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NYCC | McCool, Guevara to adapt Russian film Alexander Nevsky for IDW

Ben McCool (Pigs, Memoir) and Mario Guevara (Solomon Kane, Victorian Undead) will adapt Sergei Eisenstein’s 1938 film Alexander Nevsky into comics form. Titled Nevsky, IDW will publish the 110-page graphic novel in Spring 2012.

Set in the 13th century, the film and graphic novel tell the story of Alexander Nevsky, a 13th century Russian leader who led his soldiers to victory over the invading Teutonic Knights.

“Nevsky was as much a leader as he was a warrior,” McCool said in a press release. “His story isn’t just a page of little known history; it’s an inspiring tale full of strategy and battles and the fight for freedom.”

“Nevsky has a compelling story by Ben McCool and breathtaking art by Mario Guevara,” said IDW Senior Editor, Special Projects Scott Dunbier. “But the big picture here is Nevsky himself, a larger than life figure from Russian history who literally reaches out from the page and pulls you headfirst into the story–if you liked 300, you’ll love this!”

You can find the complete press release after the jump. You can find more information on the project at its official website.

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IDW, Mosfilm and Russ Intellectual Properties announce NEVSKY THE GRAPHIC NOVEL

A timeless story of the battle for freedom through patriotism is retold in a vibrant new form this Spring with Nevsky, an original graphic novel adaptation of Sergei Eisenstein’s classic film “Alexander Nevsky” (1938). Written by Ben McCool (Memoir, Pigs) with art by rising star Mario Guevara (Solomon Kane, Victorian Undead) and edited by Scott Dunbier, this full-length graphic novel is a stunning re-imagination of Eisenstein’s famed film.

Alexander Nevsky – decidedly the most popular figure in Russian history – is a much-loved historical leader who helped establish the Russian nation by defeating the Teutonic Knights. These invaders were the last vestiges of the Holy Roman Empire and drove out from Germany bringing oppression and religious intolerance with them. In 1242, Nevsky with an army of soldiers and citizens defeated the Teutonic Knights in a spectacular battle on the frozen Lake Peipus, an achievement celebrated in Russia to this day.

Eisenstein was a revolutionary figure who is to Russian film what Chekhov and Tolstoy are to its literature. In 1938, Eisenstein, was already celebrated for his groundbreaking films “Battleship Potemkin” (1925) and “October” (1928), brought the story of Nevsky’s battles to life in a stirring epic that featured a score by Sergei Prokofiev. The spectacular closing scene of the Battle on the Ice has been studied by filmmakers from David Lean to Steven Spielberg to Walt Disney Animation. Although caught up in the politics of the time – Eisenstein was frequently out of favor with Joseph Stalin – the film became a worldwide classic.

Now, working together with Mosfilm, Trident Media Group and IDW Publishing have partnered to create the first-ever graphic novel adaptation of this classic Eisentein epic film, bringing it to a new generation of readers and film-goers through its wholly-owned subsidiary Russ Intellectual Properties. Russ is devoted to promoting Russian cultural properties across all media. To that end, they have assembled an international team of creators for this graphic novel, including English-born Ben McCool and Mexican artist Mario Guevara.

“Nevsky was as much a leader as he was a warrior,” says McCool. “His story isn’t just a page of little known history; it’s an inspiring tale full of strategy and battles and the fight for freedom.”

“Nevsky has a compelling story by Ben McCool and breathtaking art by Mario Guevara,” says IDW Senior Editor, Special Projects Scott Dunbier. “But the big picture here is Nevsky himself, a larger than life figure from Russian history who literally reaches out from the page and pulls you headfirst into the story-if you liked 300 you’ll love this!”

“Trident has had a long involvement with Russia, its culture and its people,” said Trident Media Group Chairman Robert Gottlieb. “We are excited to be able to spotlight a great filmmaker like Eisenstein and a thrilling page from history by reimagining the story in a new medium.”

“Russia has a rich history in all the arts,” says Mosfilm Cinema Concern Deputy Director Svetlana Pyleva. “We are very impressed by Robert’s knowledge and passion for Russian history, and Ben’s efforts to bring a great Russian hero to an international audience. Nevsky is a great hero to Russians, and this story does full justice to his story.”

This classic story is now told for a new generation in a graphic novel, which brings the heroes and villains of 13th century Russia into the 21st century with an exciting story of battles, heroes, and fierce warrior women: Nevsky, already battle weary from a campaign against the Mongols, who must defend his nation against a new and savage invader; Olga, a fierce shield maiden who cannot be stopped from joining the fray; Vasili and Gavrilo, two soldiers who must overcome their own personal demons to continue the fight; and Hermann Von Bolk, the brutal Grand Knight who leads the Teutonic Knights on a path of destruction.

The making of the novel will be discussed at the New York Comic Con panel “The Comics History of the World” featuring Ben McCool on Friday, October 12th at 1:30 PM.

Nevsky is a 110 page full color graphic novel to be published by IDW in Spring 2012.

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