Lastman: Why Skybound’s Robert Kirkman Is ‘Absolutely Obsessed With’ This Acclaimed French Comic

By | February 16, 2022

Skybound’s latest comic book announcement is a bit different from the norm. Rather than debuting a brand new series, the publisher is bringing the complete run of acclaimed French comic Lastman to the English language market for the first time. As it turns out, Skybound founder Robert Kirkman is “absolutely obsessed with” the series.

Lastman was created by Bastien Vivès, Yves “Balak” Bigerel and Michaël Sanlaville. This heavily manga-influenced series is set in a fantasy world called Valley of Kings, where each year the king and queen hold a tournament of magicians. The series’ protagonist, 12-year-old Adrian Velba, dreams of winning the tournament. But when his partner falls ill, Velba has no choice but to team up with the brutish Richard Aldana, a fighter who prefers his hands to magical spells.

Lastman was originally published in 12 volumes (or “Tomes”) between 2013 and 2019. First Second Books originally acquired the rights to publish English language translations of the series, but only the first six Tomes ever saw release in the US. Skybound has now taken over distribution rights to the full series and will begin releasing new graphic novel collections of Lastman in Fall 2022. Each graphic novel will collect two Tomes and will feature revised translations more faithful to the original French text.

Publishing Lastman in English is a bit of a passion project for Kirkman, who will also be writing the foreword for the first graphic novel.

“LASTMAN is a revelation of immense creativity, thrilling as a fan and humbling as a creator,” said Kirkman in Skybound’s press release. “Balak, Sanlaville, and Vivès have combined to create an evolving story, each volume advancing the story in an entertaining and engaging way, while also being completely different than the volume before. It’s a masterclass in tone, originality, and world-building. It’s a series I’m absolutely obsessed with, and I’m sorry this quote seems dry and hyperbolic. I don’t mean for it to, I’m trying to be sincere. This is me, Robert Kirkman, trying to sincerely urge anyone reading this to buckle down and get ready for awesome when this book is finally available to you.”

Kirkman continued, “I don’t like writing quotes like this. It’s not fun. I don’t know if they work. Are you reading this, still on the fence, waiting for these words to sway you into trying this amazing series? A mere glance at the art isn’t enough? Really? Okay. So I’m here, trying to help you. Because whether you know it or not, you need this book in your life. You just do. I don’t know you. I don’t know anything about your life. But I know that. You need to read this book. Everyone does. The world is a better place because this book is a part of it. Don’t you want to be a part of this world? It’s been a rough few years for everyone. Treat yourself. You deserve it. You deserve LASTMAN. Get it.”

Look for Lastman Vol. 1 to hit comic book stores and digital providers on November 15, 2022.

Even if you’re not familiar with the Lastman comic, you may have played the video game spinoff. The comic inspired 2016’s LastFight, a fighting game released on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch.

In other comic book news, Batman is taking over Superman’s Fortress of Solitude and IGN got an exclusive first look at The Passageway, the start of Jeff lemire and Andrea Sorrentino’s new shared horror universe.

Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.