Z2 is the first publisher announced as participating in this year's Local Comic Shop Day event, an annual affair which sees participating retailers able to order specially limited items, will take place on Wednesday, the 25th of November. This year. Z2's offering will be a version of Alex de Campi's Kickstarted True War Stories graphic novel. The project pairs members of the US military with the biggest names in comics to share real war stories told by those who lived them.
"True War Stories is incredibly important to me personally, and I'm so proud of the absolutely top-tier work my collaborators have done in these stories" says Alex de Campi. "What makes it really perfect for Local. Comic Shop Day is that not only is it great for hardcore comics fans, but also such an easy book to hand-sell to casual browsers. True War Stories is perfect for the military veteran or "dad who loves nonfiction" or the friend who doesn't really read many comics. And a big, chunky self-contained 250-page reads that look really nice gift-wrapped for the holidays, just saying."
Co-editor and Iraq War veteran Khai Kumbaar states"To me, True War Stories is a book about making connections. There's the obvious connection between civilians who get an inside look at real military life and the connection between servicemembers who see themselves reflected in the stories, but there's also a connection to the medium of comics itself. I think TWS (and books like it) can be an invitation to those who maybe thought comics weren't for people like them. We saw a bunch of non-traditional comics readers back our Kickstarter. It'll be fun to see what happens when they wander into their friendly local comic shops looking for more."
Vietcong sappers attack a fuel point, only to be foiled by an unusual alert guard dog. An MP guards convoys of mystery bombs in the Thai jungle in 1968. A young Airman copes with post-9/11 paranoia in Okinawa. A Marine sniper in Haiti faces the repercussions of the shot he never took. A team of SEALs help rescue a kidnapped girl in the Philippines. Army interpreters in Iraq battle their toughest foe: the rats of Saddam's palace. A soldier on a late-night run surprises a motorpool saboteur. A young cavalry lieutenant, fresh off the Battle of Kamdesh, meets the Marine half-brother he's never known. A Navy ship reacts to an unexpected man overboard. And if you've ever wondered what Christmas was like in a war zone, you're about to find out.
Artists include Peter Krause, Ryan Howe, Skylar Patridge (drawing her own father's Vietnam story), Eoin Marron, Tish Doolin (a former Army medic), Dave Acosta, A. D'Amico, Drew Moss, Josh Hood, PJ Holden, Chris Peterson, Sam Hart, Jeff McComsey, and Paul Williams. Colours are by Dee Cunniffe, Matt Soffe, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Tarsis Cruz, and Aladdin Collar. All lettering is done by de Campi herself.
True War Stories is a 260-page full color graphic novel anthology containing fifteen true tales of American service members overseas. Nearly every branch of the military is represented in this collection of stories that are heartwarming, heroic, harrowing, and even at times, hilarious, spanning the globe.
All profits from this $19.99 retail release donated to military-related charities chosen by our contributors as personally meaningful to them: Objective Zero Foundation, Air Force Assistance Fund, the USO, Armed Services Arts Partnership, and Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
As for Z2, unlike other publishers, this book will not be available through Diamond, but will only be available through direct orders from Z2 and with a pretty compelling offer to help support retailers during the post-COVID holiday season. True War Stories is available direct from Z2 for LCSD on consignment at a 50% discount with 90 day terms, to help retailers with cash flow through the end of the year. Retailers will also be able to order Z2 backlist at the time of their LCSD orders at the same discount and on the same terms.
Z2 has built a warehouse in Denver as their fulfilment centre for the high volume of direct to consumer business we do, as that is actually currently where the bulk of their business lies. They have just been getting up to speed on the bookstore side with distributors Simon & Schuster, and up until now have been of little concern to the direct market.
But, in keeping with their experience in the music industry, they have been taking lessons from record labels. And their offering for LCSD is based largely in how record labels deal direct with indie record stores to great success. And this could be the basis for how Z2 does business with the direct market going forward, as well as aiming to bring music fans into comic book stores. The Gorillaz Almanac is just the start…