ICv2 recently caught up with Mark Siegel, Editorial Director for First Second. In Part 2, Siegel covers First Second plans for fall 2008, spring 2009 and the Prince of Persia graphic novel under development.  In Part 1, Siegel talks about their 2007 successes, spring '08 releases, and plans with Paul Pope. 


What else have you got coming for fall?

For fall, it's the heavy artillery.  There's the new Eddie Campbell, new Trondheim, Burbon Island 1730.  Of course with Trondheim, he's never where you expect him next, so this is the historical epic in the days of the colonies and the last days of the great pirates and slavery and all these issues, but with animal characters--really brilliant stuff.


Then we have Gus, which is Christophe Blain. He's an astonishing artist and a unique story-teller, and here he's taking on the western.  I think, so far of all our books, this is the one with the most sex and romance and is also really hilarious. I'm really excited to be putting that one out.


We've got Alan's War.  That's the biography that Emmanuel Guibert did of an American G.I. called Alan Cope, and it's amazing.  It's 330 pages.  It covers his drafting before World War II, and then going to boot camp, and then going to Europe.  That's going to be a big book for us.


And Lost Colony Vol. 3. Lost Colony has had a very mixed reception, because some people really are die-hard fans.  We have some interest from some people who are really passionate about it, interest in a videogame and in other media, things are happening there, but there have been have also been big shoot-down, brutal reviews.  This third volume is called Last Rights.  In many ways this is the confirmation of the gamble on Grady Klein as a great author and artist.  This book focuses on this young girl, Birdie, and this former slave, Louis, and their friendship being strained. I find it very poignant and emotionally powerful.  He's finding a clarity in his storytelling and in his artwork that puts him in an important place in the development of the form itself.  My hope for that series is that it does what Lone Wolf and Cub did, where the third volume is an entry point for a larger audience.  That would be nice if that would happen for him.


Then we've got the Prince of Persia.  The big Macmillan machine is getting into this one.  We have another Sardine coming out, too.


Then we hove Slow Storm, which is by Danica Novgorodoff, and she's both our designer here and the winner of the Isotope Award in 2006, for Late Freeze, her mini-comic.  This is a magical realism/human drama.  I think of it a little bit as early Sam Shepard plays.  It's set in rural Kentucky.  It's quite extraordinary.  The artwork and the storytelling is very  unique.  It'll speak for itself.


That's our fall list; eight titles.


Is the Prince of Persia movie still looking like '09?

Yes, summer 2009 and the director is Mike Newell, who did Four Weddings and a Funeral, and one of the Harry Potter movies.  They seem to be assembling a hot team; all of the executive producers from the Pirates of the Caribbean.  We're not tied in directly with that, other than the creator of the game has worked with us and is also the screenwriter on the movie.  There's a new game from Ubisoft coming out in October.


That'll be a good run-up to the movie.

Yes.  There's going to be a lot of Prince of Persia stuff everywhere, and I have very high hopes from our writer and artists.  We worked very closely with Jordan Mechner, the creator, who ended up acting as a real editor and art director along side me.  And I'm just really proud of this.  This could have been First Second's first sell-out project, but it's not.  It speaks very well for First Second.  It's a script -- it's got heart, depth, humor.  It's got the thrill ride, and it's got something to say.  It's really quite something.  And of course, it's going to be in many more hands than have been so far.  I was worried that it would seem like we're selling our soul, but we're definitely not.


Anything further out you want to tell us about?

In Spring 2009, there's quite a few treats coming. Second Lives is the next Gene Yang.  It's three short stories by Gene Yang, but the art is by Derek Kirk Kim, in three different styles.  I won't say very much, but I think that book will make a major splash when it lands in the pond here.


We also have Genius, by Steven Seagle and Teddy Kristiansen, and that was the team that gave us It's a Bird, from Vertigo a while back.  Speaking of genius, they have a lot of it.


And The Photographer, from Emmanuel Guibert, who did Alan's War, but this is non-fiction.  It follows a photographer who passed away last year.  It follows a mission in Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders.  It's a comic by Guibert, and it's interspersed with contact sheets from this photographer.  You're following him across the border from Pakistan into Afghanistan, and it's just a major event.  I think it's the first time I've mentioned this one.


Beyond that you'll see a lot of things coming from Paul Pope to the playwright Adam Rapp to big projects.  And a lot more; some young things, some older things, but that's probably as far out as is worth going right now.



For Part 1, click here.