Image Comics is pleased to announce the forthcoming original graphic novel, Pete Townshend’s Life House, based on rock music legend Townshend’s 1970 screenplay and related materials of the same name, which in turn went on to inspire The Who’s 1971 globally bestselling and universally beloved album, Who’s Next. It is set to hit shelves in December.
This graphic novelization of Townshend’s story is co-written by Doom Patrol‘s James Harvey and Spider-Man Noir‘s David Hine with art by both Harvey and Australian visual artist Max Prentis, lettering by Michah Myers, and inks by Eisner Award winning artist Mick Gray. It is edited by the former Managing Editor of Heavy Metal Magazine, Hannah Means-Shannon, and will showcase a massive Vinyl LP format (12.25″ x 12.25″).
“Life House has always needed a story that makes sense but without the egos of new creatives who think they can ‘fix’ what was wrong with my first draft,” said Townshend. “The graphic novel is built around that first draft written prior to recording sessions and workshops at the Young Vic in 1971. A second draft with some good ideas from Roger in 1976 added some cohesion and more exciting collateral which really suits the comic format.The art is beautiful and dense, colourful of course and engaging. The artists and their team have made an amazing and hugely collectible piece that adds depth and clarity to an otherwise complex story. I’m delighted with the comic. Life House is reborn!”
Set in a Dystopian future where music has been outlawed, Pete Townshend’s Life House follows a small band of rebels who stage an underground concert in an effort to undermine a tyrannical leader… and free Britain and all of humanity from a grisly fate.
“Growing up, The Who were one of my favorite bands, and ‘Who’s Next’ definitely loomed large in their discography as a major touchstone. From ‘Tommy’ to ‘Who’s Next’ to ‘Quadrophenia,’ Pete Townshend has always not only distinguished himself as one of rock’s most ambitious songwriters, but also a natural storyteller, so it’s both a pleasure and a thrill to see one of his most legendary projects take on a new life as a graphic novel,” said Eric Stephenson, Publisher and Chief Creative Officer at Image Comics. “Anyone who has been a fan of Pete and ‘The Who’ for as long as I have is well-versed in the history of ‘Lifehouse’ and how it became ‘Who’s Next,’ so helping to finally get Pete’s story into people’s hands is nothing short of incredible.”
Several members from the graphic novel team will attend this year’s New York Comic Con for a live panel discussing the project, with Townshend scheduled to join via Zoom.
“Helping Pete to advance his epic vision for Life House has been a dream come true,” said Jeff Krelitz, CEO of RockBox Studios. “Assembling and working with a team of unbelievably talented creators to help bring this project to life has been even more rewarding. If you’re a fan of The Who, or even just a fan of great science fiction, you’ll find a new home in Pete Townshend’s Life House.
Originally envisioned as a sci-fi rock epic to follow-up The Who’s rock opera, Tommy, and put aside 50 years ago—in favor of releasing some of the project’s songs on Who’s Next like “Baba O’Riley,” “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” and “Behind Blue Eyes”—Pete Townshend’s Life House will finally take center stage.
Hine added: “Working on Life House has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career in comics. The challenge was to finally realize Pete Townshend’s visionary story of a sound that transcends human fallibility and unifies all human consciousness, and along the way to create a page-turning thriller with mind-blowing visuals. The artists on this book have performed like your dream supergroup.”
“Being part of the creation of such a prolific comic has been exciting and challenging,” said Prentis. “This is my first comic I’ve worked on, so it was a steep learning curve; it was truly being thrown in the deep end, but with the experience of Mick, Hannah, and David, it felt like a swim. Making and finishing a part of Pete’s original idea from five decades ago and being part of such a monumental piece has made me feel we’ve really accomplished something big here.”
Pete Townshend’s Life House hardcover edition (ISBN: 978-1-5343-9760-6, Lunar Code 1023IM250) and Pete Townshend’s Life House hardcover edition w/slipcase (ISBN: 978-1-5343-9759-0, Lunar Code 1023IM251) will be available at independent bookstores, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, and Indigo on Tuesday, December 5 and local comic book shops on Wednesday, December 6.
Extremely limited editions of the graphic novel, signed by Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey are available exclusively from Tower Records at TowerRecords.com.