Steve Lieber and Sara Ryan’s house burgled

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INCREDIBLY TALENTED AND ALL-AROUND NICE COUPLE Steve Lieber and Sara Ryan had their house broken into this week. Lieber blogged about it at he and Jeff Parker’s new promotional website:

They stole our laptops, so we have no computers at home anymore, and we’ve got several days ahead of us of running around dealing with police, insurance, checking to make sure backups work, etc. This means that all the time at home I’d planned to spend doing promotion is gone, as are the machines I’d planned to it with.

The promotion Lieber had been planning was for he and Parker’s new Image miniseries, Underground. There is altogether not enough spelunking fiction in the world today, and Lieber and Parker have set out to correct this. Since Lieber is limited in the promotion he can do under the circumstances, he’s put out the call for the comics Internet to help out, and it looks like several people have already lent a hand.

So, allow me to direct your attention to Lieber and Parker’s Underground website, where they have process art, preview pages of the first issue, and even the complete first issue in black-and-white.

Pages from Underground. Click for larger images, or see more pages at the official website.

At a glance, the art is clearly beautiful (and rounding out the Periscope crew, Ron Chan’s colors complement the underground setting—plus some aboveground ones—perfectly), and perusal of the first issue confirms it’s in the vein of the pair’s short “Underground” story in Image’s Four Letter Worlds from 2005, meaning it’s an alternately light and tense read. You’ll even recognize a kinship with the Lieber-illustrated Whiteout, from its tough-yet-awkward female lead to its implicit environmental message, less subtextual here, but not too preachy, as the story creates sympathy with the townspeople who want to turn the local cave into a tourist attraction, even as it takes the side of the rangers who want to protect it.

Lieber has been talking about this series for years, and both men’s passion for the subject matter shows on the page. As unfortunate as the theft of Lieber and Ryan’s computers is to begin with, that it comes just as Lieber is gearing up to promote this series he so obviously cares a great deal about is particularly sad. Do give Underground a look in September. I’ll be adding it to my pull list.

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