There are certain comics that act as touchstones in a way that’s both obvious and invisible. Sure, the right people will tell you just how important they are any time you ask, but even if you’ve never heard about their influence, these are the comics that permeate pop culture in ways you’ve never imagined. They’re so influential that people sometimes manage to borrow from them without even knowing it.
The Incal, the landmark sci-fi epic from writer Alejandro Jodorowsky and artist Moebius, is one of those comics. For many creators in comics and beyond, it remains one of the single most important works in the entire medium, transcending panel borders to influence film and TV creators like George Lucas, Ridley Scott, and many more. It’s the story of John Difool, a low-level private investigator who happens to stumble across an amazing cosmic artifact unlike any other, the titular Incal. But it’s also about more than that. It’s about dystopian futures and operatic space voyages and gods and worship and how simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time can spark an adventure. It’s Jodorowsky and Moebius, two creators who have never shied away from big ideas, playing with the biggest ideas of their career.
To celebrate 40 years of The Incal, which published its first story in 1980, Humanoids is marking the occasion with a brand-new paperback collection of the entire Jodorowsky/Moebius run on the series, complete with an foreword by comics legend Brian Michael Bendis and a special new cover available to direct market retailers only. This edition, retailing for $29.99, will make it easier than ever for new readers to latch onto this monumental comic, and Humanoids publisher Mark Waid was eager to explain why you’ll want to pick it up.
“If you’ve never read The Incal, here’s a word of caution. This book is unlike anything you’ve ever read before and you’ll very likely never experience anything like it again,” Waid told SYFY WIRE. “It’s mind-blowing, jaw-dropping, absolutely insane storytelling by two masters of the medium that will challenge your preconception of what comics can do. With The Incal, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius created one of the essential graphic novels. It’s as fresh, weird and transgressive today as it was 40 years ago when it was first published.”
In the gallery above, SYFY WIRE is pleased to present a preview of the paperback edition, complete with Bendis’ foreword laying out even more reasons for you to dig into this classic work, along with a look at the new direct market cover as well as the classic yellow image of Difool.
The Incal 40th anniversary paperback is out September 8. You can pre-order it right now, or talk to your local comics retailers for information on getting a copy. Plus, if you’re looking for still more introduction to the series, you can check out a preview of Waid’s own Free Comic Book Day Incal story, in collaboration with artist Stéphane Roux, by clicking here. That story arrives September 9.