Campaign from creators of the The Comic Book History of Comics Launches March 25
BROOKLYN , NY — If you’ve begun hearing the cries of “PLATO SMASH!” ring out once again across the land, it’s because the bestselling, multi-awarding team of writer Fred Van Lente and artist Ryan Dunlavey have announced the long-anticipated return of the title that started their non-fiction comics empire, Action Philosophers!, with the first of three Kickstarter campaigns
Van Lente and Dunlavey’s inimitable, not-yet-patented-but-maybe-they-should-have style of combining humor and facts, seen in later comics like The Comic Book History of Comics, Action Presidents (Excellence in Graphic Literature 2019 Best Middle Grade nominee), and last year’s successful Kickstarter of The Comic book History of Animation, were first explored in Action Philosophers, explicating the lives and thoughts of history’s A-list braintrust in a hip and humorous comic book fashion.
Action Philosophers! won a Xeric Grant in 2004 and debuted in single-issue comic book form the following year. The original series ran nine issues, was nominated for an Ignatz award, named an American Library Association YALSA award-winner, and has lived on in various trade paperback collections ever since, including a gorgeous hardcover “über” edition from Dark Horse in 2014.
But the one thing Action Philosophers! has never been in its long history is in color, and the Kickstarter campaign seeks to change all of that. Van Lente and Dunlavey’s Evil Twin Comics has hired Adam Guzowski, their collaborator on the Comic Book Histories of Comics and Animation, to bring all 320-plus pages of the series to beautiful, multichromatic life.
The current campaign is for Volume One: Hooked on Classes, the first of three 128-page color trade paperbacks. This inaugural outing features all the thinkers from the Ancient and Medieval sections of previous editions including such luminaries as Plato, Bodhidharma, Aristotle, Lao Tzu, St. Thomas Aquinas, Confucius, St. Augustine, and many more.
In addition to new back matter, Hooked on Classics will also include a brand-new story about Hypatia, the most famous female mathematician, scientist and philosopher of the ancient world.
“One of the great things about bringing Action Philosophers back is that we’re able to include all the weird odds and ends Ryan and I have collected over the years,” Van Lente said. “That ‘Hypatia’ story I had written for a proposed Action Scientists series with another publisher that never materialized. Ryan found the script and decided to finish it, and we’re including it in this volume. It’s cool to get everything we’ve ever done for the series over the years into these really smart-looking collections.”
“We’re pretty optimistic we’ll do well with the Kickstarter,” said series artist and beard enthusiast Ryan Dunlavey, “and assuming we’re right in that, we’ll follow up with comics retailers about options for getting the book in your local shop.”
Kickstarter backers will be offered an exclusive hardcover of the completed series, the complete scripts with Van Lente’s photo reference and notations, original Ryan Dunlavey art from the series, and other related swag.