LINE Webtoon, the popular digital comic service pioneering the distribution and consumption of comics worldwide, announced today the first three titles to debut as part of a brand new comic universe, New Brooklyn. Launching its first title, The Red Hook, in March 2016, New Brooklyn is the first comic universe to truly encapsulate the borough’s spirit with comics starring Brooklyn as their centerpieces and created by Brooklyn writers and artists. New Brooklyn is the creation of notable comic artist Dean Haspiel, along with his Brooklyn studio-mates Vito Delsante, Ricardo Venâncio, the late Seth Kushner, and Shamus Beyale.
The series follows the adventures of a unique group of heroes who emerge in the fallout from Brooklyn’s decision to secede from New York State. In these comics, Brooklyn is not just the setting, but also a character with a broken heart whose decisions greatly impact the destinies of its residents. Fed up with the way society has formed around her, Brooklyn quite literally pulls away from New York – its bridges breaking and tunnels flooding – and proposes that humanity return back to days of old where things and people were defined by their ethics, values and contributions; where skills and art could be bartered and traded; where land could be farmed to sustain life and spawn beauty.
Season one of New Brooklyn follows three different heroes struggling to make peace with themselves and reconcile their redefined home in the New Brooklyn Universe:
The Red Hook by Dean Haspiel
Brooklyn's master thief, Sam Brosia aka The Red Hook, can no longer lie, cheat, or steal when America's greatest champion bequeaths him the powers and moral burden of the Omni-Fist of Altruism– against his will!
The Brooklynite by Seth Kushner & Shamus Beyale
Brooklyn cartoonist, Jake Jeffries gets caught in the fallout of two super-humans battling and is accidentally irradiated with superpowers. Fraught with “Superman powers and Spider-Man problems,” Jake learns to fight crime in his secret identity as The Brooklynite, and chronicles his adventures in a comic book series while struggling to lead a dual existence.
The Purple Heart by Vito Delsante, Dean Haspiel, & Ricardo Venâncio
US Navy soldier, Isaiah “Zeke” Nelson has returned from war overseas. He is done fighting and all he wants is to go home to Brooklyn. But Brooklyn has other plans when her heart is broken and she secedes from America and selects Zeke to become New Brooklyn's cosmic guardian, The Purple Heart.
The creative team is a who’s who in comics. Haspiel is an Eisner nominee and Emmy award winning comic book artist best known for his work with Harvey Pekar on American Splendor. He is well known as an early innovator in the world of digital comics and is cofounder of webcomics collective ACT-I-VATE.
Seth Kushner is an award winning Brooklyn-born photographer and comic artist known for his works Schmuck and First-Person POP. Kushner passed away earlier this year following a long battle with cancer and The Brooklynite is to be his last published superhero work, created in partnership with artist Shamus Beyale. Together with their colleagues, Haspiel and Kushner banded together to create a new universe for Brooklyn’s heroes, by Brooklyn creators.
“As a native New Yorker, I’ve always loved the idea of creating a comic universe that captures the history and culture that is unique to Brooklyn,” says Dean Haspiel, the architect of New Brooklyn and the creator of The Red Hook and co-creator of The Purple Heart. “I’m very proud of the story we have been able to weave through our individual heroes and we are excited to launch New Brooklyn on LINE Webtoon.”
“Brooklyn is a major part of the current pop culture zeitgeist, but there is not yet a comic series out there that truly represents the borough and the people who live there,” said JunKoo Kim, Founder and Head of LINE Webtoon. “We are looking forward to bringing the unique and colorful alternate reality of New Brooklyn that Dean Haspiel and his fellow artists have created to life on LINE Webtoon.”
Already a huge success for more than 10 years in Korea, LINE Webtoon launched in the U.S. in 2014, and is rapidly expanding with the onboarding of new artists, partners, expansion of ways to interact with the content, and much more.
In support of this announcement, Dean Haspiel will be a panelist on LINE Webtoon’s “The Future of Comics” panel at New York Comic Con on Saturday, October 10th at 4pm in room 1A21.