But this Christmas will see the release of the most important work of Tucci’s extensively colorful career – the comic book adaptation of the birth of Jesus with Billy Tucci’s A Child Is Born.
Taken directly from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, A Child Is Born faithfully depicts the Christmas Story as it has never been seen before in graphic novel form. Painstakingly researched with Nativity scholars, Tucci’s highly detailed illustrations, coupled with superstar colorist Paul Mounts’ digital palette, promises that “every panel will feel like a painting” and will bring forth a sense of “being there” as readers accompany the Magi while they follow the Star of Bethlehem.
It’s a journey that Tucci has focused on for almost a decade now, but other commitments and priorities always seemed to have pushed the project aside. But last year, Tucci’s wife Deborah was diagnosed with breast cancer and, according to the artist, it was Deborah’s fight that finally led him down “the right path” in his career. “From the earliest days of Shi to my current mainstream work for DC Comics, every project I’ve approached has been deeply personal to me,” Tucci stated. “And I cannot think of any body of work more worthwhile to my family than to illustrate the story of Mary and Joseph.”
Tucci has found a pair of kindred spirits in his business partners, Evan Archilla and Dr. Jason Peet. Mr. Archilla, grandson of Lost Battalion hero Lt. Colonel Eliel Archilla, first met Tucci last year in Texas, where the two struck up an immediate friendship. “We were having dinner and I asked Billy if he felt that The Lost Battalion was his ‘Magnum Opus,’” the software marketer recalled. “It was then that he told me of his passion to write and draw A Child Is Born. I can’t explain it in earthly terms, but there was something in Billy’s idea that called to me, an ‘invitation’ to be a part of something larger than either one of us could comprehend.”
Within weeks, Tucci returned to San Antonio to discuss the project with Archilla and Dr. Peet, and Apostle Arts, LLC was formed. “What was amazing was just how in tune with each other we were about what type of comic book we wanted to read come Christmas,” Dr. Peet added, “and it soon became very apparent that we all needed to see this become reality.”
In a world of superheroes, it might seem a bit out of the norm to release a Christmas comic book, but Tucci knows that such a “leap of faith” will bring in new consumers who’ve never shopped at comic book stores before. After all, “A Child Is Born is not just another Christmas story…it is THE Christmas Story.”
Under the stunning cover painting by Tucci and painter, Mark Sparacio, the 32-page Billy Tucci’s A Child is Born hosts 24 colorful pages of story, plus bonus artwork and a look behind the scenes detailing Tucci’s long journey to tell the Christmas story. Debuting in comic shops with a $5.99 US price tag, this graphic novella will make the perfect holiday gift for all! For more details e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.facebook.com/achildisborn.
Billy Tucci’s A Child is Born is featured on Page 226 in the September 2011 edition of Previews from Diamond Comic Distributors. Its product code is SEP110740.
Billy Tucci's A Child is Born
Sgt. Rock: The Lost Battalion writer-artist and Eisner Award nominee Billy Tucci faithfully depicts The Christmas Story as it has never been seen before in A Child Is Born, coming soon from Apostle Arts. Adapted directly from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and painstakingly researched with Nativity scholars, Tucci’s highly detailed, beautiful art brings forth a stunning rendition of the greatest story ever told. Colored by Paul Mounts and with a cover by Tucci and Mark Sparacio, this graphic novella is the perfect Christmas gift.
Update Check out Bill's interview with Newsarama.com here.