Comic book legend Mike Grell, and fan favorite actor Mark Ryan teamed up nearly 30 years ago for a Robin Hood-meets-Green Arrow graphic novel that planted the seeds for their latest collaboration, a fact-is-stranger-than-fiction story ripped from headlines and current events almost too fantastical to be believed. These two superstars join forces once again to reveal the secrets of the occult as a force of world-shaping conspiracy in THE PILGRIM, a new graphic novel coming in 2020.
Grell is one of the comic book industries most revered talents, with nearly five decades of iconic work under his belt. He redefined Green Arrow with The Longbow Hunters and revealed Iron Man’s identity on the page several years before the movie. His run on Superboy and The Legion of Super Heroes is still getting name checked today (by Brian Michael Bendis, regarding his new run on the Legion). His creation The Warlord was hinted at in the 2018 blockbuster movie Aquaman. Other original creations by Grell include Jon Sable Freelance, Maggie The Cat and Shaman’s Tears, to name just a few.
In addition to Ryan’s distinguished stage career in London’s West End productions of such classics as the original cast of Evita, fans also know Ryan for his voice and character work in the Transformers movies (Bumblebee; Jetfire; Lockdown), as well as playing Mr. Gates in Starz hit series Black Sails. He was the first actor to play a Muslim member of Robin Hood’s merry band, a role he co-created, in the HTV/SHOWTIME cult favorite series Robin of Sherwood. Ryan is also the creator of both the bestselling Greenwood and Wildwood Tarots. Formerly a member of the UK’s Intelligence and special forces community, he has been a licensed private investigator and security consultant for over fifteen years, involved with many highly confidential and sensitive international cases. In other words: he’s done it all.
The Pilgrim got its start in 2008 with ComicMix, who later published two issues with IDW in 2010 before becoming a casualty to the economy of the times. Ryan and Grell decided to discontinue the series, leaving a finished third issue waiting in the wings.
While never proven to be the case, some fans speculated that Ryan’s writing might have run afoul of government conspiracy theories at the time, that Ryan’s tale danced dangerously close to too many news headlines during a tense time in geo-politics, including hints as to the hideout of Osama Bin Laden. Headlines having only gotten wilder in the intervening years, Ryan and Grell put their heads together and decided that now was a better time than ever to come back and finish what they had started.
After a successful entry into the world of crowd-funding with his triumphant return of Maggie The Cat, Grell suggested to Ryan that Kickstarter was the best way to bring The Pilgrim back to life.
In what will be a revised and expanded version of the first two issues--combined with the never-before-seen third issue--The Pilgrim: Book One is an 80 page graphic novel that sets the stage for the second half of this two-part tale of international intrigue and secret government operations that employ the use of a team of psychics to counter the dark forces that threaten our world. The first book will also include behind the scenes details that dive deep into the dark and secretive world of psychic espionage. Book Two will wrap up the story arc, and is anticipated to be out by the end of 2020, with Book One due in the spring.
Look for the Kickstarter to launch in early 2020, complete with rare and exclusive items being offered to supporters, including chances to meet Ryan and Grell and to be drawn into the book as a character.