Upcoming Young Adult Graphic Novel by New York Times Bestselling Author E. Lockhart and Acclaimed Artist Manuel Preitano Introduces Readers to an All-New “Paw”-some DC Super Hero.
DC has unveiled the cover and new details for Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero from acclaimed young adult (YA) novelist E. Lockhart and illustrator Manuel Preitano. The upcoming YA graphic novel debuts an original superhero with an ulti-“mutt” 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, Whistle follows 16-year-old Willow Zimmerman as she struggles to make ends meet during her mother’s cancer treatments. A series of odd jobs leads to a life-altering accident that leaves Willow with a “sixth sense” that is as much a blessing as a curse.
Lockhart is best known for her New York Times bestselling novels Genuine Fraud and We Were Liars. Her novel The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks 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.
“Whistle is a hero like me. Like you, maybe. She’s an ordinary person who sees what’s wrong in her city and feels powerless to right it—until she isn’t,” said Lockhart. “Whistle is a social activist, a secular Jewish person, and a teenage girl working to support her mother through sickness—all elements I haven’t seen so much in superhero comics. The story explores the dark, ethically compromised side of a superhero’s life as well as the empowerment. There’s the thrill of corruption and the lure of riches on the one hand, versus an activist’s belief in the rights of her community members on the other.”
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 Batman’s mythos.
“Whistle has to ally herself with the best of Gotham’s criminal underworld in order to understand the forces that threaten her home neighborhood. DC let me pick from the incredible gallery of Gotham rogues—characters I grew up reading about. It was a thrill to write Killer Croc, the Riddler, and most fun of all, Poison Ivy.”
Joining Lockhart on Whistle is Manuel Preitano, an Italian illustrator and graphic designer. Preitano is no stranger to Gotham City, having recently illustrated DC’s critically acclaimed YA graphic novel The Oracle Code, written by Marieke Nijkamp, which reimagined Oracle’s origins.
“Designing a new character is always a great challenge,” said Preitano. “Emily 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 City’s Down River, a new neighborhood we created for this book, and its inhabitants—cute dogs included! I also hope readers enjoy following the adventure of this new heroine, her friends, and the world we created.”
Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero 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 Peteri
On sale May 11, 2021