by BK Munn
Big news in Canadian graphic novel publishing! Chester Brown’s Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus, a collection of Bible parables interpreted by the artist, will be published by Drawn and Quarterly in Spring 2016. The excerpted panels so far look great. A little profane, in the style of Brown’s New Testament adaptations from Yummy Fur.
Here’s the press release:
Drawn & Quarterly has acquired world rights to Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus by the New York Times bestselling cartoonist Chester Brown: in his signature style, Brown retells nine parables from the Bible, beginning with Cain and Abel and ending with the Prodigal Son. Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus will be published in spring 2016.
“Mary Wept is classic Chester Brown. Challenging, thoughtful, hilarious, maybe even a little infuriating,” stated Tom Devlin, Executive Editor. “Chester’s deep interest in his subject matter transfers to the reader immediately and thoroughly like no other cartoonist in the world. With Mary Wept, Chester once again redefines how historical comics are made. He is the medium’s most idiosyncratic genius.”
Early in his career, Brown created a comics version of the Gospels of Mark and began retelling the Gospel of Matthew. With Mary Wept, he returns to Biblical subject matter, delving deep into the lore and secondary sources to weave a work that draws a connecting line between the prostitutes of the Old Testament. Chester Brown does with the Bible what he did in his biography of Louis Riel: makes their stories compellingly readable and utterly pertinent to a modern readership.
Brown has published six books with Drawn & Quarterly, starting with the company’s first graphic novel The Playboy; I Never Liked You, his early masterpiece in a career of masterpieces; the Harvey Award-winning Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Bioography, the first graphic novel to appear on Canadian bestseller lists; and the cult classic Ed the Happy Clown, one of the Time’s Top Ten Graphic Novels of All Time. Brown’s most recent book, the graphic memoir Paying For It, was the subject of two solo New York Times book reviews. In Drawn & Quarterly: 25 Years of Contemporary Cartooning, Comics & Graphic Novels, acclaimed novelist Jonathan Lethem pens an appreciation of Brown calling him one of our greatest cartoonists ever.
Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus will be distributed in the United States by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, in Canada by Raincoast Books, and in the United Kingdom by Publishers Group UK. International rights are represented by Samantha Haywood of the Transatlantic Literary Agency: rights have been sold in France to Éditions Cornélius; in Spain to La Cupula; in Italy to BAO Publishing; and in Korea to Mimesis Co. The book will be supported by an author tour, festival appearances, advertising, and coop.