Championess Press Release

Championess Press Release

April 23, 2019

Press Release

Legendary Comics Announces New Graphic Novel Championess that Delves into the Ferocious 18th Century Craze of Bare-Knuckle Boxing, Set for Release in Fall 2020

Creators Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas to Join Upcoming ‘Legendary Comics 2019 and Beyond’ Panel at Awesome Con on Saturday, April 27

LOS ANGELES, April 23, 2019 – Legendary Comics enters the ring with creators Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas to bring readers Championess, a new graphic novel set for release in Fall 2020. Drawing inspiration from the real-life enigmatic boxer Elizabeth Wilkinson who challenged opponents by posting adverts in London newspapers in the early 1700s, this fictitious story follows ‘the Championess of Europe’ as she fights to gain notoriety in the male-dominated sport of bare-knuckle boxing, as well as struggles with her own racial identity. Follow for the latest news and updates.

“When Tarun and Kelly first pitched me Championess, I loved that it was based on a true story and explored the life of a female bare-knuckle boxer in the 18th Century,” said Nikita Kannekanti, Editor of Legendary Comics. “It’s such a unique premise, and I had no idea women boxing was a thing back then! I have wanted to bring an incredibly strong, passionate female character to life in an original graphic novel, and the story Tarun and Kelly have created based on Elizabeth Wilkinson is the perfect opportunity.”

“There isn’t much known about Elizabeth Wilkinson, but when we first heard her story, our imaginations went wild as we hung on every detail, from her larger-than-life personality to the way she helped popularize the sport of boxing in its earliest, most brutal days,” said Shanker and Zekas. “We’re so excited to be working with Legendary to tell her remarkable story and explore this fascinating corner of history.”

About Championess:
In eighteenth century London, Elizabeth Wilkinson is struggling to make ends meet for her and her sister Tess. While Elizabeth works odd jobs at the local newspaper, her true passion is bare-kuckle boxing. The only way to make enough money off of boxing is to train with one of the famous retired boxers and the only real fight promoter of any notoriety, James Figg. Figg refuses to train Elizabeth at first because she is a woman, but she cunningly forces his hand by taking an ad in the newspaper and claiming that she will fight another female bare-knuckle boxer as Figg’s pupil. As Elizabeth trains with Figg and James Stokes, she is forced to come to terms with her half-Indian side and her criminal father as she faces the powerful female bare-knuckle boxers of her day.

Fans attending Awesome Con are invited to visit Legendary Comics at Booth #651, as well as join the Legendary Comics team and Championess creators Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas as they share secrets about upcoming comic releases at the “Legendary Comics 2019 and Beyond” panel on Saturday, April 27, 2019 from 3:00pm – 4:00pm in Room 150.

About the “Legendary Comics 2019 and Beyond Panel” at Awesome Con:
Legendary Comics is part of Legendary Entertainment, the company behind such films as Godzilla: King of the Monsters and POKÉMON Detective Pikachu. Join the Legendary Comics team on Saturday, April 27 at 3:00pm in Room 150 for an insightful chat where they will be sharing secrets about their upcoming comic releases including the just-announced Lupina and POKÉMON Detective Pikachu. See sneak peaks for Lost in Space: Countdown to Danger, the comic continuation of the hit television series; WEBTOON titles Acursian, Richard Dinnick’s (Doctor Who) new series Rob, Firebrand “season two,” the latest news on the comic book “Monsterverse,” and a few other surprises! All attendees will receive an exclusive Legendary Comics giveaway!

About the creators:
Tarun Shanker is a mild-mannered assistant by day and a milder-mannered writer by night, currently living in Boston. His idea of paradise is a place where kung-fu movies are projected on clouds, soul music fills the air and chai flows freely from the fountains. He is the co-author of the These Vicious Masks trilogy with Kelly Zekas.

Kelly Zekas lives in NYC with her dog and fiancé, splitting her time between working as an office manager by day and writer by night, weekend, and lunch break. When not working, she can be found at her boxing gym or devouring a romance novel. She is the co-author of the These Vicious Masks trilogy with Tarun Shanker.

About Legendary Comics:
Legendary Comics was born out of a passion for mythic entertainment, seeking out new talent and working with the best and the brightest in the industry to create transportive worlds, inspirational characters, and spectacular adventures that leap off the page. Founded in 2011, Legendary Comics has produced an exciting catalogue of original titles that continues to grow and evolve. From partnerships with industry legend Frank Miller to Grant Morrison’s Eisner-nominated Annihilator, Legendary Comics has a passion for innovative new stories, including Marc Guggenheim’s The Adventures of Jonas Quantum, the fantasy action series A Town Called Dragon, and Jessica Chobot and Erika Lewis’ hit webseries, Firebrand: The Initiation of Natali Pressano. In addition to original titles, Legendary Comics also expands the scope of the cinematic universes of its parent company Legendary Entertainment, by bringing big-screen adventure exploding onto the comic book page. Working with the visionary filmmakers and the architects of Legendary’s Monsterverse, they have delivered the level of quality and authenticity our fans demand with New York Times best-sellers such as Godzilla: Awakening and Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero, and Skull Island: The Birth of Kong, to name a few.

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