There’s no getting around it: Zombies are big business now. Sure, they’ve been part of the mainstream since George Romero redefined the genre in the late ’60s, but the new millennium has seen a critical mass in terms of zombie entertainment. Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead is shattering viewing records on AMC. A separate admission event at the San Diego Comic-Con this past summer drew thousands of screaming participants, eager to test their mettle against the undead in a pell-mell dash to safety through a zombie-infested Petco Park.
And now, a new anthology out of the UK is throwing their weight around. Get ready for Dead Roots.
From their website: “Dead Roots is a comic anthology based on the initial outbreak of a zombie plague. The anthology focuses on the emotional state and experiences of everyday people and their journeys as they search to find their loved ones in an apocalyptic setting. The anthology will consist of multiple short stories of related – by blood or love – characters as they come to grips with this new, horrific environment. The stories will include flashbacks and/or items of significance to expand on their relationships and motivations and bind the characters together.”
Translation? This is some damn good zombie storytelling. Similar to Max Brooks’ brilliant World War Z, Dead Roots focuses not simply on the zombie outbreak itself, but on its impact on and interpretation of the survivors affected by it. And, the all-too-brief media preview only whets the appetite for more.
In “Hide and Seek,” a young girl vows to protect her little brother . . . no matter what happens to him. “The Carers” sees the last remaining residents of a care facility banding together in the last family they will ever have. “The Garage” shows how the things we own also own us, in life and death. And, in the mirrored stories “Duty Bound” and “Head of State,” the commitment to duty becomes more dangerous of a threat to the living than the living dead.
Drawing talent from the worlds of film, TV, prose, comics, and video games, Dead Roots is a huge tapestry of a story, with threads that will weave in and out of the individual stories, tying them all together into one great zombie quilt of a tale. Drawing from talents around the world, and exhibiting a great variety of graphic and storytelling styles, it promises to always be moving and never dull. We’re already looking forward to many more tales from this daunting and potentially powerful anthology!
Writers include (but are definitely not limited to) Ned Hartley, Paul Alexander, Chris Rowson, Tim Clague, Andrew Ellard, Bhairavi Patel, Kimberley Newey, and Will Salmon. Art will be provided by Gavin Mitchell, Sally Jane-Thompson, Joe Ward, Conor Boyle, George Zapata, Jack Davies, RH Stewart, and Rachel Stott (and with additional colors by Nadine Ashworth).
More information and a complete list of all participating writers and artists may be found at their website, www.deadroots.co.uk.