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The Big Kahuna Comic Book News, Hard Music, News

Award-winning independent publisher, Z2, is proud to collaborate with legendary rock & roll frontman Bruce Dickinson for an original comic series tied to his upcoming solo album The Mandrake Project, being released by BMG on March 1, 2024. BRUCE DICKINSON’S THE MANDRAKE PROJECT #1, arrives in comic shops and at Z2comics.com on January 17, 2024!

The 12-issue limited series is an epic saga of opposing forces battling to use the powers of science and magic to gain control of immortality. It’s a story developed by Bruce over the last decade, and The Mandrake Project is brought to life through his creative partnership with iconic team of creators – including script by Tony Lee (Doctor Who, Marvel, DC), art by Staz Johnson (Marvel, DC), lettering by Troy Peteri (Amazing Spider-Man, Witchblade), coloring by Gabo (DC, Image), covers by multiple Eisner-winner Bill Sienkiewicz (Moon Knight, New Mutants). Edited by Eisner and Harvey-winner Rantz A. Hoseley, Bruce Dickinson’s The Mandrake Project 12-issue comic series is a vital component of Bruce’s narrative and music experience. The excitement kicked off with the release of the single “Afterglow of Ragnarok” on December 1, which contained an eight-page comic prologue, followed by the release of the first issue of the comic to retail shops on January 17th.

Today, Z2 is making 666 editions of BRUCE DICKINSON’S THE MANDRAKE PROJECT SIGNED BUNDLES available to fans. This uniquely curated collection comes with one (1) The Mandrake Project Foil Collector’s Card, signed by BRUCE DICKINSON; One (1) Felt Trading Card Pouch; One (1) BRUCE DICKINSON’S THE MANDRAKE PROJECT, Issue No. 1; One (1) The Mandrake Project 1st Printing Certificate of Authenticity; One (1) Bill Sienkiewicz illustrated The Mandrake Project Art Print and will be sold as a set for $100 USD,

only at Z2comics.com.

The Mandrake Project events continue with a comic preview inserted in the special deluxe CD version of the album with promotional appearances for the comic series as well as extensive worldwide touring through 2025.

“Early in the process of writing my new album, the idea of a companion comic book began to take shape in my mind.” says Bruce Dickinson. “So I approached Z2 who were recommended to me by Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy, The Shield) and Sacha Gervasi (My Dinner with Hervé, Anvil). I then found out that my management were already working with on the POM Maiden graphic novel which I contributed the Revelations story to! I then pitched them with a fully formed concept and written storyline which they immediately understood and enthusiastically started fleshing out plans and ideas with me! I knew right then,” Dickinson continues, “that they would be the perfect creative team to help bring my own ideas to fruition…and here they are!”

Editor-in-Chief Rantz A. Hoseley puts the series in context: “Z2’s model has always rested firmly in the graphic novel space, but when we sat down with Bruce and discussed the story of The Mandrake Project, and the experience that he wanted the readers to have with it, we realized two very important things: First, that this was a story that we had to be a part of. It reminded us of reading the iconic titles from Vertigo. The second realization was that The Mandrake Project had to be released as a comic series and, as anyone in comics knows, releasing a series is a different animal.”

“Since Rantz and I come from the same comic shop trenches,” adds Z2 President, Josh Bernstein. “We made sure that our comic retailers feel supported and that they have great partners in Z2 and Bruce Dickinson. It’s our hope that the efforts of making the free pullbox preview available to stores, giving retailers the PDF of the first issue before they order, clearly conveying the release schedule and plans for the next two years, as well as making the first issue returnable, make it clear that we place immense value on comic shops in measuring the success of Bruce Dickinson’s The Mandrake Project.”

Bruce Dickinson’s new studio album, The Mandrake Project, will be released on March 1st, via BMG. Across ten inventive, expansive, and absorbing tracks, Bruce Dickinson and his long-term co-writer and producer

Roy Z, have created one of 2024’s defining rock albums. Sonically heavy and rich in musical textures, it sees Bruce bring to life a musical vision long-in-the-making and features some of the finest vocal performances of his career. The Mandrake Project is not just an album, but a dark, adult story of power, abuse, and a struggle for identity, set against the backdrop of scientific and occult genius.

The battle for immortality begins with Bruce Dickinson’s The Mandrake Project #1 available at comic retailers and direct from Z2Comics.com on January 17, 2024. The large-sized 9.35” x 9:35” 36-page single issue with cardstock cover is priced at $10 and arrives in a sealed bag with a first-printing certificate of authenticity – the first of a 12-issue run arriving quarterly over the course of the next three years, including annual trade paperbacks every fall. Release dates for 2024 and 2025 as follows:

The Mandrake Project #1 – January 17, 2024
The Mandrake Project #2 – March 20, 2024
The Mandrake Project #3 – June 26, 2024
The Mandrake Project #4 – September 25, 2024
The Mandrake Project Annual Trade paperback #1 – November 6, 2024
The Mandrake Project #5 – December 18, 2024
The Mandrake Project #6 – March 19, 2025
The Mandrake Project #7 – June 25, 2025
The Mandrake Project #8 – September 24, 2025
The Mandrake Project Annual Trade paperback #2 – November 5, 2025

Bruce Dickinson’s The Mandrake Project #1 (of 12)
Story by Bruce Dickinson
Script by Tony Lee
Art by Staz Johnson
Letters by Troy Peteri
Colors by Gabo
Covers by Bill Sienkiewicz
ON SALE – JANUARY 17, 2024 | $10 | 36 pgs. | 9.35” x 9:35” | FULL COLOR
FOC – DECEMBER 17, 2023
Diamond code: OCT238936 | Lunar code: 1123Z2876

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