Robot 6

Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly play opening chords of Anthem

You can’t keep a good project down. And as it turns out, you can’t keep secret a project two creators really want to do — even if they haven’t found a publisher for it yet.

After hinting at it for more than a year, Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly debuted a piece of promotional art for a comic series titled Anthem. The image (you can see it in full below) is being used for a limited-edition T-shirt print; only 50 shirts will be printed, and I’d estimate since it was announced Tuesday they’ve already sold a good number. Maybe our Robot 6 readership can clear them out.

According to a September 2011 interview, Anthem is Wood’s “music comic,” structured similarly to his Viking series Northlanders but focused on, of course, music. “[Anthem] deals with several decades of guitar-based music and the eras in which they existed,” Wood said at the time.

In that interview, Wood described the book as his “white whale,” saying he’s had a problem convincing publishers that a comic about music and musicians would sell.

“At the risk of sounding dramatic, can we all agree that comics can do ANYTHING?” he said. “Isn’t that one of the great things about comics? I want to go to their office and slam a copy of Love And Rockets down on their desk. Anyway, I am not Los Bros Hernandez so it has been a tough book to place at publisher. But I’m determined, and when I do you will know this is a publisher who agrees that the medium of comics can handle anything.”

With the release of this promotional art, it might mean that a publisher has been found. Or maybe they’re anxious.

Wood and Kelly have collaborated on numerous projects, from Local to New York Four (and Five), with Kelly even illustrating arcs on both DMZ and Northlanders. Kelly, who’s now drawing Vertigo’s Saucer Country, is launching a new Image Comics project with Kieron Gillen called Three. Wood, meanwhile, is splitting his time between work-for-hire work at Marvel, a creator-owned series Mara at Image, and three projects at Dark Horse: The Massive, Conan the Barbarian and the upcoming Star Wars.

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Given how busy Wood and Kelly are, I have no idea when they’ll have time to work on Anthem, but I’ll buy it whenever it happens. Maybe once Conan wraps…?

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