A young Elvis Presley navigates a treacherous high school landscape and hones his musical ambitions in a new excerpt from Elvis: The Graphic Novel, which is set to arrive in August via Z2 Comics (pre-order here).
Elvis was written by Chris Miskiewicz and illustrated by Michael Shelfer. The graphic novel will cover Presley’s career, from his Memphis roots and Sun Studios breakthrough to the triumphs and tribulations that marked his reign as the King of Rock and Roll.
The new excerpt, below, focuses on Presley’s adolescence, starting with a scene in a record store where he and a friend listen to arguably the first rock & roll song ever recorded, Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats’ “Rocket ’88’ ” (while Brenston received the credit and sang the track, it was notably written by bandleader Ike Turner). The excerpt goes on to follow Presley as he admires fine suits and fancy Cadillacs, sneaks a peek at the revelry inside a Memphis jazz club, and enjoys a concert by the gospel group, the Statesmen Quartet.
A later scene finds Presley and his eye-popping outfits drawing the ire of some high school bullies, although before one of them can cut off his hair, he’s rescued by Red West, who would become his confidante and bodyguard. In the closing moments of the excerpt, Presley performs live for the first time at his high school talent show, after which the story shifts focus to the man who would give the aspiring musician his big break, Sun Records founder Sam Phillips.
Elvis: The Graphic Novel is available to preorder on Z2 Comics’ website or on Amazon.com, and will be released in standard hardcover and softcover editions. A limited deluxe hardcover edition will also be released and come with a “blue suede” slipcase, three high-quality prints, and a limited-edition picture disc of Presley’s debut album; a super deluxe edition will come with all of that, plus a limited-edition giclee art print and each copy will be signed by the book’s creative team.