GRAVEL: A New Ongoing Series by Warren Ellis from Avatar Press.

Warren Ellis’ next ongoing series will launch in January with GRAVEL #0 published by Avatar Press. GRAVEL features the combat magician Sgt. Major William Gravel in his own monthly series, beginning with the specially priced #0 issue which is available for only $1.99. Like the launch of Ellis’ hugely popular Black Summer series, Gravel #0 is not a preview, but is actually the opening part of this new Gravel saga. The full-size regular series will follow with issue #1 in March. Mike Wolfer (Streets of Glory) will co-write the title with Ellis, and the full-color first issue and regular series will feature interiors from the artist of Ellis’ critically-acclaimed graphic novel Crecy and Doktor Sleepless wraparound covers, Raulo Caceres.

“Black ops, blacker magic, cold-blooded slaughter and ruthless betrayal: the ongoing adventures of Warren Ellis’ biggest bastard to date,” says fellow creator Garth Ennis, who has been a fan of Gravel’s early saga in the Strange Kiss/Kisses/Killings series. “It’s like someone made a comic just for me.”

“Every time the weird bastard steps into the daylight, people come out to see what he’s up to for some reason,” says GRAVEL creator Warren Ellis. “It’s funny how a character created for a single story, STRANGE KISS, has hung around. I’m creating a whole new mythology and Occult Cosmology for GRAVEL, the series. And also having some fun with The Sigsand Manuscript, the preferred Ancient Occult Text of Thomas Carnacki, the supernatural detective created by William Hope Hodgson (who was a great influence on Lovecraft — go on, google them all).”

“William Gravel has generated quite a following of die-hard fans, who have eagerly awaited the next disturbing chapter in the STRANGE KISS/KISSES/KILLINGS series,” notes series co-writer Mike Wolfer, “They have been loyal and quite vocal, and at last Warren Ellis, Raulo Caceres and I are able to deliver what the fans have asked for, for the first time in full color and with no punches pulled.” Sgt. Major Gravel first appeared in Ellis’ mini-series Strange Kiss in late 1999, and the combat magician working deniable-op’s would later be the focus of six collected editions. Gravel’s missions, and the occasional cash-in-hand work, bring him to toe-to-toe with the most profane and brutal depths of the criminal world. Thank Britain this military trained sorcerer is ready to blast the hell out of the blokes. All 6 original TPB’s are in print, they are: Strange Kiss, Stranger Kisses, Strange Killings, Strange Killings: Body Orchard, Strange Killings: Strong Medicine, and Strange Killings: Necromancer. Wolfer promises readers, “This is the Gravel we all know, the same lovable bastard, only (now) delivered in monthly installments.”

Creator Warren Ellis launched the first Gravel saga, Strange Kiss, at Avatar almost a decade ago as his first project with the publisher. Since then, Avatar has published several other of his properties including Black Summer, Doktor Sleepless, and multiple titles under his Apparat imprint. Now back by popular demand, this landmark creator-owned character is making his return in a full-color, ongoing series.

Artist and collaborator from the original run Mike Wolfer will be assisting Ellis in co-writing this ongoing monthly, relinquishing the artistic responsibilities to a revolving art team. “Mike Wolfer is a great professional,” says artist Raulo Caceres. “He is one of those designers that know that to make comics is more than to just draw well… I value his perspective, the collaboration of the minds, and their (Ellis and Wolfer’s) talented visual language.”

Wolfer admits, “I’m a bit protective of William Gravel when it comes to his visual representation, as until now I have been the only artist to draw him on covers or interiors. But Raulo’s got the goods and he draws an excellent Gravel, full of the same grimness that is his trademark, and the heaviness of Raulo’s inking provides the perfect, dark mood that has pervaded Gravel’s adventures through all of the various mini-series.” Artist Raulo Caceres will draw #0 and the start of the full-size regular series. Caceres is best known for his work on Ellis’ immensely popular Apparat graphic novel, Crecy, and his wraparound covers for the ongoing series Doktor Sleepless.

GRAVEL launches its full-color ongoing run with #0 in January, specially priced at only $1.99. The full-size monthly begins in March and will be available for $3.99. Written by creator Warren Ellis and co-writer Mike Wolfer, GRAVEL revives a must-read indy character, and will be drawn by Crecy artist Raulo Caceres.

Avatar Press is a comic book publisher that continues to push the boundaries between mainstream and independent with current and upcoming work from creators such as Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Warren Ellis, Garth Ennis, Brian Pulido, George A. Romero, George R.R. Martin, Joe R. Lansdale, John Russo, Mike Wolfer, Juan Jose Ryp, Jacen Burrows, and numerous others. The company has published a wide range of comic books including creator-owned titles like Warren Ellis Black Summer, Garth Ennis’ 303 and Brian Pulido’s Lady Death, company-owned comics such as Pandora and The Ravening, licensed hits like Frank Miller’s Robocop and George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, and numerous other titles. A publisher that has established itself as one of the cornerstones of the American indy comic book scene over the past decade, Avatar has published some 500 comic books since 1997.

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