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Author V.E. Schwab Uses Graphic Novel Format To Explore Character Backstory

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BY July 28, 2020
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Fantasy author V.E. Schwab held at Comic-Con at home panel with Titan Comics on Sunday. Throughout the panel the author discussed her journey into graphic novel format with her current Steel Prince saga. This series delves into the backstory of a notable character from her Shades of Magic trilogy – Maxim. Schwab also revealed a new graphic novel set in the world of her Vicious and Vengeful books. Let’s take a look at what we learned about Schwab’s process from the Comic-Con at home panel. And what she has in store for readers coming up.

Volume 3 of The Steel Prince Saga Is Out Now

V.E. Schwab The Steel Prince Graphic Novel Image via Titan Comics

In 2018, Schwab published the first volume of her Steel Prince saga. This graphic novel trilogy follows a young Prince Maxim – the King of the Shades of Magic trilogy. During the Comic-Con at home panel, Schwab discussed how Maxim becomes a ‘foil’ in Shades of Magic. He acts often as an antagonist for his son Rhy, and his adopted son Kell – who are two of the major protagonists in the books.

“I really wanted to give a chance to take a more codified character and examine the making of a person.” Schwab says of the graphic novel series. She describes how Maxim was the perfect character with a rich backstory to explore in graphic novel format.

The Steel Prince saga was inspired by a single line that Schwab wrote in the the third book of her popular fantasy trilogy – A Conjuring of Light. In that book she describes how King Maxim became a legend due to three feats that he accomplished in his youth. He captured the Pirate Queen; survived the Night of Knives, and he ripped the heart from the Rebel Army. These feats earned him the moniker of ‘The Steel Prince.’ Each of these events became the basis for the dramatic action in the graphic novels. Each graphic novel draws their title from each of these events, as Schwab explores what youthful exploits made Maxim who he is.

Schwab Reveals A New Graphic Novel: Extraordinary

Schwab Extraordinary Graphic Novel Image via Titan Comics

Alongside her popular Shades of Magic trilogy, Schwab has also published several other books of a very different vein. Her novels Vicious and Vengeful are about supervillains who discover that near-death experiences can cause people to gain superpowers. During the Comic-Con at home panel, Schwab revealed that she has releasing a new graphic novel series set in that world. It takes place in the five years between Vicious and Vengeful. The first book of this graphic novel series will be called Extraordinary.

“It’s about people who discovered that the result from near-death experiences are superpowers and they set out to manufacture their own supernatural abilities controlling their suicides and resurrections.” Schwab said while describing Vicious and Vengeful.

“It is like an ultimate antihero/very proud villain tale. And the people in this world superpowers out of these near-death experiences are called Extraordinaries or EOs. And so I have a brand new comic book series coming soon that focuses on a group of young EOs”.

What Else Is V.E. Schwab Working On?

V.E. Schwab Image via Tor Books

The author also mentioned what direction the Shades of Magic universe will go in the future. Schwab says that she recently sold the next six books in that world to Tor. The next series will be called the Threads of Power arc. It takes place seven years after the end of the Shades of Magic trilogy. And it will hopefully include the characters from that series like Kell, Lila, Rhy, and Alucard.

One thing that did not warrant a mention during the Comic-Con at home panel is Schwab’s upcoming standalone novel. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is due out in October. I have already read an ARC of this title and it is wonderful. Keep an eye out for a review coming soon.

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BooksCOMICSAuthorsBook NewsExtraordinaryFantasyFemale AuthorsGenre FictionGraphic NovelsShades of MagicThe Steel Prince SagaTitan ComicsV.E. SchwabVengefulVicious

Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.

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