Antony Johnston, the award-winning writer of the illustrated horror novel FRIGHTENING CURVES, returns to the genre in style with CLOSER, a new original graphic novel illustrated by Mike Norton (G.I. JOE, JASON AND THE ARGOBOTS) and Leanne Buckley (White Wolf Games). The third book by Johnston released by Oni this year, CLOSER checks in on Graham Butcher, a penniless and bitter scientist trying to reverse his fate by succeeding where he failed 30 years before.

“The word I most often use to describe Antony is ‘versatile,'” commented editor James Lucas Jones. “He’s a guy that continually goes against the grain, against expectations. With CLOSER he’s teaming with a guy whose resume is just as varied. Mike Norton’s always been one to flirt with all the girls rather than just pick one to go steady with. He’s gone from superheroes to teen angst to giant robots giving each one the night of their life before moving onto the next. Now he’s got that twinkle in his eye for horror and I guarantee you the genre will never see a better time.”

imageThirty years ago a government experiment went horribly wrong, leaving one scientist dead and several injured. Project Hermes should have signaled a triumph of humanity-the discovery of true quantum teleportation. Instead it was deemed a failure, cancelled, and covered up. Forgotten by everyone-everyone except Graham Butcher. After devoting his life to the completion of Project Hermes the reclusive physicist is now dying-penniless and bitter. But not before the Project is completed. Tonight, Butcher has invited six people to his home, each with a different connection to his failed trial. Together they will ignite a new age, rising from the ashes of a past they all would rather forget. A man’s dream will become reality, while an ancient evil will be rustled from a centuries old slumber.

“CLOSER is going to look different than anything I’ve done before,” added Norton. “Part of that is the change in approach both for the material and the pacing choices we can make in the graphic novel format that aren’t available in serialization. But the most noticeable change is in the art itself. Inker Leanne Buckley gives my pencils a totally unique spin. The amount of atmosphere she adds is simply amazing. She really sets the tone of the book in a way you normally don’t associate with an inker. I couldn’t be happier with the collaboration.”

“Oni isn’t really interested in one-trick ponies,” concluded Oni publisher Joe Nozemack. “We know every person we work with has a wide breadth of talent that isn’t all going to be obvious on every individual project. We encourage creators to stretch and develop their abilities. A book like CLOSER is the pay-off.”

CLOSER ships May 26, 2004, retails for $14.95, and is suitable for teen readers on up. It has 152 pages of black-and-white story and art with a full color cover.

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CLOSER ? & © 2004 Antony Johnston & Mike Norton. Oni Press logo and icon are ? & © 2003 Oni Press, Inc. All rights reserved. Oni Press logo and icon artwork created by Dave Gibbons.

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