Several years ago I helped host a conference that included a conversation on graphic novels.  I got a call from an irate person questioning why we would allow a discussion on obscenity.  It took a little explaining to walk her off the ledge.  They are just really long comic books, I said.

David Carlson, a dear friend of mine, has just written his first graphic novel, The Hunting Accident, illustrated by a new friend, Landis Blair, and published by the best house in the industry, Mark Siegel’s First Second Books, which shares its story:

“On the adult end of our list, this is a true story. It’s an incredible story. It’s a big, fat, brick of a book. … It’s this guy who was blind, and his family always believed he had been blinded in a hunting accident. And then one day when his son was starting to have trouble with the law, he took him aside and said, ‘Look, you can’t go down this road, and I have to tell you why I’m really blind.’ And it turns out it was a botched robbery, and he was sent to a maximum-security prison after being blinded in this botched robbery, and he ends up being cellmates with Nathan Leopold, from Leopold and Loeb, the serial killers. … He’s kind of strangely a genius who speaks 12 languages, and Leopold teaches himself braille so that he can introduce his cellmate to Dante’s Inferno. This serial killer gave him a second chance at life and a love of literature and a deep understanding of Dante. It’s a prison story and a kind of redemption story, and it’s true.”

The early reviews are in: awards are on the way.  You can see some of the remarkable art at AV Club and a thoughtful review at GQ.

Amazon is sold out already, so get in line for your copy and say that you heard of The Hunting Accident when it was just a graphic novel…whatever they are.