15 Dec

Aftershock Undone By Blood Miniseries Preview

FIRST LOOK AT LATEST ‘UNDONE BY BLOOD’ ARC, THE COMIC SERIES OPTIONED BY NORMAN REEDUS

Jeff Spry, SYFY WIRE

Galloping into comic shops for 2021 in a gritty cloud of dust and with six-guns blazing, AfterShock Comics’ vengeful Western seriesUndone By Blood, is hoping to ignite another powderkeg of intense storytelling as it begins a fresh arc, The Other Side Of Eden — and SYFY WIRE has roped in an exclusive first look at the premiere issue alongside comments from writers Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson (The Dregs, X-Men, Her Infernal Descent) and artist Sami Kivela (Tommy Gun Wizards).

The creative team’s first five-part chapter of Undone By Blood and its two-fisted tales has already drawn the attention of The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus, who optioned the property back in September and will executive produce and star in an upcoming TV adaptation for AMC Studios, Undone by Blood or The Shadow of a Wanted Man.

The original title tracks the Western revenge tale of Ethel Grady Lane, a troubled young lady who returns to her hardcore hometown of Sweetheart, Arizona in 1971, intent on killing the man who murdered her family.

Nadler, Thompson, Kivela, and colorist Jason Wordie are back in the saddle for Undone by Blood or The Other Side of Eden, the follow-up yarn launching on Mar. 3, 2021. The story follows Silvano Luna Del Rio, a postman working in Buttar, Texas in the early 1930s, at the height of the Great Depression as the Midwestern Dust Bowl begins to form.

Reeling from a shattered past, with only a revolver and a pulpy Western novel to his name, Silvano embarks on a quest to take back from the country that stole so much from him by robbing the first skyscraper West of the Mississippi. However, acts of retribution are never so simple, as his target is home to a radical fraternal brotherhood hiding their own grim secrets.

At Silvano’s constant side is a rumpled Old West novel starring famed gunslinger Solomon Eaton. As both yarns unspool simultaneously in classic Undone By Blood style, the mythic Western informs key choices in reality, for better or worse.

In researching this next chapter of Undone By Blood, Thompson started with a deep dive into post Great Depression America and looking at the effects of Herbert Hoover’s presidency.

“The early 1930’s were a lot like today in many ways,” he tells SYFY WIRE. “So we wanted to ensure there was a general sense that you were walking through a recovering world. A country in transition. Where everyone was essentially out for themselves. Then, I revisited one of my favorite noir novels, Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest — which was published in 1929 and features a really gritty take on what it was like to live during that era. Hammett himself was a private eye during that time, and he had a really incredible understanding of Great Depression America that can be felt on every page of this new arc.”

For Nadler, dealing with such a notable period in American history like the Great Depression necessitated authenticity, especially while tackling this through the lens of a character who hails from a different cultural background than our own.

“Undone by Blood has always been about the way fiction and myth influences the real world, and a big part of our job is ensuring that the non-fictional elements are as authentic and accurate as possible,” he explains to SYFY WIRE. “So, for this arc, we researched everything from architectural developments in the West, to Mexican/American conflicts, to the entire history of the United States Postal Service.

“While we try not to be didactic, all of this research gets tossed in our narrative blender and can be found in the story and either directly influences the plot or becomes part of the background tapestry in the hopes of creating a rich, darkly comic, and fully realized world. By bringing readers back to the past, we believe it helps to process the uncannily similar issues that plague our present.”

As for the art, Kivela brings an atmospheric style to the series that evokes a specific period and mood inspired by vintage Westerns.

“Research plays a very important role in my work too, and although I don’t draw realistically, I try to keep things quite real and recognizable,” Kivela reveals to SYFY WIRE. “Maybe that’s what — in addition to my liking for thick and rough ink lines — gives my art an old-fashioned vibe. And of course, Jason’s awesome colors are a big part of the book. His watercolor style really helps to evoke the classic Western feel.”

Now enjoy our exclusive peek at AfterShock’s Undone By Blood or The Other Side of Eden #1 in the full gallery below.

 

15 Sep

AfterShock Comics’ ‘Undone by Blood’ Heads for Television

Norman Reedus’ bigbaldhead productions is developing the western property.

Ahead of its second season, due 2021, AfterShock Comics’ metatextual western series Undone by Blood will make the jump to television, with bigbaldhead productions, the company founded by Norman Reedus signing a deal to develop the property.

Undone by Blood was born from a place of pure passion, out of a love for Westerns, for myself and the entire creative team. At the outset, our goal was to tell a story that added to the genre by deconstructing its themes, and to make the best comic book we could,” series co-creator Lonnie Nadler told The Hollywood Reporter. “While having your book adapted is the ultimate dream for many creators, it was not for us. We wouldn’t be doing this unless we felt it was one-hundred-percent the right fit. And from our first discussion with Norman and his team at bigbaldhead, it was clear that their passion for the project matched our own with genuine enthusiasm. They understood the nuances, the world, and the characters completely.”

Nadler’s co-writer Zac Thompson added, “From day one of our conversations it was clear we were all drawn to the material for the same reasons. The western genre casts a long shadow over the American film industry and it’s so exciting to create a show that will explore the impact of that legacy while also paying tribute to it. The dual narrative structure of the story makes it perfect for the transition to television. Fans of classic Westerns will get their Sergio Leone tales of justice on the frontier. And fans of quirky Coen Brothers neo-westerns will get theirs too. It’s an embarrassment of genre riches.”

Reedus, JoAnne Colonna and Amanda Verdon will executive produce the series for bigbaldhead, with Lee Kramer and Jon Kramer exec producing for AfterShock Comics, alongside Thompson and Nadler. Reedus is being eyed to star as the series’ Solomon Eaton, the fictional cowboy whose stories mirror the primary action in each tale.

“I’m not going to lie. The possibility of having Norman Reedus play the co-lead of your television show is mind-blowingly amazing, as he’s the perfect fit for a legendary pulp gunslinger like Solomon Eaton,” Thompson said. “Right from the jump, Norman understood Sol like he was an extension of himself. He saw all the things we saw in the character and to be honest, Norman’s basically already a badass cowboy. We couldn’t be more excited to see his take on Sol.”

“Undone by Blood is a special book for us at AfterShock and we couldn’t be happier that we found the perfect creative partners in bigbaldhead productions,” Lee Kramer said. “Norman, JoAnne and Amanda’s creative sensibilities will only help to further enrich this already impactful tale for a television audience, and we cannot wait to get this exciting project underway.”

Rive Gauche Television negotiated the deal on behalf of AfterShock Comics, with Thompson and Nadler represented by Jake Wagner from Alibi.

Reedus will also provide the foreword to the collection of the first Undone by Blood comic book series, Undone by Blood or the Shadow of a Wanted Man, available in comic stores Nov. 4, and in bookstores Nov. 17, in which he writes that the series “excited me in a way that few comics have since The Walking Dead.”

19 Nov

The Hollywood Reporter: How ‘Undone by Blood’ Comic Puts a Twist on the Revenge Western

The meta-textual project hits stores Feb. 12.

What seems, at first, like a simple quest for revenge in an Arizona town turns out to be something far more complex — and, as the title of AfterShock’s new Western comic book series hints, Undone by Blood or the Shadow of a Wanted Man tells more than just one story as it builds.“The book is about Ethel Grady Lane, a young woman who’s on a quest for revenge,” explained writer Zac Thompson. “A year before the book begins, her entire family was murdered while passing through the town of Sweetheart, Arizona. After feeling like the police have done nothing, Ethel returns to Sweetheart with a revolver in her hand to make things right. She has no idea who she’s looking for, but she’s determined to find the man who killed her family. Her quest for revenge is fueled by the novel she’s reading, Shadow of a Wanted Man — an old-school pulp Western about famed gunslinger Solomon Eaton. Sol is the second lead of the book as we follow his own personal quest for revenge alongside Ethel’s.”Added Thompson’s co-writer on the series, Lonnie Nadler, “I’d always been a fan of meta-textual storytelling, which stems from my love of postmodern literature by the likes of Paul Auster and Italo Calvino, and so I’d been wanting to try my hand at telling a story within a story for quite some time. However, it took Zac and I both seeing Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals to realize how we could do this in comics. We both adore that movie, and it really inspired us to challenge ourselves, not only to write something we’ve never tried before but to write something nobody in comics has tried before, to our knowledge. We thought it might be interesting to couple this dual narrative idea with our desire to explore and demythologize the Western.”

Nadler also talked about the art team for the series. “Sami [Kivela] is truly a dream artist for Zac and I, as we approach comics with very similar storytelling sensibilities. Sami has an incredible mind for inventive page layouts, but he’s also so adept at knowing when to slow down and let the quiet moments breathe and speak for themselves. Working on a neo-Western, those two elements were very important to us, because the genre is so meditative at its core. You need to be able to communicate a sense of emotion, whether you’re looking at a landscape or at a person’s face, and Sami is one of the few artists who can accomplish both with ease.”

“We’ve also got the incredible Jason Wordie on colors, which together he and Sami are a dream team,” said Thompson. “They have a real shorthand with one another’s styles that elevates every page. They’ve worked together before, so the collaboration is only getting better here.”

Overall, Thompson said, the writers are excited about the series “because I feel like it’s been ages since we’ve had a proper Western in comics. We’ve gone full Coen brothers, full Sergio Leone, and the town of Sweetheart feels lived in and chewed up. It’s very cinematic and beautiful, with long stretches of silence and a meta-narrative at its heart. I don’t think comic book readers have experienced anything like it.”

The first issue of Undone by Blood or the Shadow of a Wanted Man will be released digitally and in comic book stores Feb. 12, 2020.