Award-Winning Cartoonist Nie Jun & Graphic Universes Four Volume Series Debuts with “The Hunt IS On” this March!
Cartoonist Nie Jun’s stunning graphic novel debut, My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder, captivated And charm to critics and readers of like what is depiction of life in a small neighborhood in Beijing.
The book was nominated for an Eisner Award, selected as a Batchelder HonorBook, and received a glowing write up in the New York Times Book Review. This spring, Nie Jun will release his eagerly anticipated follow up: an ambitious, four-volume graphic novel series titled SEEKERS OF THE AWETO, which takes readers on a poetic adventure across medieval China.
I was sent an uncorrected proof of the debut title THE HUNT IS ON that will be published by Graphic Universe, an imprint of Learner Publishing Group on March 2, 2021.
Book 1: SEEKERS OF AWETO -The Hunt Is On
In this wonderfully illustrated adventure reminiscent of the epic tale of The Monkey King & Journey to the West, Roguish bands of “seekers” chase the plant-like key to immortality. Acclaimed artist and storyteller Nie Jun presents and environmental fantasy rich with mystery betrayal and an adorable baby deity!
This first of four in the series features the author’s biography and a fantastical take on a unique historical setting. If you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli’s intricate layered world-building then you’ll feel quite comfortable in Nie Jun’s epic story!
The artwork is an incredibly beautiful pallet of rich watercolors reminiscent of ancient lianhuanhua (Chinese sequential art) style paintings that Nie Jun studied as a child.
Jun uses timely environmental themes that balance the wonder, humor and suspenseful story elements well. And like the best science fiction / fantasy stories, it provides a mirror to the present day and proposes a way forward through the struggles of our scruffy, yet endearing protagonists, Xinyue his brother Qiliu and their mom.
They are a family of “Seekers”, hardscrabble poachers hunting aweto – a rare, plant-like treasure along the Silk Road. A single aweto has the power to cure the ill. It’s rarest form may even grant eternal life. To seize their bounty, the seekers must rob the massive, majestic earth deities from which aweto sprout- sometimes leaving a trail of chaos behind.
When Xinyue discovers the child of a deity that creates aweto, he reluctantly becomes the offsprings caretaker, he makes the decision to keep it safe and hidden, but warriors from the creatures village are chasing him and more fearsome bandits lie in wait!
Translated from the original Chinese, THE HUNT IS ON was a visual treat. The landscapes, intricately detailed maps, and magnificent imaginative creatures that populate this world made me crave more of this uniquely Chinese historical setting.
It’s chock full of the wonder, humor and magic I haven’t experienced since I picked up my first issue of Shonen Jump Dragon Ball Manga as a child.
THE HUNT IS ON, the first book in the SEEKERS OF THE AWETO series, will be available in book stores on March 2nd abd in comic shops on March 3rd.
you can use the Amazon link provided below to pre order! You’re welcome!
For more information, follow Learner Books online:
About the Cartoonist:
Nie Jun began drawing at an early age by copying lianhuanhua (Chinese sequential art). He later discovered the cartooning legends of Japan, Europe and elsewhere. He lives in Beijing and teaches drawing to university students.
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Art credit-Lerner Books