Comics are going to be so weird in 2016. Dark Horse Comics has just announced that The Handmaid's Tale author Margaret Atwood is writing her first graphic novel series titled Angel Catbird. Presumably because when you have an Arthur C. Clarke Award, the UK's most prestigious science fiction prize, under your belt, you've earned the right to write whatever the hell you want.
According to the official release, Angel Catbird will follow the adventures of a superhero who's, well, part cat, part bird. "I have concocted a superhero who is part cat, part bird," said Atwood. "Due to some spilled genetic Super-Splicer, our hero got tangled up with both a cat and an owl; hence his fur and feathers, and his identity problems." Angel Catbird will thus blend humor and pulp, facing down enemies while presumably making a lot of cat puns.
"Our hero got tangled up with both a cat and an owl; hence his fur, feathers, and identity problems."
Of course, this series sounds a great deal more lighthearted than much of Atwood's oeuvre. The worlds she depicts in books like The Handmaid's Tale, Oryx and Crake, and The Heart Goes Last may have moments of humor, but are all disturbing in their way, all while unpacking social issues like women's reproductive rights, consumerism, and mass surveillance. Of course, Atwood has long expressed a deep interest in animals, so it's fitting that the series is being published in tandem with Nature Canada's Keep Cats Safe and Save Bird Lives initiative.
Of course, Atwood won't be the only award-winning author diving into comics next year. Between the World and Me author Ta-Nehisi Coates is already working on the next Black Panther series, set to debut next spring.