THE DEAD began its creation years ago, when in college, James came up the idea for a novel that took place in a house of the mind. That novel was written and became a beautiful example of great American fiction. The next step for the book was natural: It disappeared into a desk, never to be seen again. Long after writing this book, James hit some luck creating independent comics with Broken Icon. His first graphic novel, Nightmare Unknown with artist Rob Dumo, received some acclaim from comic review sites and his follow-up project The Horror Show with Todd Beistel started doing even better. But the concept for that first novel kept eating away at him with every comic script he wrote.
James kept imagining how amazing the various rooms he created would look illustrated for the comics page. Given the right artist, the concepts and settings could jump off the page and create a sense of awe in the reader. The story would have to be adapted and improved (James likes to think he has grown as a storyteller in the passing years), but that would be the easy (and fun!) part.
Jump to the 2012 Baltimore Comic Con and a chance meeting of the perfect artist for this story: Jen Hickman. After sending a few test pages her way, the illustrations she made for the series left no doubts. The two creators were on their way.
After a few weeks hard at work on the title, Jen and James had a solid lead on pages and a great direction for the events of the tale. Now, they’re ready to release THE DEAD on readers all over the internet, and with enough push, they can find a large publisher to bring it to the printed page.
James and Jen have a lot of interesting ideas to bring to this title, so stay tuned and you’ll discover how far comics can be taken both—in story and in medium.
James Maddox & Jen Hickman