I received my comps from Image Comics and I'm very pleased. The grayscale really came through and it makes the art look very lavish for a black and white book. I have to say that I'm a bit nervous about what the reception will be. ZED: A Cosmic Tale is such a deeply uncompromised vision. A lot of people might be shocked when they read ZED. What appears to be a little children's tale (based on the art and writing style) is in fact an edgy dark sci fi comedy adventure.
ZED is dark, there's no denying that, but it is also a tale about overcoming obstacles and evolving from being victimized to empowerment and ultimate triumph of will. ZED very much echoes my own life in some ways. My childhood was filled with extreme hardships (growing up in a broken family with an abusive father; constantly being sick and in the hospital—coming very close to death quite a few times; being shot in the head at the age of twelve and loosing half my vision, etc). But like ZED, I came though and made a great life for myself. In many ways, ZED was my therapy. I almost took a sadistic pleasure at traumatizing him, because I knew that like myself, he could take it and that his triumph over adversity would be that much more remarkable.
When I created ZED, I never concerned myself with the commercial viability. I wanted to stick to my vision undiluted by public expectation. Like an underground comix, ZED is pure in its artistic integrity—for better or for worse. Who will enjoy ZED? I don't know. I know that I would have loved ZED as a kid, but then I'm hearing all over the place that ZED is not for kids. People who expect a cute little story might be disappointed but if they keep an open mind, they might discover that under all the trauma is a story, like mine, that is full of hope and wonder.
Here are a couple of advance reviews that have popped up on the web:
My short film, Sensology, is part of an exhibition at the Montreal Science Centre called Musik: From Sound to Emotion. If you live in Montreal, you should definitely check it out, it looks spectacular! The Project Leader just sent me a picture (taken by Denis Farley) of the exhibition's first room where my film is playing on a loop. I wish I could go check it out in person!
The beginning of the year is an exciting period. I always try to use the occasion to make lifestyle changes that usually result in better health. I definitely need to loose some weight.
I'm excited about going full time on The Saga of Rex and getting set up with the production blog. But before I can get to that, I need to complete my comic story, LOAH, an undersea adventure I'm doing for Abrams Books and editor, Kazu Kibuishi. I'm hoping to be completely done with LOAH by the end of the month. I'm submitting the first batch of pages today so hopefully I'll get a good reaction.
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