Archaia's Zombie-Themed THE AWAKENING Returns From the Dead
Awakening is what Tapalansky calls a "zombie noir" where a murder comes under the scrutiny of a small town private detective, who begins to unravel a mystery linked to zombies. When the first three issues of Awakening were first released in 2007, the series was nominated for four British Eagle Awards, including Favorite Newcomer Writer and Favorite New Comic Book.
But when Archaia underwent its restructuring in 2008, Awakening was put on hiatus. The comic had basically ended after only three issues, even though the title had received such high critical praise.
"It's been a little critical darling, which is really heartening. But the real challenge has been getting the word out more," Tapalansky said.
Now Archaia has collected five issues of the series in hardcover (two of which were never released), with pinups by several artists and 10 pages of supplemental material. The hope is that the hardcover can entice readers to give it a chance despite the fact it disappeared after its initial release.
"The hardcover came out beautiful," Tapalansky said. "Archaia always prints great stuff, and that book was a sight to see. We were thrilled to see it, because we'd been looking at it in .pdf for so long, to actually see it printed and bound -- it's gorgeous. We absolutely love it."
"It's a 10-issue series. The first hardcover is the beginning, but then the second volume is the ending," Tapalansky explained. "It definitely has a set beginning, middle and end."
The series opens with a string of missing persons and murders taking place in the relatively peaceful city of Park Falls. While the police are trying to find the psycho who is killing these people, only one witness is claiming zombies have done it.
"A private detective who didn't listen to her once before decides to give her a little more credence this time," the writer said. "He doesn't believe her, but he decides to look into her information. And he finds out that she might not be as crazy as she seems. And we follow the town as weeks turn into months, and the death toll rises."
Eckman-Lawn's style means it takes him a little longer to do a page than traditional comic book artists, and he said his technique means he's never quite sure how the page is going to turn out.
The pair are putting together promotional ideas for the Awakening hardcover that readers should hear more about in October. But for now, they're working on finishing up the series for fans -- and Tapalansky said the second volume will answers the mysteries that fill the first volume.
"Anyone who has read the first volume and is concerned, I promise I'm going somewhere. I have a direction," he said. "The first volume was more about the mystery and the characters really coming to grips with it. The second volume, we finally dive in full tilt and get more of an answer.