Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Deadworld Rising.

Lots of things going on with Deadworld and reflecting back, it’s been a busy year or so for the comic series.  IDW had released two volumes of Deadworld Classic which reprinted the original series and includes up to issue 16.  They also released the Deadworld Omnibus which collected Requiem for the World, Frozen Over, and Slaughterhouse.  And most recently, they published Deadworld: The Last Siesta which was an original graphic novel set in the Deadworld.

The big news is the new series, War of the Dead.  I’m looking forward to seeing this in print as it will be the first time that Deadworld is in full color.  The art is by Sami Makkonen who also drew the Slaughterhouse graphic novel and he really took advantage of being able to work in color.  IDW decided to make it the event  book of August as the entire five issue series will all come out in August, one issue a week.

I have to admit that I’m a bit worried about that.  That’s asking people (both fans and retailers) to commit to all five issues before they see how the first issue turns out.  But I guess I can look at as being almost like an original graphic novel, just spaced out over a month.  The key aspect will be for fans who want the series to make sure they let their retailer know.  That’s why I put together a “reserve” sheet so that fans can download it and turn it into their store, ensuring that they get the series.  This is found on the Deadworld website, along with the promotional video, the preview, and the facebook banners that anyone can use to promote the series.

Following the comic series’ release will be the trading card set coming from Breygent and that looks really cool.  They are also producing a new t-shirt with art from Vince Locke.  Following that, later this fall, is a new Deadworld anthology which will feature a lot of artists doing different scenes and characters from Deadworld which I’ll explain more about when the time comes.

Deadworld has become the book that I’m most associated with.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.  Yes, I appreciate that a creator owned title has had such a long history and seemingly has a dedicated fan base…one that I hope to grow.  At the same time, I don’t want to be pegged as a zombie writer (not that there’s anything wrong with that…).  But I’ve pretty much only done creator owned comics my entire writing career and I identify more closely with titles such as Saint Germaine, Raven Chronicles, and Renfield.  Deadworld was a title I took over and for the most part, never felt like it was “mine”.

Maybe that’s why I’ve taken Deadworld into a different direction than most zombie comics.  Sure, there are the interactions amongst humans dealing with this new world but there’s been a lot of that over the last 60-70 issues of Deadworld.  I’ve shifted the emphasis more towards the remaining humans trying to defeat the menace, any way they can.   That means doing whatever is necessary even if it’s going to impact some of the survivors.  The greater good for the human species, so to speak.  I’ve also delved more into the aspirations of the intelligent zombies.

I feel more affinity towards Deadworld after I rebooted it with the Image series a few years ago.  That became the Requiem for the World storyline.  I then allowed writer Mike Raicht to play with it in the Frozen Over storyline while I worked on the Slaughterhouse series which was eventually released as a graphic novel.  It was with Slaughterhouse that I felt it becoming more of “my” Deadworld and of course, this continues in War of the Dead.  Now, even though some of these characters have been around before I was involved, are mine.  I understand them more and in my writing mind as I move them around, I know exactly how they would react in situations, what their motivations and goals are, and how they will all play out.

As with any new release, a creator obviously wants it to succeed.  I really want War of the Dead to do well, not just for the sales but to be successful enough to continue as I have a number of story ideas that I want to explore and good sales will allow me to do that.  Deadworld is now at a stage that I really enjoy writing it and I’m excited about the possibilities that have opened up.  It seems that each aspect I bring in lends itself to more exploring, more developments. .  It seems that way with most writers…we’re selfish.  We want people to buy our stuff, not just for the sales but as a confirmation and an allowance to permit us to continue.

Whether I can do that as a comic series in the traditional sense, I don’t know.  But they will be told.  The ending of this story arc leads directly to the next one yet I think ends in a complete and satisfactory way.  I may have to pick it up with the Deadworld novel which is nearly complete and War of the Dead dovetails into it perfectly.

Regardless, Deadworld is now, more than ever, alive.


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