Upcoming Young Adult Graphic Novel byÂ New York TimesÂ Bestselling Author E. LockhartÂ
and Acclaimed Artist Manuel Preitano Introduces Readers to an All-New â€śPawâ€ť-some DC Super Hero
Book Hits Stores May 11, 2021
Available to Preorder Now
Today DC unveiled the cover and new details forÂ Whistle: A New Gotham City HeroÂ from acclaimed young adult (YA) novelist E. Lockhart and illustrator Manuel Preitano.Â The upcoming YA graphic novel debuts an original superhero with an ulti-â€śmuttâ€ť set of abilities and is a moving coming-of-age tale about perseverance, heroism, and finding your voice to make change in your community.
Set in a reimagined Gotham City,Â WhistleÂ follows 16-year-old Willow Zimmerman as she struggles to make ends meet during her motherâ€™s cancer treatments. A series of odd jobs leadsÂ to a life-altering accident that leaves Willow with a â€śsixth senseâ€ť that is as much a blessing as a curse.
Lockhart is best known for herÂ New York TimesÂ bestselling novelsÂ Genuine FraudÂ andÂ We Were Liars. Her novelÂ The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-BanksÂ was a National Book Award finalist and Printz honor book. Lockhart brings her authentic storytelling to DC for the first time in this powerful debut graphic novel that introduces teen readers to an original heroine inspired by her Jewish heritage.
â€śWhistle is a hero like me. Like you, maybe. Sheâ€™s an ordinary person who sees whatâ€™s wrong in her city and feels powerless to right itâ€”until she isnâ€™t,â€ť said Lockhart. â€śWhistle is a social activist, a secular Jewish person,Â and a teenage girlÂ working to support her mother through sicknessâ€”all elements I havenâ€™t seen so much in superhero comics. The storyÂ explores the dark, ethically compromised side of a superheroâ€™s life as well as the empowerment. Thereâ€™s the thrill of corruption and the lure of riches on the one hand, versus an activistâ€™s belief in the rights of her community members on the other.â€ť
In addition to creating a new hero for Gotham City, Lockhart is also excited to put her unique spin on a few iconic characters from Batmanâ€™s mythos.Â
â€śWhistle has to ally herself with the best of Gothamâ€™s criminal underworld in order to understand the forces that threaten her home neighborhood. DC let me pick from the incredible gallery of Gotham roguesâ€”characters I grew up reading about. It was a thrill to write Killer Croc, the Riddler, and most fun of all, Poison Ivy.â€ť
Joining Lockhart onÂ WhistleÂ is Manuel Preitano,Â an Italian illustrator and graphic designer. Preitano is no stranger to Gotham City, having recently illustrated DCâ€™s critically acclaimed YA graphic novelÂ The Oracle Code, written by Marieke Nijkamp, which reimagined Oracleâ€™s origins.
â€śDesigning a new character is always a great challenge,â€ť said Preitano. â€śEmily and I had great synergy in bringing Willow and her supporting cast to life. I also loved being able to draw so many dogs! I hope readers enjoy discovering Gotham Cityâ€™s Down River, a new neighborhood we created for this book, and its inhabitantsâ€”cute dogs included! I also hope readers enjoy following the adventure of this new heroine, her friends, and the world we created.â€ť
Whistle: A New Gotham City HeroÂ is available to preorder now and will hit stores and online retailers everywhere books are sold on May 11, 2021. See below and above for more details and imagery revealed today.
Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero
Written by E. Lockhart
Illustrated by Manuel Preitano
Colored by Gabby Metzler
Lettered by Troy PeteriÂ
On sale everywhere books are sold on May 11, 2021
FromÂ New York TimesÂ bestselling author E. Lockhart (Genuine Fraud,Â We Were Liars) and artist Manuel Preitano (The Oracle Code) comes a new Gotham City superhero in this exciting YA graphic novel.
Sixteen-year-old Willow Zimmerman has something to say. When sheâ€™s not on the streets advocating for her community, sheâ€™s volunteering at the local pet shelter. She seeks to help all those in need, even the stray dog sheâ€™s named Lebowitz that follows her around. But as much as she does for the world around her, she struggles closer to homeâ€”taking care of her mother, recently diagnosed with cancer. Her job as an adjunct professor of Jewish studies does not provide adequate health insuranceâ€”and Willow can see that time is running out.Â
When in desperation she reconnects with her estranged â€śuncleâ€ť Edward, he opens the door to an easier life. Through simple jobs, such as hosting his private poker nights with Gotham Cityâ€™s elites, she is able to keep her family afloatâ€”and afford critical medical treatments for her mother.Â
Willowâ€™s family life quickly improves through the income provided by these jobs, but it comes at the cost of distancing herself from the people she truly cares about. Her time is now spent on new connections, such as biologist and teacher Pammie Isley. And when Willow and Lebowitz collide with the monstrous Killer Croc outside the local synagogue, they are both injured, only to wake up being able to understand each other. And there are other developments, too...strange ways in which theyâ€™ve become stronger together. Willowâ€™s activism kicks into high gearâ€”with these powers, she can really save the world!
But when Willow discovers that Edward and his friends are actually some of Gothamâ€™s most corrupt criminals, she must make a choice: remain loyal to the man who kept her family together, or use her new powers to be a voice for her community.