Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Few Words on Quarantined

No, no image preview today. But, what I do have is a brief interview that Monty, Lauren, and I conducted amongst ourselves for Insomnia's RedEye blog.

Here what we had to say:

Zombie comics and films have saturated popular culture. Yet with Quarantined, your art has managed to create a very unique look and feel to the genre. What was your thinking going in?

Monty: The work I did for Quarantined is very mulimedia in the fact that on some pannels I have pencils showing through with brushed inks and zerox transfers all of which I scanned in as Linework in photoshop to give it all a solid black feel. I wanted the look to be scratchy and a little chaotic. While Zombie films have sort of hit mainstream media, I look at it the same way as I do music. If I were going to start a band it would most definitely be a punk band, even though punk has made it to the mainstream. I don't believe all possible options have been explored just because I can hear a few bands on the radio. Same holds true with the zombie genre.

Name the page from any book that you feel best represents your work as a colorist and what it is about this page that you think works.

Lauren: When I became a colourist I hadn't had a great deal of experience with graphic novels, so it's hard to say who's work best represents my own. I think that the way I colour came from my previous experience with fine art, specifically with J.M.W. Turner. He was an artist who fascinated me and while I don't claim to be any where near his standard, I tried to convey his themes digitally, with layering of colour and mood. So it's not a page from a book, but if it was, I'd say Turner's Snowstorm.

There is a political subtext in Quarantined particularly influenced by American paranoia of foreign cultures. Do you find horror, or zombies, lends itself to this sort of allegory and if so why?

Michael: For sure. I think that when you're working in a strict dramatic form and are attempting to deliver a political statement, that statement tends to dominate the narrative. In genre work, specifically horror and sci-fi, you can maintain political/cultural allegory through subtext. As a storyteller, that's important to me. And it's not only about how the theme and message is delivered; it's also about creating a compelling story at the same time. With horror, you can have those weighty issues--brain candy, if you will--balanced by action, suspense, and, most importantly, zombie chaos. The best horror tends to not exist in a vacuum; the most frightening works are so potent because they tap into something deep within ourselves, into who we are collectively or as individuals. This is the central focus of Quarantined.

With horror, it's easy to be dark and have that set the tone. Your tones, though, have a lot nuance, as evidenced in the first issue. How have you approached setting the mood of the book?

Lauren: I've tried to work alongside Monty's style in Quarantined. There's an uneasy undertone to Monty's work which I've tried to show in the colour. It is hard to find the right tone, especially with the first chapter mostly taking place in the dark. I had to alter the way I worked a lot to try and find the right balance on Quarantined. In my work on Kronos City a night sky can be many different bright colours, with stars and clouds etc. but with Quarantined it felt more appropriate to have a heavy black sky, with the characters as the only focus, as that's what Quarantined is about, the characters and how they are coping with this separation from the outside world.

You're in a zombie apocalypse - what do you do?

Michael: I'd need two things: crops and landmines. I think I'd pack up my family and hide away in Montana. I don't think I'm cut out for the "double-tap" shoot-em-up lifestyle. That being the case, I'd try my hand at seclusion and living off the land. With landmines--lots of landmines.

In other news, the Quarantined ebook has gotten mentions from Nerd City, The Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse, and Comic Related. Thanks to all our friends for the support!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It's Here!

I can definitely say I've been excited about this for awhile: the launch of the Quarantined ebook. With production on Quarantined kicking into its final phase (I'd say were about to round third base) and now the release of this ebook, the book itself feels all the more real.

Quarantined is coming.

So go ahead and click on the reader below. The entire first chapter is yours to read at no charge. Tell your friends, your family, heck, even your enemies. And, most importantly, enjoy!

Myebook - Quarantined - click here to open my ebook