The Classic Rock Luminaries Bring Their Hugo-Award Nominated Album to Comics with Writer Ben Kahn and artist G. Romero-Johnson
October 21, 2021 (New York, NY)—
Z2 Comics & the Estate of Paul Kantner have announced the adaptation of Paul Kantner/Jefferson Starship’s seminal 1970 debut album, Blows Against the Empire, as a new graphic novel. Crafted by vocalist/guitarist Paul Kantner in the wake of Jefferson Airplane, Blows Against the Empire was nominated for a Hugo Award in Best Dramatic Presentation that same year. The concept album revolves around Peter and Serenity, a pair of young lovers on the run from the fascist law enforcement of Amerikon.
“It is a great pleasure to see Blows Against the Empire given such sumptuous and engaging visual expression. The narrative of the album lends itself to the form of the graphic novel beautifully,” says Alexander Kantner, son of Jefferson Starship and Jefferson Airplane co-founder Paul Kantner.
The graphic novel expands upon the universe contained within the album. Exhausted by a life spent barely escaping the clutches of authoritarians, Peter and Serenity reach their breaking point with the world when they discover that Serenity is pregnant. Wanting a better world for their daughter, the pair join with a radical hippie collective to steal an experimental starship that can shepherd them across the galaxy. To create the life their daughter deserves, they’ll challenge an authoritarian superpower, fight to stay true to their compassion and morals, and brave the mysteries of the cosmos.
The album Blows Against The Empire, released in November 1970 (RCA Victor), was a narrative concept album celebrating late-sixties counter-culture, depicting people celebrating mind expansion and free love. As the album was reflective of the period of cross-collaboration among musicians in the Bay Area at the time, it featured guest artists including Grace Slick & Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead members Jerry Garcia, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, as well as David Crosby, Graham Nash, and many more. The album reached number 20 on the Billboard 200 & was certified gold by the RIAA.
Writer Ben Kahn (Heavenly Blues, Renegade Rule) joins cover and interior artist G. Romero-Johnson (SFSX) to translate this tale of interstellar hijacking and rebellious love. The deluxe edition includes a limited-edition colored vinyl and prints from G. Romero-Johnson, Kat Crow, and Michael Vincent Bramley.
“Blows Against the Empire is such an iconic benchmark of protest rock and sci-fi escapism,” Z2 Publisher Josh Frankel explains. “Even more than a musical bench post, its themes have remained timeless and its story intoxicating. I’m excited to bring that narrative to life in a new graphic novel.”
Pre-orders for Blows Against the Empire are now available exclusively at Z2’s webstore with an expected book release in March 2022. The comic is written by Kahn and features art by Romero Johnson.
Pre-order your copy from Z2 Comics today: