Ennis & Burrows Talk Avatar's Crossed

With the recent release of the special zero issue of Crossed earlier this month, readers are primed for the full onslaught of Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows' Crossed from Avatar Press in October.

Scheduled as a nine-issue full color miniseries (not including the zero issue), the series promises to be a gut-wrenching tale as readers are taken to the end of the world where the survivors are up against the worst thing imaginable – themselves. They've changed – not zombies, but some far worse; they can think, they can act and they can kill.

To find out more, we talked with the series creators Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows.

Newsarama: This book is all about survival in a world gone bad, which in some ways is similar to themes in zombie movies. But this is no zombie movie – so what is Crossed about?

Garth Ennis: A rapid infection spread through bodily fluids- usually a bite- turns its victims relentlessly evil, with all sense of morality and restraint gone in minutes. The infected become intent only on hideous, sadistic carnage. Within a year the problem is global and very nearly total, society as we understand it ceasing to exist.

There are no undead, no mindless walking corpses, no easy answers like shooting them in the head (though that'll do the trick, if they'll stay still long enough). You're up against living people dedicating every last physical and mental resource to your capture, torture and eventual ghastly death.

NRAMA: Jacen, this has been described as a straight-up horror series, which is a first for Garth but familiar ground for you. How would you describe Crossed?

Jacen Burrows: It's a character driven story about surviving or attempting to survive an end-of-the-world scenario. Something has turned the majority of human beings into the most evil version of themselves and there is nothing left of society. We follow a small group trying to live through the chaos.

NRAMA: So who are the survivors, and what are their plans?

GE: The group we meet and follow consists of roughly a dozen people, though that's subject to violent change at any moment. The four main personalities- at first- are Thomas, Kelly, Stan the narrator, and the slightly mysterious and highly resourceful Cindy.

All they want to do is live. There isn't much more on the cards than survival- they're badly outnumbered, outgunned and outmatched. Any notion of fighting back is completely beyond them; most of the planet's population is out to get them in the worst way possible.

NRAMA: Jacen, this is your third collaboration with Garth Ennis, following up on 303 and Chronicles of Wormwood. What's it like in this third go-around?

JB: On one hand I'd say there is a definite comfort in knowing he likes a lot of the stylistic choices I make and that our storytelling style fits together very well. I'm more confident that I'll interpret what he wants correctly. On the other hand whenever you work with someone this accomplished you feel the need to bring your A-game and try to outdo the previous book.

NRAMA: Before we go, I wanted to ask one last question for you, Jacen. With the way comics collaboration is done online and by phone most times, have you had a chance to meet Garth in person. If so, can you tell us about meeting him?

JB: We've met a couple of times. William Christensen and I met up with Garth in New York City to go out, talk shop, get some project details and have a pretty damn good time in the fine drinking establishments of Manhattan. Both times it was very casual. There are some hazy bits and the hangovers were pretty bad but, surprise, surprise, hanging out with Garth Ennis is a pub is a lot of fun.

Crossed #0 went on sale August 6th, and Crossed #1 is scheduled for release in October 2008. For more, visit www.avatarpress.com.

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