in a future world of domed cities ruled by the complex social rules of a rigid clan and familial social system. The book and series focuses on Jaeger, a drifting shaman figure on the fringes of the culture, and his relationship with the Grosvenor family/clan. Finder has been nominated for multiple Eisner Awards (including winning an Eisner in 2008 for the web comic version) and has been awarded multiple Lulu and Ignatz awards.
Originally published in comic book format and trade paperback, Finder: Talisman will be issued in hardcover for the first time. Published as a paperback since 2002, Finder: Talisman is a book that seems to exist easily both within and outside of the Finder series, attracting its own audience through a story about the power of a book to seize the imagination. It’s the story of the youngest Grosvenor child, Marcie, and her search to find a copy of a particular book—a book that Jaeger used to read to her as a child—in a world where reading is deemphasized because technology allows people to input information directly into the brain. The fascination with the book turns Marcie into a writer, and despite its evocation of the power a book can have over a reader, Talisman is also very much a story about the power of storytelling, whether in the form of a book or not.
In a phone interview with McNeil, she called Talisman, “gateway book,” that allows her to draw readers into the series. “I shove it at people,” she said, “I was trying to create a single standalone issue to give people a place to start.” The story of Talisman, a book about a book, has served to attract teachers, librarians and anyone else who loves books, to the work of McNeil.
"Talisman has reduced librarians to tears everywhere I go,” McNeil said in a follow-up email. “This is my book about falling in love with books, and what you do when you can't have the book that you really want. It's natural that this is the one that opens a door on the rest of my work."