Image Comics Debuts 'Capes' and 'The Walking Dead'

Official Press Release

ORANGE, CA -- 25 July, 2003 -- While most everyone else is the comics world is recovering from the San Diego Comic-Con International, Robert Kirkman is at home, hard at work. Still cranking out issues of INVINCIBLE, and with three big releases over the next month -- a BRIT one-shot with Tony Moore and trade paperback collections of TECH JACKET and INVINCIBLE -- Robert's hardly content to rest on his laurels. In fact, Image Comics has announced he's actually gearing up for two new books debuting in September and October, respectively: CAPES, the superhero/comedy romp with Mark Englert of SAVAGE DRAGON fame handling the art chores, and THE WALKING DEAD, a post- apocalyptic zombie adventure with BRIT artist Tony Moore.

"When INVINCIBLE and TECH JACKET were approved, I told Jim Valentino and Eric Stephenson that I wouldn't stop pitching books until they made me," Kirkman chuckled. "They haven't stopped me yet, so they must like what I'm doing.

"With INVINCIBLE and TECH JACKET selling out I figured I might as well strike while the iron is hot and roll out some new ideas. Especially, since it's important to me that people know I can do more than teen superheroes."

Debuting in September as a three-issue miniseries, CAPES is a superhero book that focuses on the more practical aspects of the superhero lifestyle, contrasted with some of the more fantastic elements of superhero fiction.

"CAPES is about a group of heroes that think it's a little too time consuming to have a secret identity, and another job," Kirkman explains. "Superheroing doesn't traditionally pay the bills all by itself, but they've found a way around that. Chumps like Spider-Man can scrape by on a teacher's salary or whatever the Bugle is paying these days while spending off hours risking his life. But really...is that ANY way to live?"

The heroes of CAPES don't think so, as Kirkman further explains: "Our heroes have children to feed and cable TV to pay for, and luckily they are employed by a mildly successful, government-funded superhero policing organization. They get paid vacations, lunch breaks, overtime pay, sick days...the whole nine. They're all local celebrities...kind of like news anchors or radio DJs.

"I like to think of these characters more as 'practical superheroes' rather than 'real world' superheroes. I'm telling oddball stories with practical situations, but still keeping the zany off the wall superhero action that makes superheroes so fun in the first place. I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel, I'm just putting a unicycle on top of it and letting a juggling clown ride it."

If CAPES is going to test the limit of how many Kirkman-penned superhero books you can bear...you're in luck. In October...all the things readers may have thought Robert Kirkman capable of will change...or at least that's his hope.

"THE WALKING DEAD is completely different from anything I've ever done before," he says. "It's dark and moody, and not the least bit uplifting. It takes that notion of the summer disaster movie, aliens invading, meteors slamming into the earth, molten cores that stop spinning and it says: 'Yeah...but what happens AFTERWARDS if Bruce Willis screws up?' It's about the people rebuilding civilization and fighting off zombies the whole time."

The series' main character is Rick Grimes, a small town police officer who's never fired his gun and is ultimately not prepared for the changes suddenly thrust upon his life. Grimes has to feed and protect his family and teach his son the difference between right and wrong.

"It's all about losing what we've got and then trying to build it back against all odds," Kirkman muses. "The grocery stores are closed, the cable TV isn't working, and that knock at the door is an army of the undead that want to eat you. There's no time to iron the clothes, or walk the dog...you've got to learn how to build a tall, sturdy fence, and grow crops, and fire a shotgun. Life is very different for these people. And that's what I'm exploring here. It's not really a 'horror' book as it is 'survivalist adventure.' It'll have it's fair share of gore and dead bodies...but that's only natural when being attacked by bloodthirsty dead people is an every day occurrence."

"Erik Larsen's to blame," joked Image's Director of Marketing, Eric Stephenson. "He brought Robert to us with SUPERPATRIOT: AMERICA'S FIGHTING FORCE, but as good as that material was, we had no way of knowing that we'd be getting such a steady stream of ideas from this guy! We love him, though -- we're really proud of the work he's done on INVINCIBLE, TECH JACKET and BRIT and we can't wait for readers to get a hold of CAPES and THE WALKING DEAD!"

CAPES is available for order now in the July issue of Previews and will go on sale September 3. THE WALKING DEAD is also available for order, in the August issue of Previews, and due out in October 1.

Image Comics is a comics and graphic novels publisher formed in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Since that time, Image has gone on to become the third largest comics publisher in the United States. There are currently four partners in Image Comics (Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino), and Image is currently divided into three major houses (Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions and Image Central, which is the home of CAPES and THE WALKING DEAD). Image comics and graphic novels cover nearly every genre, sub-genre and style imaginable, offering science fiction, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. Visit www.imagecomics.com for more information.

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