Frank Miller (Photo by Sophy Holland)
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Frank Miller (Photo by Sophy Holland)

Frank Miller taking on Arthurian legend in new illustrated YA novel

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Mar 22, 2018, 8:45 PM EDT

Frank Miller, author of the seminal comics The Dark Knight Returns and Sin City, is taking on the tale of King Arthur. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers will release a young adult novel reimagining the Arthurian legend, illustrated by Miller and written by Thomas Wheeler.

The YA book, which was first reported by Entertainment Weekly, is tentatively titled Cursed and tells the story of King Arthur from the point of view of Nimue, the 16-year-old girl who first wielded Excalibur and ultimately became the Lady of the Lake. Cursed will feature full-color and black-and-white illustrations and be published in hardcover, audio, and as an eBook.

Here’s an illustration by Miller for the forthcoming book:

CURSED illustration by Frank Miller

“I have always been entranced by the mythological Arthur story—and by Nimue, in particular,” said Miller in a statement. “It can be interpreted in any number of ways—from a delightful children’s story, as in The Sword in the Stone, to a terrifying interpretation like Excalibur. This tale represents an incredible opportunity and an exciting challenge for me as an illustrator, and I’m excited to collaborate on the story with Thomas Wheeler. I inherited a collection of antique children’s books from my mother, and I’ve always wanted to have a crack at it myself. This project is a dream come true.”

Wheeler, who wrote the Shrek spinoff film Puss in Boots and co-wrote The Lego Ninjago Movie, added: “I am honored and humbled to be working with the living legend Frank Miller on Cursed. I cannot think of a writer-artist who has had a more formative impact on my growth as a storyteller.”

This coming-of-age adventure tale that takes place in the Dark Ages centers on Nimue, the daughter of a high priestess, who is blessed with a powerful connection to the living energy of the forest. Over the course of her journey, Nimue will become the symbol of courage and rebellion against a terrifyingly corrupt king. She will also befriend a young mercenary named Arthur, unaware of the role he will play in the future. 

Cursed (or whatever it ends up being called) is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2019. We know that’s a ways away, so in the meantime, Miller fans can look forward to Dark Horse's April release of Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander, Miller's follow-up to his award-winning comic series 300.