What would you do if you woke up in the future to find your parents missing and energy is scarce? That’s the dilemma facing siblings Celine and Tucker in the upcoming Image Comics graphic novel Howtoons [Re] Ignition.

The graphic novel, slated for a February release, is penned by Fred Van Lente, penciled by Tom Fowler and coloured by Eisner winner Jordie Bellaire.

Howtoons is the brainchild of Dr. Saul Griffith, a MacArthur Fellow and artist Nick Dragotta, and the series celebrated its 10th anniversary this past July with the release of Tools of Mass Construction. [Re] Ignition follows in the series’ model of melding science projects into stories set in a post-apocalyptic world.

Celine and Tucker waken in the distant future, where they must perform experiments and create projects to help them escape from hostile tribes and mechanized threats that would seem improbable, even impossible, on the Earth they know and love. The projects and experiments shown in the graphic novel can be done at home with parental supervision, and kids will have so much fun with these projects that they won’t realize they’re learning at the same time!

Readers in the target age group of 8-12, will learn through STEAM skills (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) in this book that is the perfect addition to any classroom or home collection.

“I love making things, making comics. So it’s cool to be able to share that with kids and show them all these different disciplines,” said Dragotta in a recent interview. “Hopefully we can provide an entertaining story first, that will motivate them to build the projects in the book. Maybe learn something through play.”

Dragotta feels there’s something to interest every kid who reads the book, be it engineering, art, design or stories. “If the book serves as any kind of primer to opening a reader up to something new, I’m all for it,” he said.

Van Lente, who is making his Image Comics debut with [Re] Ignition, was quick to praise his talented art team on the project. “Tom has such great dynamism and expressiveness to his figures,” he said. “He’s really perfect to work on a kids-oriented project that needs to be full of energy — no pun intended — and he and Jordie have done so many projects together they’re kind of mind-melded. It’s mildly frightening.”

Howtoons [Re] Ignition will be in comic book stores February 25 and in book stores March 10 and will retail for $9.99 US.

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