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Return to Arrakis in Dune: The Graphic Novel Book 2: Muad’Dib (Exclusive)

Back in late 2020, Abrams ComicArts released the first volume of an ambitious graphic novel adapted from Frank Herbert’s seminal sci-fi novel Dune.

Written by Herbert’s son, Brian Herbert, with longtime collaborator Kevin J. Anderson, Dune: Graphic Novel Book 1 is the very first comic book interpretation of the 1965 cult masterpiece.

This stunning 160-page hardcover has become a fan favorite and a bestseller. It features captivating illustrations courtesy of Spanish illustrator Raul Allen and writer Patricia Martin, as well as a stunning cover art by Eisner Award-winning artist Bill Sienkiewicz.

Now comes Dune: The Graphic Novel, Book 2: Muad’Dib. (will open in a new tab),” the next installment of their prestige-format adaptation of “Dune” due for release on August 9 with the same creative team attached to further explore this sprawling tale of warring royal houses far into the future. Check out our Dune streaming guide if you want to watch the new movie or its predecessor.

RELATED: How does the new Dune compare to the 1984 film and Frank Herbert classic?

Here we continue the saga of young Paul Atreides and his mother, Lady Jessica, finding themselves stranded in the hostile deep desert of the planet Arrakis. Betrayed by their trusted Doctor Yue and crushed by their worst enemy, the Harkonnen, Paul and Jessica must find the mysterious natives of this harsh world, the Fremen, before they die of thirst and hunger.

Space.com spoke with Herbert and Anderson about the second book in their Dune: The Graphic Novel trilogy and learned about the challenges of the creative process, the secret behind their three decades of collaboration on Dune, and when we can expect the final volume of it. visual transformation of the greatest sci-fi novel.

Illustration from Dune: The Graphic Novel, Book 2: Muad’Dib. (Image credit: Abrams ComicArts)

Space.com: Moving on to the second part of your Dune graphic novel trilogy, what were the different decisions that were made regarding art style, panel placement and colors?

Kevin J. Anderson: “When we looked at the first book that won all kinds of awards and became a bestseller, and we just loved how it came out, our whole point of view on this project was that we wanted to make an authentic scene… a screenplay adaptation books by Frank Herbert and what he wrote.

“And in the first part of Herbert’s book, which is why it’s been so difficult to shoot for so many years, it’s a lot of soul-searching, dialogue and introductory stuff. But in the second part, afterburner really works. Paul and Jessica are lost in the desert, and there are sandworms, and they are with the Fremen.

“There are a lot of smaller panels with talking heads in the first volume of the graphic novel, because that’s what the book is. Working with Abrams, Raul and Patricia, we said that in the second volume we want to loosen it up a bit with larger panels. and be a little more spectacular. Just to give you a little hint, wait until you see Book 3 because there’s a lot going on in it!”

Brian Herbert: “I think my father would be happy to see it. One of the problems that Kevin and I had with all of my dad’s work was that dad used to push the big scenes into the background and we had to fill it in. In this case, the first hundred or so pages of “Dune” is a lot of introspection and teaching people the language and customs, so it’s a difficult entry. And that was what dad did sometimes. He wrote books four through six in his series, with lots of talking heads and action in the background. The first 100 pages of Dune is the reason it was rejected by so many publishers. Turning it into a graphic novel format wasn’t easy.”

Illustration from Dune: The Graphic Novel, Book 2: Muad’Dib. (Image credit: Abrams ComicArts)

Anderson: “Remember one of the most powerful, memorable scenes in the first part of Dune … “Paul, put your hand in the box.” you experience how powerful it is. But think about it visually. It’s a child with his hand in a box. Everything happens in his head. It’s really hard to show with the depth and intensity that Frank Herbert wrote in the book. And this is just one example of the difficulty of creating a visual version of such a smart book. We hope we succeeded!”

Herbert: “Frank Herbert’s strength is that he has been a professional photographer for many years. He once told me that when I learned to write on his lap, he said that he liked to look at scenes through the lens of a camera. many times he pulled away from that camera. Kevin just came up with a good one, which is actually a photographic scene when you think about it.

“Dad would have done it, and there is beautiful poetry in the way he wrote and beautiful imagery that readers pick up. That’s why when you watch a movie based on Dune or graphic novels based on Dune, you don’t want to disappoint too many people with what they visualized in their imagination. These graphic novels just move perfectly, moving from the images of Frank Herbert to what readers have already seen in their imaginations.

Space.com: Is there any synchronicity between this Abrams graphic novel, the new Dune feature films, and your Dune prequel comic from Boom! Studios?

Anderson: “This graphic novel is separate from Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming film Dune and the second part coming soon. with Boom! who are doing a full adaptation of the Dune prequels written by Brian and myself, House Atreides, and now we are writing House Harkonnen and House Corrino, 12 issues each. make the same ones for Abrams that Boom! uses, so there’s a partnership going on here.”

Herbert: Boom has a new man! We were just talking about the details of the musical instrument, the buoy carried by Gurney Halleck. Well, Abrams’ image is really good, so we’re looking to see if we can put Boom! and Abrams together to track the design.”

Illustration from Dune: The Graphic Novel, Book 2: Muad’Dib. (Image credit: Abrams ComicArts)

Space.com: What’s the most fun about joining forces on this project and how do you share the creative process?

Herbert: I gave Kevin an outline of the entire Dune novel to begin with, and he has experience with graphic novels and comics that I don’t. So we fill different parts of this universe. more contact person and sign deals. I envisioned the entire comic book and graphic novel scenario back when I was told it had little or no value. I kept in all the contacts that I signed with other parties and made sure that we kept these. Each of us has different roles that we play. I am one of the managers of Herbert Properties, protecting my father’s legacy, but I also hire myself and Kevin as screenwriters. And in these comics and graphic novels, it’s important that Kevin has this background that he does.”

Anderson: “I’ve read Dune maybe twenty times, but when it came to adapting scene by scene to a graphic novel, I took that book under an X-ray machine, really went through it line by line and saw how it connected to it. It just amazed me that I’m still discovering new things and new little details that he put in that completely eluded me before because they’re so subtle. My admiration for the book has just gone up a few notches.”

Herbert: “It’s like watching a great classic movie like Casablanca. There are things about this movie that when you watch it a year or two later, you think, “Hey, I didn’t notice that before.” same with “Dune” by Frank Herbert. It will be read for 500 years or more.”

Illustration from Dune: The Graphic Novel, Book 2: Muad’Dib. (Image credit: Abrams ComicArts)

Space.com: What can you tell us about the final part of this Dune: Prophet graphic novel trilogy, due out in 2024?

Anderson: “We finished the script for the third part, so it’s in the bank. Obviously, the cover takes much longer than the script, and Raoul and Patricia are already starting to map out the pages. . Part 3 will be 30 pages longer. You can be sure that the script has been delivered and the artists have it, and we will work on it!”

“Dune: The Graphic Novel, Volume 2: Muad’Dib” (will open in a new tab) arriving August 9th.

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