Dead Roots is a zombie comic anthology, with a first edition just out, and a quarterly publishing schedule via Apple’s NewStand app. There’s a Kindle version in development.
The premise is simple but effective; Dead Roots follows the initial outbreak of a zombie plague. As an anthology is follows different people in multiple short stories, as they cope with the rolling apocalypse, and those people are related in someway – whether that’s by blood or love.
As Dead Roots is an anthology Mike Garley, the editor, is able to draw on a large and talented team. Contributors include; Andrew Ellard (Associate Producer for Red Dwarf, script editor on The IT Crowd), James Moran (Doctor Who, Torchwood,) Ned Hartley (Ex Editor for Titan including Clint, Wallace and Gromit), James Henry (Green Wing, Campus, Smack the Pony), Gordon Rennie (2000AD), Jason Arnopp (Official Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures), Lee Carter (2000AD), Eric Canete (Animation on Tron, Ben 10, Aeon Flux) and many more.
I really enjoyed my preview copy of Dead Roots. The start grabs your attention – how well do you think the authorities in 10 Downing Street would cope in the initial wave of a zombie outbreak? The first story, by Ned Hartley, art by Gavin Mitchell and letters by Mike Stock, lps set the scene for the following adventures. Zombies – yes. Mindless blood and gore – no. Don’t get my wrong, there’s blood and gore whenever the undead are involved but Dead Roots’ tales are deeper than that. They’re about the people.
A strong example of Dead Roots ability to tell a classic zombie story without being just a zombie story is Wheels (by Paul Alexander, art by Sally Jane Thompson and letters by Mike Stock again). I bet you start, as I did, just shaking your head at the inability of people to get their act together during the first zombie wave – only to be quickly backtracking by the panels come to a close.
As different writers and artists are used Dead Roots contains many different styles and flavours. This helps spice up the comic and add a bit of variety. In fact, at times it felt as if the Dead Roots team were comfortable with different and bolder techniques. Hide and Seek, for example, is a great story from Bhairavi Patel, but I found the lettering (by Mike Stock again) to be a little tricky to read at my usual zoom level. I had to pull the panels closer. It wasn’t wrong. It was just different.
Overall, Dead Roots is a quality anthology, a fantastic read and even bigger promise. Will Q2 be available to deliver just as strongly? You can pick it up here.
Disclaimer: My copy of Dead Roots was a preview release provided for review.
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