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Back to Arrakis! Here are the biggest Dune publishing reveals from Comic-Con@Home

By Brian Silliman
Dune 2020

The world of Dune is about to get a whole lot bigger. Frank Herbert's sprawling sci-fi epic of two rival families battling over a valuable planet of sand and spice is still receiving a new film adaptation in two parts (courtesy of director Denis Villeneuve) and plans are still in motion for a televised spin-off, Dune: The Sisterhood. In case all of that isn't enough for you, then how about a shipload of books, graphic novels, and comics? 

Though Herbert himself passed in 1986 (after writing many sequels), the series continued thanks to his son, Brian Herbert, and Kevin J. Anderson. They appeared on a panel as part of Comic-Con@Home, where all of the new publishing projects based on Herbert's world were unveiled.

In twenty years of knowing each other, Herbert maintains that he and Anderson have maybe had one "half-hour argument." That's not bad. Anderson mentioned that he and Herbert were also about to start another book in the Dune series (which would be revealed at the panel's end), and this time they'll be working on it through the powers of Zoom. Though the panel focused on publishing, Herbert added that there's a lot to look forward to in terms of gaming — a new computer game and some new tabletop games based on the property are all in the works. 

Movies, television, and gaming aside, here's everything that the panel revealed.

Dune Reprint Covers

The first titles mentioned were the first original books from Frank Herbert, all given a "facelift" as Anderson said, and published by Penguin Random House. Senior Editor Jessica Wade joined the duo to show off the group of new covers that the classic series has already received (and will continue to receive), all of which can be seen above. 

The first six books in the series have gotten this treatment, with box sets being available on August 25, 2020. A "Deluxe Edition" of the first novel was also created, and it will have plenty of "bells and whistles" according to Wade, including original artwork. Whether you already own the book or not, you can "never have too many copies of Dune," according to Anderson. 

Dune Graphic Novel Cover

Anderson and Herbert have been wanting to do a full graphic novel adaptation of the original story for a long while ("definitive, scene-by-scene" as Anderson said), and now it is finally happening. They introduced editor Charlotte Greenbaum of Abrams ComicArts, who is overseeing Dune: The Graphic Novel, Book 1.

It will be the first of three books, one graphic novel per book section. The story itself will be adapted by Herbert and Anderson, so it's likely to cleave very close to the original story. Anderson mentioned that working on the graphic novel gave him an even greater appreciation for everyone who has tried to adapt the material over the years, as there have been many. Book 1 of this adaptation will be available on October 27th. 

Dune: House Atreides Reprint Covers

Hey man, we heard you like re-issues of prequels! Herbert and Anderson began the House Atreides stories back in 1999, which told early tales involving Duke Leto and Lady Jessica. These stories grew into a trilogy, and Del Rey is now giving the Dune: House Atreides trilogy a second life. 

Executive editor Anne Groell showed off the new designs (seen above), and recalled how she loved revisiting the world of Dune when she originally discovered this trilogy. The books will feature some missing notes from Frank Herbert, unearthed by Brian Herbert. Fans were definitely hesitant about Brian Herbert and Anderson continuing the series originally, but Herbert recalled that after they read them, most fans were thankful. 

Look for these re-issues to hit shelves on... October 27th. That's gonna be a big day for Dune

Dune: House Of Areides Comic Art (Baron Harkonnen)

Who is that handsome young blade? Surely it cannot be the disgusting and villainous Vladimir Harkonnen? It definitely is, as he features in a 12-issue comic series based on the prequel stories. It will also be called Dune: House Atreides, and will come courtesy of BOOM! Studios.

Ross Richie, the CEO and founder of the studio, is a massive fan of the property, and has been wanting to work in this world for a long time. He also revealed that they are working with Abrams (who are creating the Dune graphic novel), to achieve further synthesis. "The Abrams artists and the BOOM! artists are using the same character designs," Anderson said. Furthermore, Anderson and Herbert themselves are also adapting this series.  

"The Harkonnens can be different," Herbert said, adding that fans once asked, "How can the Baron be lean and muscular?" It's possible because this is a prequel, and that means we'll get to truly see how Vladimir became so gross.

Dune: The Duke of Caladan (Promo Cover)

Finally, a brand new trilogy will be coming from Herbert and Anderson, published by TOR Books. It will be titled Dune: The Duke of Caladan, and editor Chris Morgan revealed some artwork for it as well as revealing that it will be available on October 13th. 

The book is another prequel, and will feature Paul Atreides when he is 14 years old. Herbert pointed out that he is 15 when the original book starts, so the events here will prove to be pivotal for the entire Atreides family. Fans who wanted to spend more time on the planet Caladan, which doesn't get much time in the original book, are in for a treat.

Anderson also revealed that this book will be the first of a trilogy, with this first entry ending with the family finding out that they will soon be shipping off for Arrakis. All of the fan favorite characters from the original classic will feature, so fans who have only read that first book (and yearn for much more Duncan Idaho) will know exactly what is going on. 

On mentioning that the follow-up book to this one (the second in the planned trilogy) has been outlined but not written, Anderson made it clear that Book 2 of this series is the new book that he had mentioned at the beginning of the panel. It's about time for he and Herbert to jump on Zoom and get cracking. 

Fans can expect massive wormsign very soon. 

Click here for SYFY WIRE's full coverage of Comic-Con@Home 2020.