Joe Satriani’s ‘Crystal Planet’ comic books coming from Heavy Metal and Incendium under OPUS imprint
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Sci-Fi saga marks the guitar legend’s debut comic book series.
A vivid space odyssey where Satchel Walker, a man out of time, finds himself caught between desperate factions as they battle for resources in the perilous orbit of a dying star. In a bold and brutal saga of sentient storms and Wingsuit armies, it’s music, and more importantly the power and emotion that music can conjure, which could bring an end to the conflict, restore harmony to the timestream, and reveal Walker’s true place in the universe.
Crystal Planet begins as a five-issue series. The first print edition of each issue will be released as a prestige format limited edition collectible comic book, featuring cardstock covers, specialty foil treatments, glossy pages, and individual numbering. Each first printing will be limited to 1998 copies at $19.98, and available to order here. The first issue is available to order now and ships March 2021.
“Funny how things get their start” says Satriani “July 1994 I’m on tour with Deep Purple and I’m warming up with my guitar backstage in a bull’s isolation cell at the Plaza de Toros in Gjion, Spain. Then and there I start writing the opening riff to a song that will become “Crystal Planet” and a few years later it’s the title track for my ’98 album release.” He continues “Fast forward to 2013, friend and fellow guitarist Ned Evett makes an animated sci-fi video for my song “Lies and Truths” using artwork from my “Joe’s Art 2013” book. We projected that video on a 30ft. screen every night of the Unstoppable Momentum Tour. It was a hit with the fans which got us thinking we could expand the clip into a “Crystal Planet” sci-fi epic. Ned and I formed Satchtoons, a company focused on creating animated content, and we got to work on scripts and demos for the “Crystal Planet” pilot. Seven years later, thanks to Llexi Leon and Heavy Metal, here we are with our first comic book series! Llexi and I had worked together on his awesome “Eternal Descent” comics, and by coincidence we met again when Heavy Metal published a short excerpt of “Crystal Planet” adapted by Brendon Small for the magazine’s 2019 music issue. Both Ned and I love working with Llexi and the Incendium creative team, they bring so much artistry and expertise to our time-traveling adventure. I am thrilled to finally offer our fans the first full issue of what will ultimately be a three novel trilogy.”
“Crystal Planet is a thrilling rollercoaster through space and time, it’s Mad Max Vs TRON – with guitars! This has been an incredibly rewarding project to bring to fruition, digging deep into the lore behind one of the greatest instrumental rock records. Working with Joe has always been a pleasure, having collaborated in comics with Eternal Descent years ago his love of the medium is well known.” Llexi Leon says, “There was a treasure trove of concepts and character exploration compiled over decades by Joe and his writing partner Ned that formed the basis of this project, with the ultimate goal to take fans on a journey to Crystal Planet for the first time. Tony, Richard, Carlos, and Jacob have done a tremendous job realizing an incredible world and telling it’s story. It’s fitting that our publishing venture with Heavy Metal would begin with a space faring time travel adventure!”
The world of Crystal Planet will extend beyond the printed page into toys and collectibles. A Joe Satriani Crystal Planet action figure is also available to pre-order now for $29.95, featuring Joe in a Tri-Diver suit from the comics with his signature Crystal Planet Ibanez guitar. Shipping May 2021.
CREATED BY: Joe Satriani, Ned Evett
SCRIPT: Tony Lee
PENCILS/INKS: Richard Friend
COLOR: Carlos Cabrera
LETTERS: Jacob Bascle
EDITOR: Llexi Leon
About Joe Satriani:
For three decades, the guitar virtuoso has traveled the world, playing to sold-out crowds as both a headliner and as founder of the all-star “G3” guitar extravaganza. Satriani’s studio and live recordings have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide to date and of his many solo albums, two have gone platinum and four others went gold, with 15 Grammy nominations between them. In addition, his last two studio albums debuted Top 10 on Billboard’s Album Chart. His side project, Chickenfoot, featuring former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar, former bassist Michael Anthony, and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith saw their debut album certified gold and their second studio album debuted at #9.
Early in his career, Satriani worked as a guitar teacher with many of his former students achieving their own fame, including: Steve Vai, Kirk Hammett, Charlie Hunter, Larry LaLonde among many others. In 1988, Satriani toured as lead guitarist for Mick Jagger’s first solo tour and he also briefly filled in as the guitarist with Deep Purple following the departure of Ritchie Blackmore.
About Writer Tony Lee:
A #1 New York Times Bestseller and Eagle Award winning graphic novelist and screenwriter, Tony Lee’s numerous credits include Doctor Who, Star Trek, Superboy, 2000AD, Spider-Man, X-Men, Battlestar Galactica, Shrek, Wallace and Gromit, Megadeth and Ozzy Osbourne among many others. Tony also works in television, film and audio where he has written for BBC One and Amazon UK / Audible, as well as working with both US and UK producers and studios as a go-to ’script doctor’.
With 33 years experience as a professional writer, Tony has created stories in pretty much every visual medium. In 2010 he became a #1 New York Times Bestseller for his graphic novel adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. In 2014 his Doctor Who / Star Trek Graphic Novel ‘Assimilation Squared’ reached #2, and in 2019 his full cast audio drama of Dodge & Twist was #4 in the New York Times Audiobooks Bestselling List.
About Artist Richard Friend:
Multi Eisner Award nominee and recipient of the Comic Con International Inkpot award 2018. Richard Friend is a 20- year veteran of the comic industry working on titles like Batman The Dark Knight, Justice League, and Wild Cats. No stranger to fusing comic books with hard rock, Richard has more recently worked on Iron Maiden: Legacy Of The Beast, and Megadeth: Death By Design. His love for both music and art is well known with his fans and Richard has been a guitar player since he was 11 years old. Crystal Planet is the perfect challenge to feed his love for both guitar music and sequential artwork!
About Heavy Metal:
First published in 1977, Heavy Metal, the world’s foremost illustrated fantasy magazine, explores fantastic and surrealistic worlds, alternate realities, science fiction and thriller, in the past, present and future. Writers and illustrators from around the world take you to places you never dreamed existed. Heavy Metal was the first magazine to bring European legends Moebius, Tanino Libertore, Philippe Druillet, Enki Bilal, Pepe Moreno and Philippe Caza to the U.S. as well as showcasing American superstars Richard Corben, Jim Steranko and Bernie Wrightson. The magazine continues to showcase amazing new talent as well as allow established creators to have “carte blanche”. Heavy Metal Magazine is now published 12 times per year. Most issues feature one or two serialized graphic novels, several short stories, and two artist galleries. Recent featured creators include Grant Morrison, Stephen King, and Bart Sears. With new CEO Matt Medney at the helm, Heavy Metal promises to boldly go where no magazine has gone before. Explore ancient secrets, forgotten worlds and savage futures…experience Heavy Metal.