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WVSU Professor's Graphic Novel Combines Horror, Environmental Themes

Reported: May. 21, 2014 11:34 AM EDT
Updated: May. 21, 2014 11:43 AM EDT
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INSTITUTE, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) – A West Virginia State University professor’s latest graphic novel is a supernatural horror story intertwined with environmental issues.

Set in the southern West Virginia coalfields, “Carbon,” was written by Danny Boyd, an assistant professor of communications. It tells the story of what happens when an evil coal operator unwittingly awakens and releases a cursed and banished underground civilization onto the surface and the only thing that stands in the way of the end of the world is a disgraced, ex-pro baseball pitcher and a community of courageous coal miners, according to a news release.

“I have been thinking about this for story for nearly 10 years,” said Boyd, who during that time has transitioned from a successful movie-making career into creating award-winning graphic novels. “The primary goal is to entertain, but the story also reflects many real and complicated issues that face the coal industry today.”

Boyd dedicated “Carbon” to “those that toil in darkness - coal miners” and said that whatever side of the debate over the industry you fall on, miners are the often unseen heroes.

Boyd wrote the story for “Carbon” and Brazilian artist Edi Guedes did the artwork. Guedes worked with Boyd on “Chillers,” and also has illustrated such comics as “The Daughters of Merlin” and “Agencies Frontiers.”

“Carbon” features an introduction by well-known filmmaker John Sayles, who describes the graphic novel as “an ambitious addition to the long tradition, religious and secular, of that basic cautionary tale – be careful what you dig up.”

The graphic novel will be available first in limited release locally at personal appearances Boyd will be making in West Virginia before being released nationally.

“Carbon” is published by Caliber Comics, a leading American comic book publisher that has published more than 1,300 comics.

-- Photo Courtesy Of West Virginia State University



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