I.N.J. Culbard will write and draw ‘Salamandre’ graphic novel

Dark Horse will publish the graphic novel through their Berger Books imprint in November.

Dark Horse Comics has announced Salamandre, a “uniquely evocative” graphic novel written and drawn by I.N.J. Culbard coming later this year from their Berger Books imprint.

“Writing what you know is really about writing what you think you know,” said I.N.J. Culbard. “Instead of what really happened, a confabulation grows with each retelling—a story, transforming a factual truth into a universal one. I took an event from one hot summer afternoon in my own life, made it the finale and then worked backwards through my story, using the jigsaw puzzle of my own memories growing up on both sides of the Iron Curtain during the Cold War as a foundation for this world—that is a little off-kilter to our own.”

Dark Horse says it’s a story about “family, loss and the freedom of art”:

Kaspar Salamandre is a bereaved young artist who is sent to stay with his enigmatic grandfather who lives behind the Iron Veil—a land lorded over by an oppressive emperor. In this foreign place where flowers are contraband, music is illegal, and art is created in hiding, Kaspar seeks to heal his grief—discovering a world of art revolutionaries, espionage, and the Secret Police—who are not what they seem.

“I was blown away when I first heard I.N.J.’s thrilling graphic novel idea inspired by his unusual travels as a child,” said Karen Berger, who heads up the Berger Books imprint. “It has a real European comics feel—kind of like an off-beat Tintin, panoramic vistas mired by underlying political danger, sparked with dashes of wonder and the fantastic. Ultimately, it’s about perseverance of love, and the power that memory and stories have over us. It’s I.N.J. Culbard’s immense storytelling talent as never seen before and I’m so excited to be sharing it with the world.”

The graphic novel will arrive in stores Nov. 2.

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