The First Law Graphic Novel

April 10th, 2013

It is with the greatest pleasure of which my withered prune of a heart is capable that I announce the release of a project that has been a long time in the pipeline, which is, as many of you may already have guessed, a full colour, comprehensive Graphic Novel adaptation of that pillar of 21st century fantasy fiction: The First Law Trilogy.

Blind Ferret First Law Blade Itself 1 front cover

It’s been put together by Rich Young of Blind Ferret, adapted by Chuck Dixon, with art by Andie Tong, colours by Pete Pantazis, lettering and design from Bill Tortolini, all done under the horrifying gaze of my single flaming unblinking eye.  I am hugely pleased with the results, which, no lie, have exceeded every expectation.

But the thing that’s of particular interest to me about this project, and probably will be of some interest to you as well, is the method of distribution. Mainly – that we’re giving it away to anyone with an internet connection.

Yes, you heard me right.  We’re serialising it, free, at

The first twelve pages are up there now.  You can go look at them.  For nothing.  And there’ll be new pages added every monday, wednesday, and friday, if things go according to plan, for years to come.  And you’ll be able to look at those too.  For nothing.  The hope is, that when we’ve finally completed this project, there’ll be well over a thousand pages of high quality First Law graphic novel up online.  For nothing.

But, eager to give the hungry public as many bites of the cherry as they can stomach, and aware that some might not be satisfied by a page here and a page there, you can also get hold of it in advance, issue by issue, via the world’s biggest digital comic distributor, Comixology.  The entire 24 page first issue is available there now, for 99 cents.  Further issues will be available there for $2.99 when we start to serialise them for free at  So the day the first page of an issue comes out for nothing, you can pay for all 22 pages, and enjoy the envy of your friends, acquaintances and colleagues for seven weeks.  What could be sweeter?  Plus via Comixology you get, as a bonus, guided view (which, for those unfamiliar, takes you through panel by panel in a cinematic styley), and a package of pencils, inks, and character designs with every issue.

Finally, for those who want something to grace their coffee table, we’ll be collecting every four issues into a hardcopy collection, with further bonus material.  Availability and price of that to be confirmed.


When you work with an artist, my feeling is you’ve got to give them the leeway to draw it as they see it.  I’ve had an awful lot of input at every stage.  Full editorial control, indeed, though I’ve generally gone for a fearsomely firm yet lovingly gentle touch.  But, in a sense, this is Andie Tong’s vision of the material, given extra verve and variety by Pete’s colours.  It’s one possible interpretation.  One that’s evolved as we’ve worked on it, and no doubt will continue to evolve.  But it’s one that I fully endorse, and am very proud of.  So some of you might not like everything about it.  One option would be for you to close your eyes really tight and stick your fingers in your ears and shout, ‘blah lee lah lee lah, I’m not listening, I’m not listening!’ whenever I talk about it.  That, believe me, will be no skin off my sizeable nose at all.  I suspect, though, if you give it a chance, most will find a great deal to like.  Not least among those things?  It won’t cost you a dime.

You can see the first few pages right now.  Tell me what you think.  Moan about how this or that doesn’t look the way it did inside your head.  Maybe even enjoy it.

Go on.  I dare you.

For Nothing.

Posted in announcements, artwork, Graphic Novel, news by Joe Abercrombie on April 10th, 2013.

121 comments so far

  • Roger says:

    Great! So much awesomeness for free!

  • Brede says:

    This is great! I’m gonna buy every single issue! 😀

  • TheFourthHorseman says:

    Congratulations. The distribution method(s) is very daring and impressive (and I would also say smart) indeed. Hats off on being ahead of the curve. Hopefully, and I think most likely, you’ll be able to turn a decent profit this way even if people have a chance of checking it out for free.

    I do think the two supposedly mangled individuals look ridiculously pretty on the cover of the first issue there, but I’d say I’ll still go for the ‘read it and see what it’s like’ option instead of the ‘stab eyes and stick fingers in ears’ one.

  • Robb says:

    Very cool Joe

  • Max says:

    I do understand what people might find to be disappointed about, but I am most satisfied. Really. In my imagination Logen will always be grittier, uglier and slightly bearded – but this vision of him fits the comic-style much better. My imagination will hopefully stay the same, so I’m totally fine with the comic.
    It’s just an overkill to put all this stuff online for nothing. I’m definitely looking forward to purchase the hardcover-print, especially because it is in full colour. Thanks so much for this project! How many times reading your books this thought came to my head: What a perfect scene/chapter/story to make a comic out of it. Thank you, Joe.

    By the way, here at my german university is a lecturer who looks like you. Well, he’s not THAT good-looking, but the best looking professor I’ve met so far.
    Best wishes for your upcoming projects from Germany.

  • DepressedRat says:

    want hardcopy for my bookshelf NOW!!!

  • Frank Fitzpatrick says:

    Very interesting, indeed. Love the look of it. Perhaps not the appearance of a certain nine-fingered man, but, who am I to complain about an artistic interpretation? Especially when said man is giving it to us for free…

    This certainly gives me something to look forward to throughout the coming weeks. Thank you, Joe.

  • SwindonNick says:

    Can’t tell you what a treat this was! Brilliant.

  • Eric Sean says:

    Comics for grown ups? What next, handbags for men?
    I’ve seen everything now.
    Any plans for new stories in this medium?

  • Samuel says:

    Read the 12 pages…i want more!!!! Hard copy would be pretty cool, coffee table grace and all 😀

  • bobbby says:

    Maybe stating the obvious, but the comic is completely incomprehensible to anyone who hasnt read the books.

    BTW i have already bookmarked the comic website. looks Great.

  • Michael says:

    Wait. So. So you’re telling me that The First Law trilogy. As in, all of it. Will be penciled and inked and released online for free a page at a time for…years. Until it’s done. This…this is far better news than I dared imagine. And the first few pages look AMAZING. Gah, I was worried when Logen didn’t look “Logen” enough, but dammit I’m already more or less onboard. BRING IT.

  • ColinJ says:

    Oh, yes. I like this very much.

    I LOVE the look of the Practicals and I’m unreasonably excited to see the look of the other characters.

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Your comment is totally incomprehensible to anyone who hasn’t read all your other comments.

    I just can’t make head or tail of it.

  • RS says:

    I read it. Looks a bit American-style and superheroey. Shouldn’t the comic look gritty to reflect the grit in the writing? P.S. This is Logen, I reckon:

  • Phil Norris says:

    Brilliant and bookmarked. Only just started getting back into comics (currently halfway into last Dredd epic Day of Chaos) so this is another title for my collection.

    Will def get the hardback collections when out.

    “Bobby” – How is it incomprehensible? Isn’t anything that is new to someone an unknown to start with?

  • Hugh says:

    Hi Joe,

    I’m intrigued by how you’re distributing it.
    It kills the piracy problem from the get-go, but will it be enough?

    In about six months time, would you be willing to provide some commentary on its success (or otherwise) in terms of making back its costs? I’d be really interested in finding out how it went. There’ll be some interesting lessons from this for everyone whatever the outcome. Thanks, Hugh

  • JamesM says:

    I’m not a fan of comics — at all — but it’s awesome seeing an artist’s interpretation of scenes I love so much. This is really cool.

  • Sword1001 says:

    Have to admit I’d bitterly disappointed that Logen has been replaced by a generic warrior. No need for it really.

    Glotka and Jezal look nice. They are not the same as the image I had of them in my head, but they look good here because they are true to their descriptions in the book.

    Logen is not. He just isn’t.

    Bobby, I agree and disagree. Logen’s panels are rather disjointed, but that’s to be expected when you strip out 90% of the words and replace them with pictures. Its the nature of graphic novel adaptions of novels, do not complaint from me. I think the Glotka scenes are done very well.

    It’s a nice touch that these are being released for free online Joe, kudos

  • […] Blade itself graphic novel in the works? Joe confirms the release of the First Law graphic novel – and it's free […]

  • Dking says:

    Well Joe, after having a little whinge about how Logen looked yesterday, I have to say that I’ve done a complete u-turn and am now sold on the idea.

    Well played, sir.

  • Sword1001 says:

    James Webster summed it nicely on the other thread:

    “But a lot of the characterisation is built off the books clearly stated description. Jezal’s reaction to Logen, for example, the first time he meets him. He cannot see past the brutish appearance, and beholds nothing but a hulking primitive. His words.

    That entire reaction won’t work if a pretty boy Logen appearance is kept. The reader just wouldn’t understand Jezal’s reaction or the subsequent interplay between the characters.”

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Wait til you see Jezal. And Jezal is, after all, an entitled prick disgusted by everyone. As far as Logen matching his description from the books, forgive me for saying this, but do you think there’s any chance I know what I’m talking about? I’ve had people complaining that he should be bald when he self-evidently isn’t. I’ve had people complaining he should be much older when he’s younger than me. This is one possible interpretation. There are many other ways you could do it. Logen could easily look way more beat up. You may find that in some close-ups he does. I think Andie Tong has produced a Logen that makes sense within the context of the rest of the adaptation which, in general, I find to be excellent. But, hey, if you can’t get past it, find something else to read.

  • Scott says:

    Your co-conspirators are from all over the place. There must have been some long hours spent at the keyboard getting this up and running.

  • SgtPluck says:

    I have to say the entire First Law Trilogy was totally incomprehensible to anyone who hadn’t yet read the First Law Trilogy 🙂

    I’m not so invested in this series as to have any great opinion about how the characters look in graphic form, nor am I a great connosieur of the media. Yet, I think the artwork looks by-the-dead fantastic, and I think a hearty round of Congratulations is in order for everyone involved. I think Logan is up there as one of the great characters of any book I’ve ever read, and I don’t see his reprersentation here as being wildly different from my mental picture of him.

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    It’s a digital world, I’ve never met any of them face to face. Rich Young has co-ordinated the whole thing. Drop Box is our friend.

    Thanks. I and my co-conspirators appreciate it.

    I’ll definitely talk about it as far as I’m able. The model might well need some tweaking as we go. Obviously it’s going to need to make a profit in the long run in order to continue…

  • Phil Norris says:

    I do wonder if the reason Logen has been made to look possibly younger/less grizzled is so when he becomes the Bloody-Nine the two characters look different. I’ve always seen the Bloody-Nine as the Hulk to Logen’s Banner. Perhaps they intend there to be a more visible physical change to the character?

    Also Glokta – although brutalized and crippled – is still a handsome man, most of his disfigurement (apart from the teeth & crocked back) was inside. The style here is close to the Jude Law-a-like depicted on the recent re-released covers.

  • Count Spatula says:

    This looks stunning – my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has helped bring this to life. The fact it’s free is a total bonus.
    Some of the characters, perhaps, don’t look quite how I imagine, but that’s only to be expected and it’s definitely not going to ruin my experience. I’m still going to read the shit out of it. And now I can introduce my comic-book loving friends to The First Law!

  • Phil Norris says:

    Reading some of the comments over the past few days it amazes me how some people seem to think they know better than the person who created the characters.

  • Sword1001 says:

    Joe, with respect, when people say he’s bald or old you can just point to descriptions of him in the book and ‘prove’ them wrong. You can’t do that when people call him too ‘pretty’ though, as the descriptions in the book have him as a brutish, primitive looking hulk of a man.

    Personally, I think if you are going to change something as basic as the appearance of the main character, you best have a good reason to do it – the aging up of the GOT characters for eg. But there is no real reason I can see for this change, and as has been pointed out by James Webster, it will affect the interplay between the characters. This graphic novel is the poorer because of it

    Perhaps I will read something else, I’m a big fan of your novels but I’m not a slavish fanboy. I think my criticism is legitimate and is shared my a number of your genuine fans. Brush it aside at your peril

    PS I assume Jezal is on the cover with Glokta and Logen, and he does match his discriptions – jawline et al.

  • Fatherofuma says:

    Wow, thanks Joe.

    Making this availiable for nothing is remarkably generous of you.

  • Jimmy Sjöberg says:

    Awesome! I’m really looking forward to this! Now all we need is that HBO deal..

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Also with respect, of course your criticism is legitimate, if you think Logen looks all wrong I’m not going to argue that actually you think he looks right. That’s your opinion. Plenty of people agree with you. But, for me – and I do have some passing familiarity with these books – there’s a very great range of what might be an acceptable way to present him. What Andie Tong’s done with him seems absolutely fitting within the style and the context. Certainly he could be more chunky and beat up, as you see more of this and he’s shown in different lights and circumstances you may find he does.

    I’m not really sure what reaction you expect from me. Get the whole thing redrawn? Even all the combined might of you AND James Webster is unlikely to convince me to do that, I’m afraid.

    But thanks for your comments.

  • Dking says:

    I hear James Webster is quite powerful.

    Seriously though, Sword1001, I bet when all is said and done, you will still read it and secretly love it!

  • Sword1001 says:

    I had expected a rational explaination for the change tbh, so that it makes sense with what you’ve always said about writing honestly and all that – Logen seems to have gone from gritty to generic in one step. But it seems one isn’t forthcoming – other than it “fitting the context”, which I don’t get as surely an uglier, more brutish Logen would have fitted as well (better imho)? Perhaps my criticism will lead to him looking more brutish as story goes on, so that when he first mets Jezal there is a stark difference between the Northmen and those of the Union

    But I appreciate you taking the time to respond to me – most other writers would not have bothered. I don’t want to continually piss on your parade either, you’ve heard what I’ve got to say and I have to be content with that. So I will leave this as my last post on Logen’s description.

    All the best

  • Ser Kenneth says:

    Logen doesn’t really look like he does in my imagination, but that’s cool. I love seeing different interpretations, and I like the overall style of this. Definitely looking forward to seeing more.

  • Self Important Duck says:

    Free?!??! How am I supposed to send you more money??

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Self Important Duck,
    You could buy the whole first issue on ComiXology later on today. That’ll cost you a whole 99 cents…

  • Dan says:

    I think it looks great joe. Loving Andie Tongs work and interpretations. Thank you!!

  • TheFourthHorseman says:

    Phil Norris: When it comes to literature, my vaguely philosophical impression is that, in a way, the reader does know better than the author. Certainly the author writes the text, but the author has no power over the reader once s/he starts reading.

    Of course that doesn’t mean that the readers have to vent their frustration when the ideas in their head aren’t met in an entirely different medium, but I can understand why people do it when the topic is a book series that they love. I mean, Joe has these comment sections here for a reason I would imagine (well, it could just be for unadulterated praise…), and I find it strange for readers of The First Law books to request that people keep their negative or critical ideas to themselves.

    Anyway, it’s nice to see how actively you generally respond to the critique, Joe. Many other authors would probably have retreated into the dark throne of their grim fortress long ago or never even come out in the first place, where as your approach seems to be more like taunting from the ramparts in the vein of the Holy Grail. Ok, I actually checked that bit again and the taunting is a little harsher than I remembered, hah.

  • Shaymanbob says:

    The timing is good, I’ve just finished reading the trilogy and now I get a graphic version for free. When are you sending me my free bottle of Balvenie?

  • Troy says:

    Some people will love it, Some people will hate it. Such is the nature of all things. Hoping it atleast gets popular enough for the hardcopies. Would be a shame not to have it with my first law collection.

  • Ellie says:

    It just looks great. For me personally Logan looked something like that in my imagination, so kudos to the artist. The same for Glokta he looked a little bit more broken in my imagination but his scenes are so well done I complety forget about it. I will definitly buy the nice hardcover as soon as the come out. But thanks for offering them up for free it’s really big of you.

  • Dan says:

    RE Logan’s appearance.

    I think it was unfortunate that the very first page had the worst pic of Logan. Bottom panel – he looks about 17, face unsullied by anything but bumfluff.

    The later pages, while not really communicating “brutish” or even “seasoned”, are nowhere near as bad. I can live with this Logan.

    Also, comics do this thing; because of time constraints, in the normal, day to day panels, much detail is omitted. Every now and then a full page portrait may fill in the missing details. (As if to say, this is what this person/place really looks like but it would be far too much work to draw them that way in every panel). Ren and Stimpy, though a cartoon not a comic, is a rather extreme example of this, where the characters normally look like regular cartoon characters and then you get a close up, showing bloodshot eyes1, rotten teeth, weeping sores etc.

    That said, this looks surprisingly brilliant. The locations look great. The action is nicely kinetic. Can’t wait to see around Adua and the Old Empire.

  • shawna says:

    Joe you are AMAZING!!!!! Truly a most benevolent and caring (still utterly grim and hopeless, let’s not get carried away) overlord. I am so excited!

  • Rob B says:

    Many congratulations on this project, Joe.

    It looks and reads great. While it would be a damned miracle for any artist to capture what every one of your readers though Logen looked like in their own heads, as you say, this version of Logen (and Glokta for that matter) works very well.

    Very impressive that you fine folks nabbed Chuck Dixon for this adaptation, the guy is a pro and has done some great work over his career (great stuff on Batman, also impressive in his Wheel of Time) adaptation.

    Tong’s overall art and feel seems right.

    Reading these first pages has me wanting to read the books again.

  • Chris says:

    Wow! I only finished reading the First Law Trilogy a month or so ago, so this is great timing.

    I think the first twelve issues look great. I rarely will pay for something that is available, legally, for free, but I will definitely be buy the issues on Comixology. It’s a brave business model, but I really hope it works for you.

    I’m still holding out hope for a movie/TV show based on this trilogy, but these comics will certainly keep me going in the meantime.

    Good luck!

  • Jorda says:

    Joe, I’ve never been a comics reader, but damn, this is cool. Screw the haters–it always amazes me how dickish people can be. Congratulations, and I’ll imagine Stephen Pacey reading the lines in my head.

  • Thore says:

    I think its great!

    I think 30 years of age is old in a brutal and non-forgiving place like the place where logan comes from. I hadnt imagined him older.

  • Roscoe says:

    Just bought and paid for the first issue. Love it! Glokta, severard, arch lector all look fantastic. Can’t wait for issue 2!

  • NobodyCris says:

    I feel he looks like Joe want it to look and I am ok with that Thx u Joe come to ny 🙂

  • Rob L says:

    Awesome Joe. Thanks for serializing!

  • Sam says:

    I, for one, am stoked. I can’t wait to see some of the more awesome set pieces that happen later, like the siege of Dagoska or the Bloody-Nine’s duel with Fenris the Feared, etc.

    Also, if these do well, I’m assuming we may see an adaptation of Best Served Cold? If so, insert the Fry gif of shut up and take my money here.

  • Dan says:

    Sweet. Cheers Joe, much enjoyment ahead

  • Doug says:

    I can’t say it’s my favorite format. I tend to follow the words more than look at the pictures. But, anything that brings these great books more exposure is fine by me. Good luck with the project, Joe.

  • darkharlequin says:

    Cool, looking forward to reading, and also like the price structure. I hope it works and is another example of consumers coming forward and paying when they don’t have to, or as Amanda Palmer put it so well, “How do you make people pay for content? You let them.”

  • Dave says:

    Love love lovvvved this issue Joe! I reviewed it (with a few pictures) on my website here:

    Lots of praise 🙂

  • That’s awesome, Joe! Thanks very much! Can’t wait to read the rest.

  • Storm in the High Places says:

    Will this be coming out on physical paper please say yes as I need it on my bookshelf

  • Eric James Soltys says:

    It’s always odd reconciling my mental image of a character with a comic/TV/movie adaptation of a novel. Obviously “my” Logen isn’t going to look like Andie Tong’s version, but I find the differences interesting too. Just as with “The Game of Thrones” adaptation I like seeing what parts of the story are being highlighting and which are being condensed. Actually, with GoT it’s a bit of the reverse because I now see the actors in their roles when reading the books. Maybe the same will happen with “The First Law”.

  • Graham says:

    Say one thing about this comic, say it has overlooked using the greatest catchphrase in fantasy.

    Comics aren’t my thing, but this has potential to change that.

  • Graham says:

    Say one thing about this comic, say it has overlooked the best catchphrase in fantasy.

    Comics aren’t my thing but definitely giving this a go.

  • Frank Fitzpatrick says:

    Sword, I think Phil Norris makes an excellent point, perhaps The Bloody Nine will have a different appearance to Logen, were we will see a more brutal and terrifying appearance?

    Is there any chance you can explain the edition process, Joe? How did you decide how and where you would end each edition and is there a possibility of edition collections (in graphic novel form) planned for a future date, so say 6 editions in a physical novel/comic form etc.?

    As you can probably tell, I’m not a graphic novel/comic consumer, so this whole thing is very new to me.

  • Chris E. says:

    Logen is too pretty, Glokta isn’t hideous enough, but otherwise looks good! Awesome to see!

  • bobbby says:

    Joe :

    My previous comment came out ruder than expected.
    Apologies for that.

  • David List says:

    That’s exactly how I pictured Frost and Severard looking… Except Frost of my imagination is far less angry of brow… More unconcerned. Even when bashing heads.

  • James Webster says:

    The mighty James Webster is chiming in again. Hear me roar!

    I have to say, even just based on the panels above, where we have a much more grizzled, obviously scarred and unshaven Logen, with big ears sticking out of his dirty hair, I may well have to take it all back.

    The popped collar look of the cover still jars a bit, but my negative reaction was largely based on the initial pretty boy character sketch. The Logen depicted in these pages is a different beast, if somewhat stylised as fits the format. When I’m wrong, I am wrong… and happy to be proved wrong!

    The art looks very nice, it really depicts the environment well. Looks bloody cold, wet and uncomfortable. And I wouldn’t fancy that wind blowing around my fruits.

    Looking forward to the rest of it, Joe, congratulations.

    I have spoken.

  • Dking says:

    My only complaint now is that it’s too short!

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Well, if we do ever manage to get the whole trilogy done, I don’t think anyone will make that complaint…

  • SgtPluck says:

    There won’t be any of us left to make that complaint – we’ll all be back in the mud long before it finishes!

  • […] früh erschien dann die Auflösung des Rätsels: Die Ankündigung, dass die Reihe tatsächlich nach und nach als Graphic Novel veröffentlicht wird. Und das absolut […]

  • troy says:

    lmao pluck! my thoughts exactly. one giant task indeed but one i hope that gets done!

  • Thile says:

    I had pictured a rougher, less body-builder physique Conan and it is pretty close, but I thought Glotka was dead on and I gave pretty much a fan boy Squeeeee when I saw that first panel.

    Talking to my coz who I introduced the books too, I was looking forward to ‘seeing’ Cosca and Shivers…
    Then I realized their best arcs were in Best Served Cold, so y’all are going to have to keep going after the Trilogy.

  • Eric Sean says:

    So if it’s free, what’s the point of me illegally downloading it? Grrr
    You’re twisting my melon. Man.
    Any plans for new stories in this medium? Prequels etc.

  • Gary says:

    I really like this from what I’ve read so far. Lovely artwork, you can really see the movement in the panels and the character emotions.

    The way it’s laid out, the colours, the camera angles, it’s a joy to behold. This is why I love comic books and graphic novels.

    This complements your work like a fine wine compliments a lovely steak.

  • Marco says:

    Incredible stuff. Will support it by picking up the hardcover editions when they are released.

  • Dking says:

    I’ll most certainly be looking forward to the finished article, that is if it ever gets finished (fingers crossed). For now I’ll probably avoid it for a couple of months so I have a big chunk to read. I’ll have to work on my self restraint though!

  • MaTT says:

    Amazing news , love graphic novels and I for one will be purchasing the hardbacks for the coffee table!

  • Eric Sean says:

    I might use a hardback copy as a coffee table too.

  • Scassonio says:

    Amazing job. Only, in my humble opinion, Glokta looks a bit too healthy and young. This is how I pictured the inquisitor

    Bear in mind it’s just my two cents. No criticism, ok?

    Again: ace job.

  • […] effet, l’auteur vient de révéler sur son blog que sa saga va être adaptée en comics, et cerise sur le gâteau, la lecture sera […]

  • James says:

    Hi Joe I think this is a great idea, I just finished all your books and they where all fantastic(really exited for your next trilogy,but yes we must be realistic and understand writing is hard and the best story’s take time) . I can say you and GRRM have inspired me to write myself(currently drafting my story but with uni its been hard). I think this comic is a great way to get more people aware of the terrific story you crafted. Now we just need to wait for a movie adaption(I actually think a movie version would be amazing), which hopefully will not be too far way!!!

  • Self Important Duck says:


    No criticism, ok, but I never pictured Glokta to be an old, grizzled sith lord.

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Or indeed the villain from Name of the Rose. At all.

    Glokta’s younger than me in the First Law. Mid thirties.

  • Hawkeye says:

    Nor I. I still think the alternate covers got them right, on all three characters in question.

    Andie Tong’s interpretations are fairly close to these as well. Not as much with Logen but very close on the other two. And I don’t mind his vision of Logen at all.

  • PeterBeck says:

    Well, I won’t lie, the art isn’t quite what I expected, much like the reissue covers the cast looks in better shape than imagined, but somehow I’ll live.
    However, on the lighter end, the art is very good, and while a different approach than one’s imagination, it is at least a better fit than the ungodly Game of Thrones comic (Catlyn Stark as a DD bombshell? Tyrion doing more flips and somersaults than a Cirque Du Soleil acrobat? Good god…).
    I’ll check out the new pages as they come, as I do want to see how the artist pulls off Byaz’s explosion trick, and see how he approaches some of the other cast members.

  • Stirling says:

    Nope…reading the books I can taste the blood and feel the grit in jaw dropping awe and/or shock of the scene you’ve constructed. The graphic novel is cool-aid and Oreo crumbs. Logan, no where near gnarled, raw or barbaric enough. Artist interpretation,it is what it is…..chances are I will still own a copy of the hardcover when it is released.

    Does not take away one bit from being a HUGE fan of your writing Joe, have a good one!

  • scassonio says:

    “Or indeed the villain from Name of the Rose. At all.”

    You’ve got one good eye, mate.

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Great film, though, huh?

    He’d make a great Adeptus Historical…

  • ColinJ says:

    Glokta’s in his thirties!?!? Mind = Blown.

    I always pictured him as a grizzled Anthony Hopkins-type. A bit fat and stooped.

  • James.D says:

    Now I am curious, are the drawings for Logan, Glokta and Jezel seen in the comics cover what Joe thought they looked like while writing the book, or are they changed to market towards the comic crowd? (I understand making Logan as ugly as he was described a hard sell for a protagonist)

    Love the designs otherwise, However Jezel looks different than I would of imagined him. Then again that’s the thing about reading I guess, everyone has their own opinion and take on their image of how a character looks

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    He’s a few years older than West, they were friends together in the army. Glokta and Logen are about the same age. Mid thirties.

    For me there’s a big range of interpretations that might work, and the characters have to fit into the overall vibe. Which is why I don’t necessarily have a problem with how Andie’s chosen to draw them. There wasn’t some dictat that they had to be handsome, or anything, this was basically Andie’s choice which I okayed. Logen actually started younger and better looking than this, and we tinkered a little, and still are doing. With Glokta, he’s a relatively young guy who used to be an ultra-handsome hero, so I think you need some sense of that in what’s left over, for all he’s obviously pretty damn messed up now. I actually think all the characters, and the art generally, has improved as we’ve worked our way into the project. The stuff in the second, third and fourth issues gets better and better for me.

  • nick givent says:

    I just purchased it from Comixology, and I can say that it followed the book very closely, which is the important part for me! I really like the look of it, and every character was fantastic, (Ninefingers a little young looking, but who cares?) I really liked how everyone else looked… especially the spirits!!! So awesome! I am glad this happened. I look forward to seeing the rest of the story in living color! woohoo!

  • bobbby says:

    Joe, was working on this comic a sort of “recharging your creative batteries” experience ?

    (I would not want that working on the comic has delayed your work on the next book)

  • Frank Fitzpatrick says:

    Logen’s mid-thirties? Well that’s quite interesting…

    So, indirectly, that would make Lamb *er hem* mid-fifties, right? So perhaps Lamb *er hem* still has some years of fighting left ahead of him…

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    It’s bits of work spread out over a long time, so I don’t believe it’s slowed me down particularly. But yeah, it is some work.

    Frank F,
    It’s all in the books. And yeah, he’s fifty or so in Red Country. Though that’d be pretty old in this world. I find it a bit strange how fixed an idea of the characters some people have. A woman just complained on facebook that Logen’s not sexy enough, so, you know, takes all kinds…

  • Frank Fitzpatrick says:

    I find it strange how people are telling you how your characters look. 😛

    Of course it is all subjective as we have different visions, but still, yours is the original and ultimate.

    Fifty is pretty old to be swinging big old swords about, but I assume that Curden Craw was there or there about and he was still pretty handy. Or to put it more politely, “experienced”.

  • beelbee says:

    Will the art style stay constant throughout or will there be changes (guest artists etc.) Though the quality of the art is superb, I’d love to see some different treatments

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Yeah, I know. I guess I’m surprised by how unwilling they are to accept an alternative interpretation. But then they have responded quite ferociously to cover art in the past. It’s an expression of enthusiasm for the books, in its way.

    Given the quantity of material we’re potentially talking about (16 issues for the Blade Itself alone) it’s very likely we’ll need more than one artist. When there’s a change over we’ll naturally re-asses things and there’ll probably be some change in approach. I’d want an artist to feel they could put their own stamp on it.

  • Peter tibbs says:

    Obviously this is a way of expanding the reader base. I think it will work well, as i am a reader already i get to gawp at the pretty pictures.
    Skimming though the other comments I’ve seen that all the sensible points about it have been made. My only concern is that being as short as it is (compared to the books), character interactions and relations will not be as deep.
    As an example, the missing lines about severard’s wife (and the following few lines) tells you volumes about the relationship, the people and the world.

    As a worthless sidenote I’m mildly worried that this is the first step toward getting a TV series like Game of thrones that differs from the books wildly. I’d still watch it though.

  • bobbby says:

    It would be difficult to get the internal monologues of all the major characters across in a TV series, IMO.
    And those monologues are the most important contributing factor of the characterization of Joe’s books.

  • James Webster says:

    From Frank:

    >> I find it strange how people are telling you how your characters look.<<

    I think there are a few things at work here.

    Firstly, it wouldn't surprise me if Logen was the favourite character of most of Joe's readers, so there will be some emotional investment there, and people will want it to look "right" (for their personal definition of "right"..) to do it justice.

    Secondly, while the author of course knows his characters better than anyone, the reader has no access to the author's internal representation of their appearance, they only have the words on the page. And it is a fact that the books have been pretty darn explicit in their description of the character's appearance, so one can hardly blame the readers for taking that to heart and expecting any visualisation to match that.

    I think that initial character sketch probably engendered the most negative reaction, and that coloured people's response to the subsequent teaser images. I know it did mine. Which is unfortunate, becase the real pages are a huge improvement, and obviously benefited from Joe and Andie's "tinkering".

    Anyway, it is all moot now. It looks as if it is shaping up nicely, really looking forward to the rest of it. :o)

  • peter tibbs says:

    That’s what worries me.

    I think you mean Glockta.On your second point, my knee jerk reaction was close to what you said, but this is a leap from book to graphic novel. Things need to change because of the format.
    I thought Glockta was too “pretty” but after reading Abercrombie’s comment about “needing to see what he used to be” I agree that the format needed that interpretation.

    I think what we need to remember is that this isn’t a copy/paste with pictures. Its a new way of looking at the series.

  • SgtPluck says:

    I think it was a very intelligent decision from the get-go to have Glockta as a young(ish) guy. It’s exactly because he used be upright and dashing and strong and one of the best swordsmen in the realm, that he’s now so bitter and twisted. His body and spirit being broken in torture, he questions ‘why’ – for what purpose was that exemplary service? It’s exactly the loss of his looks and his vitality that has made him into this twisetd shell. It would have been too easy to have made him an old, grizzled sith-lord type.

  • Magen says:


    I love it! And I’m glad I pictured the ages right. I got into a heated debate with my friend on how old Logen was in the first law trilogy. I’m telling him, READ THE CONTEXT FRIGGIN CLUES!

    So his Dad sent him away when he was 15, then he makes a name for himself that takes years in the making. So I find the exact paragraph where Dogman’s saying “Was that really necessary?” (after he asks Black Dow if he needs another lesson <– a part that always makes me smile) and Logen's reply is something (I'm obviously paraphrasing) to the extent of: "Guess you got the knack to where folks like you. I reckon I missed my chance about 15 years ago." Which puts him (in my mind) at the beginning of his journey to the become the Bloody Nine.. i.e. the time when his Dad sent him away.

    And HOW can Glokta possibly be FAT when he was the best fencer of his time, tortured for 2 years, and all he eats is SOUP?? He can barely get that down half the time. My mind was blown when reading over that comment (no offense intended.. but damn, that's a hard thing to overlook).

    Gah so glad you clarified. Now I can rub it in his face for the rest of my life … because I'm a scorpio and that's what we do. 😉

    Anyway, congrats on the graphic novel. Pretty much anything you put out is gold in my mind. Keep up the awesome work!

  • nick givent says:

    Another thing I liked was that they kept Glokta’s inner dialogue incorprated into the graphic novel…

  • Rick Badger says:

    Busy week – I’ve only just got around to reading this.

    And wow – fantastic! Bookmarked and looking forward to the printed version. I don’t care at all how the characters look, though I am looking forward to meeting Bayaz. I imagine him as a grumpy Richard Attenborough…

  • Ser Kenneth says:

    It’s always really cool to see how different people interpret written material in visual format. I remember when The Fellowship of the Ring movie came out. Some things looked pretty much exactly as I imagined them to, others looked completely different, and the latter was definitely the most interesting and in some cases changed how I used to think about certain creatures characters. I feel similar about Logen in this. Personally I always imagined him looking much more weathered, scarred and ugly, but it’s really cool to see the artist’s interpretation even though it is quite different from mine.

  • Ser Kenneth says:

    (I forgot to post this in my previous comment, sorry)

    I totally love what they did with Glokta though. I am among those who imagined him as a bit of an emperor Palpatine looking guy, but the way the artist portrays him here makes a lot more sense.

  • […] trilogia The First Law a lui Joe Abercrombie a apărut sub formă de bandă desenată, deocamdată doar 12 pagini din 1000 plănuite: detalii găsim şi […]

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  • Daniel Scott says:

    Amazeballs! When is the first print of 1-4 coming out?? Please be soon! Please be soon! Is there a pre-order? Who do I have to do unlicensed dental work on to get it? Where are my pliers?

  • mark says:

    its really great but annoying that the printed version of it will take time till okt november…
    i really hope this is the first of many steps to make the firstlaw more popular and perhaps someday it will get the tv show in game of thrones style the first law deserved right from the start
    i mean now after REAL fantasy gets thanks to hbo game of thrones more attention of the public this is not such an utopia anymore…

  • Pat says:

    I am enjoying the graphic novel so far and I like the new format that allows for it to be free.

    SPOILERS. People who have not read finished the first book or are only reading the comics you should stop reading……
    I am very interested to see when the bloody-nine first appears, will the writers make him visibly look different since it is a comic (like the mini-series ‘Jekyl’)? My only nitpick is that the violence seems somewhat toned down. I may have forgotten but didn’t Glotka begin to chop off Rews fingers in the book to get him to talk? Idk I’m just afraid that when the bloody-nine does show up he wont be twisted/evil/violent/psycho enough. I’ve always imagined the bloody-nine appearances to be very violent and raw. Half the time, by the end of his appearance, the bloody-nine does this shrill laugh with his head cocked to the side looking like a total psychopath all the while being covered from head to toe in blood. If they show something along those lines then this comic will be that much better, otherwise I don’t think the comic-only viewing audience will get that same sense of awe, satisfaction and terror that book audience received. (On second thought, who cares at least I get to see one of the most badass characters in all of fiction in illustrated form.)

  • Titus says:

    Yeah it’s nice, but seriously, Glokta and Ninefingers are too handsome.
    Espacially Logen, who is, by all accounts, an ugly brute. He’s scarred and abused. Comic Logen is a beauty queen with a scar painted across her nose.
    The only woman novel-Ninefingers gets with is Ferro Maljinn, a demon brood. Comic Logen would get princesses falling to their knees with their robes hitched up.

    Comic Glokta is actually an honorable effort, I see his face twitching, and his teeth missing. But he is considered repulsive by more than one character. Ok, mostly Jezal, who isn’t exactly tolerant, and Ardee does marry him.

  • […] of Joe Abercrombie? Then you may know about his awesome graphic novel project. Since April of 2013, Joe has been posting new “pages” online of a graphic novel […]

  • VictorianModesty says:

    I think Sand Dan Glokta is 100% accurate. In the books, if he is about the same age as Collem West, then he would be in his early to mid thirties. Everything about the character I the comic is accurate; the hair, craggy face, athletic build twisted to ruin, even the left eye. Bravo!

  • WriterJosh says:

    I gotta confess something. I tend to “cast” what I read, and I even consider whether the book/series I’m reading would work better as a TV series or a movie.

    In the case of First Law, I thought TV series. Starring Ray Stevenson as Logen, Jamie Campbell Bower as Jezal and Mark Sheppard as Glokta. And the craziest thing is, these depictions may not look just like the actors I chose, but I could easily see those actors being made up to look like the depictions here!

    BTW, I also had Ben Kingsley playing Bayaz, even though I don’t think he’d do TV. I just couldn’t help it. In my mind, Bayaz will ALWAYS look like Ben Kingsley.

  • Mike says:

    As someone who’s read all your books Joe, I would love nothing more than a movie or HBO series adaptation of the story, but graphic novels will also do just fine. How can this be released quicker? I would happily pay money if it meant a new issue every month.

  • […] que la trilogia sestà adaptant per tal de convertir-se en una novel·la gràfica. On la història serà la mateixa, però us perdreu els diàlegs interiors d’en Glotka entre […]

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