WALKING DEAD TV Producer Debuts Religious-Themed Comic

 

Gale Anne Hurd has had something of a prolific career in movies and television, co-writing The Terminator and producing high-profile genre fare including Aliens, Armageddon and The Walking Dead TV series. But from the way she tells it, her true childhood dream was to work in comic books.

"To be honest, it's been something I've wanted to do from the time that I was a kid, when I was stealing my older brother's comics," said Hurd, a self-purported fan of the Fantastic Four, Superman, Betty & Veronica and — not shockingly — the Hulk (Hurd produced the character's 2003 and 2008 films). "I honestly never thought one day that my name would be on one. It might actually have been more of a fantasy early on than being a producer in TV and movies."

She's made that dream come true through her production company, Valhalla Entertainment, which has put out The Scourge and Dead Man's Run through Aspen Comics, and this week releases the first issue of Anti at 12 Gauge.

 

Anti, which originally debuted at this year's Free Comic Book Day, tells the story of Zachary, a relatively average Joe who discovers that he happens to be the world's savior. It's written by Peter Calloway, who wrote the last 11 issues of DC's pre-New 52 Gotham City Sirens series, and illustrated by newcomer Daniel Hillyard; with a cover from veteran illustrator Brian Stelfreeze.

Hurd was previously acquainted with Calloway, which helped get Anti in motion.

"We were talking to him, because he comes from television as well, from Hellcats and Brothers and Sisters," Hurd said. "We had discussions with him, and found out that he was eager to get his own project set up. It was actually a lot easier to get going than a television series or a feature."

It was the religious themes that attracted Hurd to Anti, with the producer going so far as to invoke the work of John Milton.

 

"There's an element of Paradise Lost that's in here that I've always been fascinated with," Hurd said. "I'm not necessarily a religious person, but I love those themes, and I love those stories, and this was a way to tell it in a contemporary setting."

Clearly, Anti is banking in part on Hurd's name — it's right on the cover to issue #1 — but she makes it clear that her role in the series is an active one.

"I read all the scripts, and look at all the illustrations and art, including the covers, before they're completed, and was involved at the very beginning working with Peter Calloway on the overall story," Hurd said. "It's just like being a producer on a TV show or a film. I tend to be a lot more hands-on than people might expect."

 

Hurd also is open that Anti wasn't an idea that was originally conceived as a TV show or a movie that ended up as a comic book, she does see the possibility of it — or her other comic book projects — appearing in different forms of media at some point in the future.

"I always see great stories being able to exist simultaneously as comics, as TV shows, or films, video games, etc.," Hurd said. "They all provide different opportunities to explore the characters and the world."

It's a natural approach for Hurd to take, given her work on AMC's massively popular adaptation The Walking Dead, which is currently filming its third season.

"We're so excited," Hurd said of the new episodes. "And Greg Nicotero is hard at work on his websodes, so there's plenty to love." 

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