Kurt Martell is still in shock that years of work are now in his hands.
The local author has spent the past decade working out the details of Nowadays, a 300-page graphic novel about the onset of a zombie apocalypse in Northwestern Ontario.
After a grant from the Ontario Arts Council, a successful $22,000 crowd sourcing campaign and countless drafts, the book is ready to be launched Friday night at Definitely Superior Art Gallery.
“It’s kind of weird to see this thing that I’ve been telling up here for so long finally on a page,” Martell said at the gallery Tuesday as he and illustrator Chris Merkley were setting up for the launch.
He’s spent the past three years photographing various places along the highway from Nipigon to Beardmore to get the perfect backgrounds for his illustrations.
“It’s a crazy relief it’s been three years that’s just been packed with me sitting in my studio just working like crazy or going out and taking photographs of all the different areas,“ he said. “I almost don’t know what to do with myself.”
The story focuses on a family and a group of workers sentenced to plant trees in the Northwestern Ontario as the zombie apocalypse begins. But unlike other tales in the genre, these creatures can still think.
“They know that they’re monsters and they know what they’re doing so they have this moral dilemma of whether to kill humans or not for sustenance,” Martell said.
The two will use Definitely Superior’s three gallery spaces to showcase art from the book along with video projections as well. There will also be creatures milling about to set the tone. Merkley said the project ended up being a community one thanks to those who helped support it either through funding it or lending their business or likeness to the cause.
“It’s like a party just to thank the people that have helped it get to this point,” he said.
It also serves as an introduction to what they hope will be a series. They’re hoping to use the first book to shop around to publishers.
The book will be available to buy for $35.
The party starts at 7 p.m.
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