AfterShock Comics have just announced details of Undone by Blood or the Shadow of a Wanted Man, their latest series from our favourite one-two writing punch in comics today – Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler – along with artist Sami Kivela, colourist Jason Wordie and letterer extraordinaire Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.
Speaking about the announcement, Thompson explained the premise of the series, saying “The book is about Ethel Grady Lane, a young woman who’s on a quest for revenge. 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 fuelled 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.
“I’m so excited for people to get their hands on Undone By Blood 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 metanarrative at its heart. I don’t think comic book readers have experienced anything like it.”
He continued, speaking about the inspiration behind the series, adding “Lonnie and I are both huge fans of Spaghetti Westerns. Visually they’re some of the most wonderfully shot and dynamic films out there. They rely on visual storytelling first and foremost and often feature leads who speak seldomly. We were dying to bring that energy to comics. Beyond that, we both adore the fiction of Cormac McCarthy and wanted to do a book about the mythologization of violence in America. The Western has always been a genre that flirts with explosive bursts of horrible violence and we wanted to explore the very real cost of that violence and how it often creates a cycle. So we looked to one of the most brutal storytellers out there. This book will cut your heart out and eat it by the end.”
Nadler was quick to sing the praises of the artwork of the book, saying “We were very fortunate to get Sami Kivelä on board as the artist for Undone By Blood. He’s hot off his stints on the Eisner nominated book, Abbott, and his latest hit series, Machine Gun Wizards. Sami 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 to 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 Jason Wordie as the colorist, and he compliments Sami’s work perfectly, adding richness to the story in his own right. It’s been a beautiful experience to simply see these two bring our words to life.”
With a main cover from Kivela and Wordie and a retailer incentive cover from Andrew Robinson, Undone by Blood or the Shadow of a Wanted Man #1 is set for release on the 12th of February 2020, priced $3.99. However, if that’s too long to wait, you can feast your eyes on an unlettered preview of the first issue below.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]