Red Pill Productions is planning to release a 160-page trade paperback volume, The Matrix Comics, in mid-October. This will ensure that it reaches store shelves at least a couple of weeks before the November 5th theatrical release of The Matrix Revolutions, the final movie of the trilogy. The trade paperback release will be followed a couple of months later by a limited hardcover edition of 5,000.
Spencer Lamm, founder of Red Pill Productions and editor of The Matrix Comics, said that the impetus for the book came from fan requests. 'This book is a direct result of countless e-mails,' Lamm said. 'The bottom line is that we're not doing it to make a lot of money. We're just doing it as a direct result of people saying, 'we'd like to hold this,' and 'we'd like to put this on our shelves.''
Diamond Comic Distributors will distribute The Matrix Comics to the comic trade (September Previews), and a deal with an undisclosed company for the book trade will be announced soon, said Lamm. 'It's a big deal,' he said, which leads us to believe that it may also include other Matrix books. Red Pill produced The Art of the Matrix, a $60 hardcover released by Newmarket Press in 2001 that has sold some 60,000 copies, according to Lamm.
The comic stories in the full color, glossy volume will be drawn from all three of the series published on the official Matrix Website, and will also include two stories not previously released:
'Artistic Freedom' by Ryder
'Hunters and Collectors,' by Gregory Ruth.
These stories will also be published on the Web at some future date.
The stories previously published on the Web, along with the series they came from, are:
Series 1 --
'Goliath', by Neil Gaiman
'Sweating the Small Stuff,' by Bill Sienkiewitz
'Bits and Pieces' by Wachoski/Darrow.
'A life Less Empty,' by Ted McKeever.
Series 2 --
'There Are No Flowers,' by David Lapham
'Butterfly,' by Dave Gibbons
'Burning Hope,' by John Van Fleet
'Get It,' by Peter Bagge
Series 3 --
'The Miller's Tale,' by Paul Chadwick
'A Sword of a Different Color,' by
The cover of The Matrix Comics will use an image that has not previously been released.
The Web comics have been produced on a steady schedule over the last few years, and according to Lamm, there will continue to be new comics on the Web for the foreseeable future. 'We've got six stories done waiting to be scheduled [for Web publication],' he said, with over 30 stories (the 27 published to date and the six in house) produced so far.
This led to the obvious question -- will there be more trade paperback collections? Although Lamm responded directly with a 'no comment,' the official title of the book is The Matrix Comics Volume One , and Lamm indicated his preference. 'We would very much personally like to see them all out,' he said. 'We're proud of all of the people that have been involved in it,' he said.
Lamm, a former Marvel editor, founded Red Pill to work on the Website for the first Matrix movie; and the company has continued to do Web production for the site since, as well as doing work for other clients.
An exact street date for the book is still being determined, but the approximate timing puts it out at around the same time as the noise around the DVD release of the second movie (see 'Matrix Reloaded Out on DVD in Octboer') and the pre-release hype for the third reach a fever pitch. The compressed solicitation schedule does mean that the print run for the book will be set before final comic store numbers are in.
A promo comic with a story listing for The Matrix Comics and a complete story, 'The Miller's Tale' by Paul Chadwick, was distributed on a limited basis at San Diego Comic-Con, and was also distributed on a one-each basis to Diamond retailers recently.