Artist and writer Matt Emmons, redefines what it means to be “righteous” in Mad Cave’s upcoming fantasy adventure!

JUNE 1, 2023, (PITTSBURGH, PA) — Writer and artist Matt Emmons (Gardener) and Ukrainian letterer, Andriy Lukin (Lower Your Sights), have teamed up for the new beautifully illustrated action/fantasy series, Crusader, exclusively from Mad Cave Studios!

A Templar Knight finds himself transported to a dangerous realm known as the Beastlands. With sinister entities known as The Masters hunting him down, all he has is his sword and a weird, goblin-like creature named Grimbel to guide him through this strange new world.

“I’ve been trying to capture the feeling of a pulpy, fun adventure story that embodies everything I’ve loved about the genre, and I hope it translates,” said Matt Emmons. “I’ve also been wanting to draw Pilgrim in action for years, so it’s very exciting to finally bring him to the page. Crusader has been a fun challenge!”

In addition to being a fun and pulpy action-adventure fantasy series, Matt Emmons notes a personal connection to the series: “I was raised Catholic, though never really engaged with it or practiced beyond when I was required to. I’ve struggled trying to reconcile how contradictory some of the most extreme versions of faith can be. It’s a common feeling I’ve found with others that feel like we have to unlearn that we don’t have to follow a certain belief system in order to be “good” and that sometimes we really do need to question systems in place rather than be party to them. The Crusader at the center of the story, struggles with a much more exaggerated version of that, trying to survive during a crisis of faith and return for the better.”

“Crusader is an adventurous and fun title that won’t leave fantasy fans disappointed,” said Andriy Lukin. “It’s a story of reevaluating your goals and principles, filled with awesome art, memorable characters and great action scenes! I’m very excited to help Matt Emmons with his artistic vision and I hope our readers will appreciate the work we put into this series!”

Andriy Lukin was a winner in Mad Cave Studios’ Talent Search in 2022, and also specializes in creating logotypes, book design and cover art for comic books, music albums, and tabletop games. Matt Emmons’ Gardner debuted with over 1400 backers on Kickstarter in 2022. The creative team previously worked on the Dagger Dagger Anthology.

Crusader #1 is expected in shops Sept. 6, and is now available for preorder at Cover B by Michael Walsh (Thor, Blood Stained Teeth).

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