Originally the mega successful play, New Dawn Fades, was a graphic novel concept by writer and artist Brian Gorman, documenting the rise of cult band Joy Division. That was over a decade ago, and, after artistic differences and delays with publisher Simon & Schuster, the book was put on the back shelf.
Instead, New Dawn Fades, the play, was created, premiering at the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival in 2013 and subsequently playing to sell-out audiences everywhere from Macclesfield, Ian Curtis' home town, to London, and is touring again this year, arriving at Manchester's Dancehouse Theatre in April.*
"I got so fed up of the delays, and the endless rescheduling, that I decided to withdraw the book, and adapt the story for the stage" Brian recalls "After five years of success with the show, and fans asking about the original graphic novel, I thought we needed to finally get it out there. And now, thanks to Invisible Six Books, we're doing it."
New Dawn Fades, the graphic novel, traces Joy Division's rise against the background of historical Manchester and Salford, and introduces an array of historical figures including Roman General Julius Agricola, Dr John Dee, Friedrich Engels and the Buzzcocks... 'guiding the reader through the heart and soul of both the band and the city'.
"As the basis for the stage show, I feel that the graphic novel is an integral part of the whole experience" explains Brian "Whenever I see a live show, I always think 'If only I could take something of it away with me', and usually there is only a programme or a poster.
"For New Dawn Fades, we can offer people something unique and substantial - the story in graphic novel form, in a book that includes an introduction by legendary journalist Mick Middles, who interviewed Ian Curtis and the band back in the 1970s when they were just starting out, and a selection of superb production photographs by Shay Rowan, who has covered the show since its inception five years ago."
To raise some finance towards the publishing costs, Brian has launched a crowdfunding campaign which offers fans involvement and even immersement in the graphic novel, on a sliding scale from £5 'solidarity pledge', to £25 for a signed copy, £100 for a signed copy and original sketch and £200 for an original page of artwork. But most intriguing is a payment of £40 for a signed copy and an appearance in the book...
"Your likeness will be featured in the book...and your character will be included in a scene" he writes. Six people have already taken him up on the offer, a gift for those who think they have everything!
Brian Gorman's reputation has grown and grown, with graphic novels like Everyman: A Celebration of Patrick McGoohan and The Prisoner, and Borderliners: True Realities (featuring The Crescent pub), co-writing the stage version of Blade Runner and his new live show, One Man Bond: Every Bond Film In 60 Minutes.
New Dawn Fades – A Graphic Novel About Joy Division and Manchester is published in April to coincide with the new tour of New Dawn Fades: A Play About Joy Division and Manchester.
To read about the crowdfunding opportunities see the Indiegogo website – click here
* Details on New Dawn Fades: A Play About Joy Division and Manchester will be published in a further Salford Star article nearer the time.
See also previous Salford Star review of New Dawn Fades the play - click here
Update: 18th February: The graphic novel crowdfunder has now hit its 100% target, and will be published in April. Over fifty people have contributed to the campaign, and will receive a variety of special 'perks', including signed copies of the book, their names immortalised in print, and many having their likenesses depicted as characters in the story. Brian Gorman is delighted at the success of the campaign:
"I'm over the moon!" he says "With a new run of the stage show coming up, I thought it would be great if we could actually get the graphic novel published in time, and give fans the chance to get their hands on a unique souvenir. Several publishers were interested, but would have had to schedule the book many months ahead. I was determined that we would get it done as quickly as possible. We needed a crowdfunder to raise funds to cover the printing costs, as well as design, distribution, and marketing."