Despite the title of “iZombie” writer Chris Roberson’s next project, don’t count on the scribe delivering a eulogy. With “Memorial,” a series of five-issue minis from IDW Publishing launching in February, Roberson adds another creator-owned project to his slate after gaining notoriety for taking over “Superman” from J. Michael Straczynski and tackling BOOM! Studios’ “Elric: The Balance Lost.” “Memorial” was announced [at/in advance of] Comic-Con International in San Diego, and Comic Book Resources briefly spoke with Roberson for more details on the series and his collaborator, artist Rich Ellis of Periscope Studio.
“Tonally, it’s a cross between ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Sandman’ by way of [director Hayao] Miyazaki,” Roberson said. “It’s a fantasy series that begins in the modern day, and the high concept is: A young woman arrives one day at a hospital knowing nothing about her past, having no idea who she is or where she comes from, and manages in the course of the next year to rebuild her life. Everything is thrown into chaos when she inherits a magical store — not a magic shop, but the sort of store that appears one day in an alley and is gone the next; the kind of store where you might buy a Gremlin, or a cursed monkey’s paw or something. She very quickly finds herself embroiled in a struggle for the fate of the entire universe between embodiments of different aspects of reality. The only assets she has on her side are this magic wandering shop and a talking cat named Schrodinger. And hilarity ensues.”
Elaborating on the major influences of “Memorial,” Roberson said, “The aspects of ‘Sandman’ it’s most like are the ones that focus on Morpheus and his family. Or the episodes of ‘Doctor Who’ that are more about the Doctor’s nature and the things that he’s lost.
“There’s a larger mythology that’s going on that we’ll gradually discover over the course of the first series,” he continued. “Like ‘Locke & Key,’ this will be a series of miniseries. It’s those kinds of elements. The front of it is a seemingly everyday person thrust into extraordinary circumstances, gradually discovering a much bigger picture beyond.”
Each miniseries will run five issues, Roberson said, with tentative plans to “keep doing them as long as they let us do it.”
Roberson recruited “Memorial” artist Rich Ellis through “Marvel Adventures” writer Paul Tobin, a member of Periscope Studio alongside Ellis. “I called up Paul, described the concept to him — because I’d already started negotiations with IDW — and asked, can you think of anybody who would be well-suited to this?” Roberson recalled. “Paul’s been around for a while and knows a number of artists. One of the first names he mentioned was Rich, and I think we had Rich’s name on a contract within 48 hours. He’s perfect for the job, and he’s done a fantastic job with it.”