This May, Oni Press' ongoing series QUEEN & COUNTRY will be changing its status again.
The espionage comic book written by Greg Rucka was initially established as a bimonthly project, where the artist would change every three to four issues as the story itself changed. QUEEN & COUNTRY #8 will mark the beginning of the third story arc, "Cystal Ball," and the debut of new artist Leandro Fernandez on interior art and covers.
"I first met Leandro in San Diego at the Comic Con International in 2001," Rucka says. "He had come up from Argentina to attend the show. James Lucas Jones and I spoke with him at Bob Chapman's aftershow party, and shortly after we returned home, Leandro sent us some samples. We knew right away that we wanted him for QUEEN & COUNTRY."
"Greg Rucka's comics had been some of my favorite to read," Fernandez says. "His books are always ones that when I am reading them, I can't help but imagine what they would be like to draw. His scripts are never conventional, and for that reason, they are always exciting."
"Leandro really came along at the perfect time," Rucka adds. "We knew that at some point, QUEEN & COUNTRY was going to have to address the changing face of international politics and intelligence. This is a book set very much in the real world, and the tragedies of September 11 had to have an effect on the way we told our stories. 'Crystal Ball' is the first arc where the repercussions of the current world situation are felt, and an especially skilled artist was needed to handle the material sensitively. Leandro is our man!"
QUEEN & COUNTRY #8 will also be the first issue to begin the new shipping schedule. The issues that comprise the "Crystal Ball" story arc will all ship on a monthly basis, the new norm for QUEEN & COUNTRY. Now, each arc will be released in monthly increments, with one month off between the closing of one story and the beginning of another.
"The #1 piece of feedback we got from fans and retailers alike was, 'We love the book, we wish it would come out more often,'" says Oni publisher Joe Nozemack. "We knew it was a request that wouldn't go away, so we took the first opportunity we could to make the change. While we're still not at quite 12 times a year, readers will at least get 10."