Image Comics has announced the January publication of ZED: A COSMIC TALE from multi-media artist Michel Gagné (THE SAGA OF REX). ZED, a cute, silly, yet epic science-fiction series, was self-published over a period of eleven years starting in 2001. The new collection of the series features art and writing that has been revised and reworked by Gagné.
“I fell in love with comics at an early age, and recall wanting to be a comic artist as one of my first childhood dreams”, said Gagné. “I later became interested in animation and special effects and pursued a career in that field. Despite this new passion, I never wavered in my love of comics and ultimately couldn’t shake the festering desire to create my own series. In early 2001, after finishing up a demanding job as Head of Special Effects at Warner Brothers Feature Animation, I took time off to make that dream come true. This is how ZED was born.”
The first issue of ZED was self-published in July 2001 and the series concluded with issue 10, published in January 2012. Unfolding over the issues is the story of a cute young alien whose invention makes him the target of a galactic villain. Facing seemingly insurmountable odds, Zed must find the courage to save his home world from destruction.
Doing a comic series after hours, single-handedly, proved to be a more difficult task than Gagné first anticipated. “I planned to tell my tale over a period of ten issues and felt pretty confident, at the time, that I could have the whole thing wrapped up and published within a couple of years,” said Gagné. “Little did I know that it would take me eleven years to finally bring the series to fruition. ZED is, first and foremost, a labor of love which I created at my own pace. The comic series became a way for me to build my graphic novel.”
ZED reflects Gagné’s deep love for golden age science fiction and oddball cartooning. It is influenced by his favorite books and movies, as well as political news, rock concerts and things he has experienced and witnessed throughout his life. With the series wrapped up, Gagné combined all ten issues into a single graphic novel that reads as one uninterrupted story. Because of the time span it took to get the series done, Gagné felt that the writing and art style needed a second pass to make them more consistent.
“The disparity from one issue to the next was less visible when separated into individual comic books, but all strung together in graphic novel form, the inconsistencies became painfully obvious”, said Gagné. “When putting the final book together, I didn’t treat it as a straight reprint book. I spend several months reworking the art and writing to make it more cohesive. I consider ZED: A Cosmic Tale published by Image Comics to be the definitive version of the story.”
ZED: A COSMIC TALE will be in stores on January 30, 2013. It is available for pre-order now from the December issue of Previews.
Zed: A Cosmic Tale
By: Michel Gagné
Diamond ID: DEC120506
In the Fall of 2011, I was commissioned to design the effects animation for an animated video of Coldplay's hit single, "Charlie Brown". The video was going to be directed by Mark Osbourne (director of Kung Fu Panda) and the animation production was to be handled by Passion Pictures in London. My responsibility on the project was to design and animate light graffities emanating from the characters.
I feel sad that I didn't get to animate these effects. It would have been so much fun and I think I could have done something pretty spectacular with them. Click here to see the effects designs I created for the projects.
Diamond Comics is currently featuring ZED: A Cosmic Tale from Image Comics in their December solicitation catalog, Previews, for items shipping in February 2013. It's hard to believe that after eleven years, ZED: A Cosmic Tale is finally completed. I think it turned out well—although definitely a bit on the darker side. Please, let your retailer know that you want them to order ZED: A Cosmic Tale for their store.
Or if you like, you can pre-order the book on Amazon.com.
It was sure nice to be able to take four days off after the campaign's completion. The whole experience was exhilarating and at the same time very demanding.
A few weeks before I launched The Saga of Rex on Kickstarter, I took on a small project (a 16-page comic story called "LOAH") from editor Kazu Kibuishi and Amulet/Abrams Books. In my naivety, I had planned to do this task while running the Kickstarter campaign. Little did I realize that I'd be so involved trying to get The Saga of Rex funded that everything else would go by the way side.
From now until the end of January, I will be creating original art, prints, sketches, signing books, and setting up the Secret Production Blog, while at the same time completing "LOAH".
My intention is to start production on The Saga of Rex: The Animated Film by, February 11, 2013. The Secret Production Blog will also go into action on that date or a bit earlier.
Thanks again for all your support. This is going to be fun!
It's with excitement, anticipation and trepidation, that I'm announcing my Kickstarter Campaign to finance the first four minutes of my proposed Animated Feature Film, The Saga of Rex. Please have a look at the plan I laid out and the cool rewards available. I'm hoping to make a valuable contribution to the art of Classical Animation. I hope you'll be with me on this journey. Visit my Kickstarter page here.