Stan Lee has been an innovative and driving force in the comic book world for many years and he is not slowing down. From the mind of Stan Lee comes a great new illustrated novel, The Zodiac Legacy: Convergence, the first in a trilogy co-written by Stuart Moore with amazing illustrations from Andie Tong.
This first book of The Zodiac Legacy, Convergence, focuses on the introduction of characters and the ideas behind the world that our heroes and villains reside in. The story begins with Steven Lee, an Asian-American who travels to Hong Kong because his parents want him to have some experience with Asian culture and his own roots. Being the curious teenager that he is, Steven becomes involved in the mystical world of the Chinese Zodiac. If you are looking for a cool story of superpowers in the real world, you have to check this book out. No capes, and a little more a military slant to the heroes and villains, Convergence covers a lot of ground and does a solid job of establishing this world and showing us the powers of each symbol of the Zodiac in action. The artwork of Andie Tong adds volumes to this story.
Check out this awesome trailer for The Zodiac Legacy: Convergence.
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I had an opportunity to be part of a group interview with Stuart Moore, Andie Tong, and Nachie Marsham, the editor for this book. I asked the hard hitting questions and wanted to bring you some of the best parts of this interview. I am including some of the best stuff from that interview, since you probably don’t want to read all 31 pages of it. I mean, you must have a life, right? Read on for some insight into this story and the opportunity to win a copy of this book and a character sketch from Andie Tong.
Stuart Moore: But one challenge of this book is because it is based on the Chinese Zodiac itself, there are a lot of characters. There were a lot of personalities we had to figure out. There were a lot of alliances we had to make sure worked between the villains and the heroes. And a lot of that will shift in future volumes, too. Things will not stay the same. We wanted to keep everything very firmly focused on Steven as the protagonist. But it’s also a very large canvas with a lot of room for different stories. And that’s pretty exciting to me.
Andie Tong: The main character was decided and the powers that he would have, and a couple of the others [unintelligible] to them. But the others, I had the leeway to choose ethnicity and sex of the characters and which powers go to which one, although the powers were already divided into villains and heroes. But essentially, I got to create the characters from the ground up and to bring forth the look and feel of each character, with the guidance of Nachie, of course, and Disney. I found working on the project was challenging because I came from a sequential background. And telling stories in panel is easy, but to tell a story in one image or rather just one image with everything in the background was something I was looking forward to.
Aaron Clutter: So, I really–I love the book. It’s really an awesome story. You know a lot of what we do at Comic Booked is comics and movies. And this is just kind of a perfect melding of all of those different media into one big thing. I know this is a trilogy. It seems like so much happens in this, in the 450 pages of this one book. Are there plans to take this beyond just a book? Are there plans to make it a comic or movie or anything like that in the future, depending on how well this does? I mean you know it’s a Disney project. So, I’m sure that’s all out there.
Nachie Marsham: Speaking from the Disney side, I can answer this a little bit. I mean it was kind of hardened when it was brought to us. Once we were talking to them about it, they were very excited about the idea of, yeah, let’s do this as a series of illustrated novels. Let’s do this as a book. And I think that everything we did in terms of the words and pictures and everything will lead into making it a really rich narrative and prose story. But that being said, I think that the world is huge and fantastic. And I think that it could play well against any number of specific media. You know most of the Disney Company is kind of large. So, there are a lot of people to talk to about a lot of different things. And so there’s nothing where I can be like, yes, someone else has agreed to make this a movie in 2018 or anything like that. But, you know, this in particular being the kind of story it is and us being the Walt Disney Publishing Company, we actively look for things that have the potential, when we’re bringing something new to the table like this, to be able to be more than a book. I think it’s a really exciting and new twist on a lot of classic storytelling and action adventure in the superhero trope. So, I’m hoping that we get to expand beyond just the page. But, at the same time, everyone’s already hard at work diving further into the world for the next couple.
Mr. Stuart Moore: But, that’s my main focus. That said, it’s likely, I would say, that this will expand into at least one other medium. And it’s likely that I’ll be involved in it. But it’s too early to announce that at this point.
Aaron: I know you talked about Stan Lee as really you guys’ inspiration for your work. And I know that’s one of the things I can say, is one of the reasons I got into writing was because I loved comics. And I loved comics because of the things that Stan Lee and his–you know, the group of people at that time back in the ’60s did. What do you want out of this book series? What kind of impact do you want to see it have on comics and this generation?
Mr. Stuart Moore: Wow. That’s an ambitious question. I mean first of all, obviously, we hope people enjoy the book. We hope kids relate to it on some level, see a bit of themselves in it. In terms of influencing a whole generation, I don’t know if we could even hope to have the same kind of effect that Stan and Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko did back in the ’60s. That was a real revolution in the culture. So, I’m trying not to think that big right now.
Mr. Andie Tong: My hope is that it will eventually become its own universe. And then maybe there might be an amalgamation of Marvel Universe and Zodiac. That would be so cool.
Mr. Stuart Moore: I will say too, as Andie said earlier, one of the things we tried to do with this series is keep it somewhat grounded, not get too deep into the world of super villains and superheroes. Nachie and I had a discussion about that when we were planning Book 2, whether we should introduce any costumed characters or other villains into the book besides the main ones. And we kind of decided to keep it to the Zodiac powers and build it slowly from there because we do want it to be relatable. We don’t want to jump in too deep with some superhero trope.
I want to send out a huge thank you to all the folks at Disney and Big Honcho Media, who sent us the information about this project.
So, now, what you have all been waiting for. How can you win?!?!? What can you win?!?! Here are the…
One (1) winner receives:
- a copy of The Zodiac Legacy: Convergence ,
- plus an original character sketch by Andie Tong
Prizing & samples courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc.
Giveaway open to US addresses only
So, here’s what you need to do. Add me on Twitter. Then send out a tweet with the following info: Include @AceofBair (that’s me), #ZodiacLegacy, what Chinese Zodiac animal are you (you can find out here), and the phrase “I want to win!”. Any other nice words about my article or the book or a sharing of this article might be cool, too, but not required. I will be collecting all the names of everyone who tweeted and drawing one name for a winner. Remember, only US addresses. Enter before February 16, 2015, to be considered for the drawing.
That’s it. An awesome story with more to come, a great interview, and you can win some cool stuff. I hope you enjoyed this. Please comment below and let me know.