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Margaret Atwood writing Angel Catbird superhero novel

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Vince Talotta/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Margaret Atwood is bringing her talent to graphic novels, Dark Horse Comics announced today. The award-winning author of The Handmaids Tale and The Heart Goes Last will write Angel Catbird, the story of an “unusual superhero,” in collaboration with Johnnie Christmas (Sheltered). The book will be released in the fall of 2016.

According to Atwood, Angel Catbird is a superhero, and, yes, a very unusual one. “I have concocted a superhero who is part cat, part bird. Due to some spilled genetic Super-Splicer, our hero got tangled up with both a cat and an owl; hence his fur and feathers, and his identity problems,” said the author. The all-ages book is being published with the conservation charity Keep Cats Safe and Save Bird Lives.

“Margaret Atwood has created a bold and unforgettable new character, paying homage to both classic pulp heroes and traditional comic book origin stories,” Mike Richardson, Dark Horse’s publisher and president, said in a statement. “We’re proud to bring Margaret’s Angel Catbird here to Dark Horse, since it is exactly the kind of creator-owned graphic novel we are committed to publishing.”

“It’s tremendously exciting to work with one of the great contemporary novelists,” added Christmas. “I can’t wait for readers to experience the world of Angel Catbird that we’re building. It’s got warmth, heart, humor, and lots of action.”

Atwood previously contributed to Hope Nicholson’s The Secret Lives of Geek Girls comics this year, and spoke to EW about her connection to graphic novels and her cartoon work. “It was the comic book generation,” she said of her childhood, “and there wasn’t any television then! But there were comic books, and they came roaring back right after the War, colored ones, because we couldn’t get colored ones in Canada in the war years. One of the tragedies of life is that my mother found my brother’s comic book collection after he had gone off to graduate school and she threw them out!” We’ll assume issues of Angel Catbird will stay far away from the trash.

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