Legendary Comics announced today that creators Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas will bring Championess, a brand-new graphic novel, to readers in Fall of 2020. The story will delve into the bare-knuckle boxing craze of 18th Century England.
Based on the life of Elizabeth Wilkinson, largely considered to be the first female boxer, who challenged opponents in the 1700s by taking out ads in London newspapers, Championess will follow “the Championess of Europe” as she fights to gain notoriety and credibility in a male-dominated sport, as well as struggles to deal with her own racial identity.
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.
“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.”
If you are attending Awesome Con in Washington, DC, this weekend, you are invited to join Shanker and Zekas as they share information 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. And don’t forget to visit Legendary Comics at Booth #651!
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!
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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