ALMOST AMERICAN #1 / $4.99 / 32 pages / Color / 09.01.21

Writer: Ron Marz

Artist: Marco Castiello

Colorist: Flavio Dispenza

Letterer: Rus Wooton

Cover: Rus Wooton

Incentive Cover: Juan Doe

 

Spies…like us? In 2008, husband-and-wife Russian intelligence operatives walked into the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic in order to defect, making a deal to trade secrets for new lives. But instead of the American Dream, Janosh and Victorya Neumann found themselves caught up in red tape, bureaucracy and turf wars between the FBI and CIA — all while their past tries to kill them.

 

Based on the real-life story of real-life spies, ALMOST AMERICAN is written by comics master Ron Marz in close consultation with the Neumanns, with art by rising star Marco Castiello.

 

RON MARZ ON WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT AND WHY HE IS EXCITED FOR IT TO COME OUT:

 

“ALMOST AMERICAN is the real-life story of husband and wife Jan and Victorya Neumann, Russian intelligence operatives who had to flee Russia for their lives, and wound up in America, caught up in the bureaucracy and red tape of the U.S. government. The story is that much more fascinating because it’s all true. These are real events that happened to real people, and it gives some pretty fascinating insight into the intelligence world works … and doesn’t work. My first professional writing work was as a journalist at a daily newspaper, so in some ways this project was a combination of what I learned as a journalist and what I’ve learned writing comics. It’s filled with details and stories I learned from talking to Jan extensively, the kind of stuff you almost literally could not make up.” 

 

RON MARZ ON (3) REASONS WHY COMIC READERS SHOULD PICK UP THIS BOOK:

 

“First, it’s a compelling true story. You can tell any kind of story in comics, but we generally tell a lot more fictional stories than true stories. There’s more reportage here than in anything I’ve written. Second, the art by Marco Castiello is fabulous. This is not an easy assignment, drawing real people, real events, and real locations, but he’s doing a wonderful job. And third, this is the beginning of … well,. a beautiful friendship! You don’t expect to have a Russian former intelligence operative as a friend, but life is strange. We’ve started work on a few other projects together, so I think you’ll be hearing a lot more from us as a team.” 

 

RON MARZ ON IF HE RECALLS THE FIRST COMIC HE READ AND IF HE HAS A FAVORITE SINGLE ISSUE OR SERIES OF ALL TIME:

 

“I honestly don’t know the first comic I read, but I know it was a Marvel comic from the Silver Age. My older brother had a box of old comics in the basement that I discovered as a small child, and I can remember looking through them endless, classic issues of Amazing Spider-Man. Avengers, Fantastic Four. I was probably too young to even read when I first looked at them. But that was my first exposure to comics,. The list of my favorite issues or series would be endless, and probably changes daily, but for today, my favorite series is probably Walt Simonson’s Thor. Single issue, the X-Men/Teen Titans crossover, which is what got me reading comics again after having been away from them for a while.” 

 

JAN NEUMANN ON WHAT INSPIRED HIM TO CREATE THE STORY:

 

“It’s hard to call it inspiration, I guess it was more of just a desire to share our personal experiences. And to remind readers that there is always hope even if you end up in some really terrible, complicated situations. All you can do is never give up and keep pushing forward.”

 

JAN NEUMANN ON HOW THE BOOK PLAYS INTO TODAY’S POLITICAL CLIMATE:

 

“It’s sad, but we’re heading full throttle to The Cold War 2.0. I don’t see anything that can stop this clash between East and West. And that clash is playing out in the shadows, spy vs. spy. ALMOST AMERICAN is about those shadow wars and how this game shows no mercy for its players. Once you started to play this game, you can’t quit, and it’s only matter of time before you become yet another casualty. 

 

JAN NEUMANN ON THE SINGLE SCARIEST MOMENT IN HIS LIFE AS AN ACTUAL SPY:

 

“It’s hard to evaluate moments by how scary they were. But the major turning point moment for us occurred when we made the decision to go to the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic. This moment split our life into two parts: before and after. It was the most psychologically and emotionally complicated, complex, and stressful day we’ve ever experienced. It’s impossible to describe how we felt, and we’ll be reckoning with our decision for the rest of our lives.”

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ALMOST AMERICAN #1 / $4.99 / 32 pages / Color / 09.01.21 Writer: Ron Marz Artist: Marco Castiello Colorist: Flavio Dispenza Letterer: Rus Wooton Cover: Rus Wooton Incentive Cover: Juan Doe   Spies...like us? In 2008, husband-and-wife Russian intelligence operatives walked into the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic in order...