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Canadian artist Von Allan announces his new all-ages graphic novel “Stargazer Volume Two.”


Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (August 10, 2011) – “All ages” comics and graphic novels are stories that parents can hand to their children without worrying about what they're reading. Unfortunately, the term “all-ages” also implies safe, dull stories that are not exciting or believable and feature characters that are not realistic. Von Allan, an Ottawa-based artist and graphic novelist, is challenging these ideas with his two part graphic novel series “Stargazer.” The concluding volume arrives in stores world-wide in October.

“In Volume 2, I really wanted to play with people's expectations of an all-ages comic, especially one with younger girls as the protagonists,” said Allan. “I think a lot of people take all-ages to mean safe or gentle. But graphic novels and comics are flexible and I don't think a children's comic has to be completely tame for it to qualify as 'kid-friendly.' The first volume of "Stargazer" was designed to read mostly like a traditional all-ages fantasy, but the story takes a scarier turn in the second volume. It's psychologically darker and the main characters are pushed to deal with new and more difficult events. That's comparable to real life, though, and I think adults sometimes forget what children can handle. And how they learn to cope with day-to-day reality and tough times. The best and most enduring stories have an edge to them...it mirrors life. And, let's face it, kids also like to be a little scared.”

“I also wanted to write a kids' story that an adult could enjoy,” Allan added. “Kids and adults have a lot in common when it comes to enjoying fairytale-like stories. There's an escapism and a certain enjoyment of goosebumps and wonder. Some of the most successful books are the ones that adults and kids are both reading; the Harry Potter phenomenon, for example. It's partially because kids and adults are reading these together but it's also that books aimed at kids can be smart, exciting and suspenseful and they don't need to be “dumbed down.” With all that in mind, I didn't want to pull punches with “Stargazer.” I wanted to create a riveting story with strong characters that readers of all ages could believe in. Nothing is worse than a book that talks down to or patronizes a reader regardless of their age, and I think I avoided all of that with “Stargazer.”

In the first volume of “Stargazer,” three girls, Marni, Elora, and Sophie, found themselves transported to a strange world by an ancient artifact. Faced with being on their own and far from home, the friends must rely on each other and their wits to find a way home. Under unfamiliar stars, the three girls have the kind of adventures they could only have imagined before; they flee an unseen but terrifying monster, they make a new friend, they find a new ship, and they travel through the alien landscape to a distant tower, looking for help. In the concluding volume of “Stargazer,” the girls make more discoveries, overcome some frightening circumstances, and learn how strong friendship can be. When the monster from Volume 1 returns, the girls must unite to face their fears and fight for their lives.

“Stargazer Volume Two” has an ISBN of 978-09-781237-4-1, a suggested retail price of $14.95 US and is 110 pages in length. It will arrive in stores world-wide on October 12th, 2011. Multiple companies are distributing “Stargazer Volume Two,” including Diamond Comic Distributors (item code AUG111259), the Ingram Book Company, Follett Library Resources, and the Brodart Company.

About Von Allan: Von Allan was born red-headed and freckled in Arnprior, Ontario, just in time for “Star Wars: A New Hope.” The single child of two loving but troubled parents, Von split most of his childhood between their two homes. Additional information about the graphic novel can be found at http://stargazer.vonallan.com

Contact:

Von Allan
P.O. Box 20520, 390 Rideau Street,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. K1N 1A3
Email: von@vonallan.com
Phone: 613-236-9957

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Sample images from Stargazer Volume Two (please click on each image to open larger versions):

Page 8 from Von Allan's all-ages graphic novel Stargazer Volume 2 Page 42 from Von Allan's all-ages graphic novel Stargazer Volume 2 Page 49 from Von Allan's all-ages graphic novel Stargazer Volume 2 Page 65 from Von Allan's all-ages graphic novel Stargazer Volume 2 Page 83 from Von Allan's all-ages graphic novel Stargazer Volume 2
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Volume Two Diamond Code: AUG111259

Volume Two ISBN: 978-09-781237-4-1

Volume One Diamond Code: AUG111260

Volume One ISBN: 978-0-9781237-2-7

Each volume is priced at $14.95 US each and both contains black and white illustrations throughout. Volume One is 122 pages and Volume Two is 110 pages.

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