Syzygy engages in ‘Self Help’ this summer

Owen King, Jesse Kellerman, Marianna Ignazzi and more bring this ‘California noir story’ to life.

Syzygy Publishing and Image Comics have announced Self Help, a new five-issue crime noir miniseries by novelists Owen King and Jesse Kellerman, artist Marianna Ignazzi, colorist Fabiana Mascolo and designer/letterer Ian Chagren.

Described as a “California noir story,” Self Help is “a surreal and colorful world populated with two-faced talk-show hosts, cheerful Finnish mobsters, bloodthirsty white supremacists, snide English butlers and panther-wielding Euro-trash assassins.” Sounds like fun!

“I couldn’t be more excited to be working with Jesse Kellerman on Self Help,” King said. “He’s one of my favorite novelists and one of my favorite people. We’re both incredibly lucky to have the brilliant Marianna Ignazzi bringing our sun-baked noir comedy to life.”

King is best known for his novels Sleeping Beauties, which he wrote with his father, Stephen King, and The Curator. Kellerman’s novels include The Genius and The Golem of Hollywood, while Ignazzi has worked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and An Unkindness of Ravens for BOOM! Studios.

“Writing Self Help has been nonstop fun—and the credit for that goes to my amazing co-writer, Owen King,” Kellerman said. “This story is the product of two good friends cutting loose and letting our imaginations run wild. And we’re thrilled by the beautiful, stylish, vivid genius of Marianna Ignazzi. We can’t wait for you to get your hands on it.”

Here’s how Image Comics describes the series:

In Self Help, readers are introduced to down-on-his-luck rideshare driver Jerry Hauser, whose existence is a bleak one…especially because every fare he picks up tells him how much he looks like ultra-successful self-help guru Darren Hart. But in a twist of fate, Jerry is given the chance of a lifetime…which, if he’s not careful, may well end his lifetime. So begins this rollicking and gleefully lurid pulp crime story.

From there the story races ahead at an ever-increasing speed, and with an ever-increasing body count, as Jerry assumes his rival’s identity, fights to keep a lid on the murder, fends off the Euro-gangsters to whom Darren was heavily indebted, placates Darren’s calculating assistant Cassandra, and rebuilds his relationship with his estranged ex-wife Michelle and daughter Amelia. Oh, and he also needs to avoid the white supremacists that hold Jerry’s personal marker—except to them, he’s Danny McClure—and keep up his Drÿvÿr rating.

And here’s a look at some of the interior artwork:

“I am beyond thrilled to be part of the incredible team behind Self Help,” Ignazzi said. “Working alongside such talented individuals has been an absolute joy. Get ready for a wild ride as we dive into a gripping crime story filled with unexpected twists and turns.”

The first issue will come with several variant covers by Stephen Byrne, Steven Russell Black and Ashley Wood:

Chalgren is not only lettering the project, but he’s also providing a unique design and logo for each issue, paying tribute to past designers.

“The cover logos, interior credits pages and back cover will have a unique look and feel in each issue, as we pay tribute to the look and feel of crime/noir-related movies, novels and past designers,” Syzygy Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall said on Substack. “Up first, issue 1 will pay homage to the work of artist Saul Bass.” Bass is probably best known for his work in the film industry, on title sequences and designs for films like Goodfellas, Cape Fear, The Age of Innocence, Casino, North by Northwest and Psycho, among many others

Look for the first issue of Self Help on June 19.

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