Yuri Gagarin graphic novel to be launched

Countdown begins for the launch of a 64 page graphic novel documenting, in classic comic style, the amazing stories of two men who would pave the way to the stars.

The dramatic story of early Soviet rocket adventures will amaze people unfamiliar with the incredible experiences of the first space pioneers. Yuri Alexeyovich Gagarin, the first man ever to journey into space, is known to most of us only as a vague, smiling figure in a metal helmet. We in the non-Russian world have little idea of what happened to him after his historic space trip. Yuri earned the loyalty and respect of his cosmonaut colleagues, and the love of the Russian people. In fact he became a popular and handsome global superstar — but YURI’S DAY reveals Gagarin’s gradual disillusionment with the Soviet system that created him. Along the way we encounter:

  • Sergei Korolev, the ‘father’ of the Russian space program, and a man who literally crawled, half-starved, out of a gulag to claim his place as chief of Soviet rocketry
  • Nikolai Kamanin, the Stalinist martinet in charge of cosmonaut training
  • Alexei Leonov, Yuri’s best friend, and the first man to walk in space
  • Gagarin’s brother and sister, young children caught up in the Nazi invasion of Russia.
  • Gherman Titov, the brilliant, clever pilot who had hoped to be the first man to reach space. Titov was Yuri’s close friend and bitter rival, a Salieri to Yuri’s Mozart.

YURI’S DAY reveals the drama and complexity of Soviet life in its insane and often cruel glory. Out of hard times came the world’s first great triumph of human space exploration: a victory that will forever be Russian!

Expected release date, late November 2010.

Piers Bizony, space science writer

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