This news has been boiling away in the background for a while (hey, it takes time to put these things together), but now I can finally announce—and with no small degree of elation—that I will be adapting Stephen and Owen King’s bestselling novel, SLEEPING BEAUTIES, to comics.
The news dropped on Deadline.com on Tuesday, and has been circulating the web in various forms since then. You can read the Deadline article by clicking THIS LINK. But here’s the official press release from IDW Publishing:
SAN DIEGO, CA (July 16, 2019) – IDW Publishing is proud to announce the early 2020 launch of Sleeping Beauties, a captivating comic book series based on the bestselling novel by Stephen King and Owen King. Author Rio Youers (The Forgotten Girl) and artist Alison Sampson (Winnebago Graveyard) will adapt the rich narrative of Sleeping Beauties to a ten-issue limited series under the watchful gaze of Stephen and Owen.
“We are so excited about Rio and Alison’s vision for Sleeping Beauties,” says Owen King. “We’ve been fans of Rio’s for years and Alison’s artwork is simply extraordinary. IDW couldn’t have found a better pairing.”
To which co-author Stephen King adds, “We’re looking forward to seeing our work in this exciting format.”
Sleeping Beauties explores a world where women have sunken into a deep, cocooned slumber, their dreams taking them to an idyllic other place. They can only wake if disturbed, which results in violent, feral behavior. Meanwhile, the men have inherited the Earth, their society devolving into barbarism. Provocative and absorbing, Sleeping Beauties is a gripping dark fantasy of gender dynamics, individuality, and toxic masculinity.
“To work on anything with the King name attached is surreal, dizzying, and somewhat terrifying,” says Youers. “As soon as my feet touch terra firma, I will focus on my goal: to stay true to the novel’s spirit, and to deliver a page-turning, visually impacting experience that will appeal to readers of both Stephen and Owen King’s fiction, and to comics fans the world over.”
“I’m thrilled to be able to work on Sleeping Beauties,” says Sampson. “The story is very suggestive for interesting art, with magical themes interwoven through a very real place setting in Appalachia, and the opportunity to draw some truly diverse people. Places, spaces, gender, bodies, character, relationships, political themes, emotions, a challenging (and almost certainly innovative) design job, and a great story – it’s all here. I cannot wait to share what we are making.”
“There was something magical about the combination of Stephen King’s and Owen King’s specific skills on the pages of the Sleeping Beauties novel, an alchemy that resulted in a story so of the moment and yet so timeless,” says IDW President & Publisher, Chris Ryall. “Rio and Alison are fashioning a graphic retelling that synthesizes that same sense of wonder while very much making the comic its own thing entirely. We’re ecstatic to be doing this with all involved.”
For information on how to secure copies of Sleeping Beauties, please contact your local comic shop or visit www.comicshoplocator.com to find a store near you.
It’s great to be back on board the IDW train. They published a couple of my short pieces back in the day (“Quoth the Rock Star” and “For King and Country”), and I even wrote a twelve-page comic for them, which appeared in the ZOMBIES VS ROBOTS ANNUAL (2012). They always put out such great stuff, and I’m just thrilled to team up with them again.
And I’m equally thrilled to collaborate with Alison Sampson, an incredible artist who did such stunning work with Steve Niles on WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD. I know Alison will make this comic something very special indeed.
My thanks to Stephen and Owen King for trusting me with their wonderful novel. I know it’s a book they’re both exceptionally proud of, so to be associated with it in any form is just amazing. Thanks, also (and in abundance) to Chris Ryall at IDW, who put all the pieces together. He’s a fantastic guy and a wonderful creator in his own right, and I look forward to working on this project with him, and with the entire crew at IDW.
SLEEPING BEAUTIES will be a ten-issue comic, and will launch early 2020. I will update this site—you’d better believe it—as and when news comes in.