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31 Days of DEATH WALKS THE STREETS - Day 11: When crafting the Halloween issue of the DWTS comic book, we worked in a lot of influences, most of which are rooted in why DWTS exists in the first place - a love of movies. In the Vetala Theatre scene, we featured it decorated for a major Halloween bash (one I will show in more detail later this month), and we hoped to capture a little of that "magic of the movies" - even just the vibe of being in a grand old theatre, with this moment right here, when Danielle first gets a glimpse inside the main auditorium, where a band would soon play, followed by some movies...

31 Days of DEATH WALKS THE STREETS - Day 10: You could say that "multi-tasking" was an understatement for some members of the DWTS development team, and there may be no better example than the work put in by designer Gregory Hill. While I've already shared some of his set designs here, Greg had also been working on ideas for the costume design of what should've been the first DEATH WALKS THE STREETS film, had it lensed as scheduled somewhere between 2005-2007. Actor/Musician Christian Kane, then fresh from the BUFFY spin-off ANGEL (he's since starred in LEVERAGE and soon will be seen in THE LIBRARIANS), had been cast in the lead role of Michael Labou, and you can see some of that influence in the designs I'm sharing below...

31 Days of DEATH WALKS THE STREETS - Day 9: In making DWTS, there was never any "throwaway art," as some prime examples of "cool" seemingly came from out of nowhere. A prime example is this sketch of Danielle and Michael that artist Guilherme Balbi (PREDATORS, SUPERBOY) banged-out during the process of development. While it was never used officially, the black-and-white image remains one of my favorite representations of the characters, even though less-refined than what their appearance would eventually become...

Wednesday, October 08 2014 08:32

31 Days of DEATH WALKS THE STREETS: Subtle Differences

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31 Days of DEATH WALKS THE STREETS - Day 8: As has often been said, the Devil is in the details. I'm picky when it comes to my own creations, and the colors of DWTS were no exception, like this page from  DEATH WALKS THE STREETS #0. As Abaddon towered above the streets of New Marshall, flanked by two of his Locust-demon "Shadows," the color by the excellent Java Tartaglia (FANTASTIC FOUR, SUPERBOY) wasn't quite right at first... for me. Below you can see a before-and-after about how subtle differences make an impact...

31 Days of DEATH WALKS THE STREETS - Day 7: Drawing from the movies that inspired us, a few homages made their way into the DWTS screenplays and comics. Once of the most notable and obvious came within the pages of DEATH WALKS THE STREETS #0, a little nod to Fred Dekker's 1987 film, THE MONSTER SQUAD when Danielle and Michael came across a very angry Werewolf...

Halloween 201431 Days of DEATH WALKS THE STREETS: Day 6  - Not many people know this, but here in the archives is an unfinished book the the DWTS series... one that just needs colors and letters, and could easily be released. Eventually, the prequel mini-series will be completed and repackaged in one concise volume, but until that time, there is more to share. The three images below represent scrapped artwork for that next, as-of-yet unfinished book. Great artwork by Guilherme Balbi, but not right for one reason or another...

Halloween 201431 Days of DEATH WALKS THE STREETS: Day 5  - When the DWTS Comic Books first launched in 2008, the concept of a "Comic Book Trailer" was still sort of a new thing. We did pretty well with one that at a certain point was splashed everywhere - with multiple copies on different video platforms and websites. Now, I think the only remaining copy is on YouTube. I'm not super-fond of it in 2014, but I did another trailer in 2011 that I still think holds up. Check out the 2008 version below...

Halloween 201431 Days of DEATH WALKS THE STREETS: Day 4 - By the time 2008 rolled around, Ben and I were clear of the film deal and on our way to pursuing the comic book prequel on our own. Truth told, this wasn't actually the first time a DWTS comic had been in development. In the early stages of the film project, one of the "producers" paired us with another writer who was equally unknown to develop a prequel as well - then paired that with an art team that Ben and I didn't really have anything to do with. I'm not even 100% certain how that all unfolded, but no real comic book action happened until we took the reigns and made it so. Pictured below are five of the initial character concepts for Michael Labou, Danielle Dante and Malcolm McDermott (Dominick Savini is pictured above). Those who have read the comics will note the differences are pretty drastic, but some of the elements were retained as the evolved. More on that later...

Halloween31 Days of DEATH WALKS THE STREETS: Day 3 - After my co-writer Ben Brezinski and I regained our freedom at the end of 2007, we set out to go a different route with the DWTS project, penning an all-new comic book prequel that was set a few years before the first screenplay, setting up the events of the MASSIVE world we'd created. Some were even calling it "the STAR WARS of horror," and in many ways, that was probably an unconscious (or conscious) template. Now, we'd never done comics before, and since neither of us were artists, we had to hire a crew for the costly job of making our stories into reality, and we wound up with a team that included Guilherme Balbi (Dark Horse Comics' PREDATORS, DC Comics' SUPERBOY), Kurt Hathway (JUSTICE LEAGUE), Javier Tartaglia (ETERNAL DESCENT, Marvel's FANTASTIC FOUR, AVENGERS), and Milen Parvanov (RESIDENT EVIL, GRIMM FAIRY TALES) among others.  All said and done, DEATH WALKS THE STREETS #0 was released to much fanfare at the Wizard World Chicago Comic-Con in 2008, with a Wizard-exclusive variant cover by Mark Kidwell (BUMP, '68) and ended up being named "a must-have variant" by Comics Buyer's Guide.  We released one more issue (the Halloween issue) before the publisher ceased operations. Talk about luck. One cool thing that the DWTS comics did have? A great theme song by Australian rapper KidCrusher. Grab it as a FREE DOWNLOAD below and add it to your 2014 Halloween Music Playlist...

Halloween 201431 Days of DEATH WALKS THE STREETS: Day 2 - A lot of people don't realize how far into things we really were in the days when DEATH WALKS THE STREETS (DWTS) was one of the most buzzed-about projects lighting up the 'net. As the screenplay for the first in a series of three planned films was completed in 2004, there were things evolving as the other scripts were being worked on and development and pre-production was underway. Depending on what we were being told at the time, filming was always supposed to be taking place "soon," with dates and locations constantly being pushed for one reason or another. Much of the intended look of the films was coming from Gregory Hill (IMDB | Official Site), a fantastic artist from the east coast who was then-known particularly for his art department work on NBC's LAW & ORDER series', along with feature stints including NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN and THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA. Greg was instrumental in designing everything from logos and costuming to key art, storyboards and sets. The images below represent pre-build concepts from 2006-2007. Since that time, Greg has been extremely busy, working on recent films such as TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES and THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2. Should the elements ever properly align in the future, I'd love to call Mr. Hill back into action.

Wednesday, October 01 2014 23:25

31 Days of DEATH WALKS THE STREETS (The Original DWTS)

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Halloween 2014While my annual 31 Days of Halloween feature returns this year on the "normal" side of THE ROCK FATHER site, I'm doing something a little bit different here in the "grownups" section - shining a spotlight on my undying epic from a past life. In 2004, I quit my job to chase some creative pursuits, one of which became the (somewhat infamous) transmedia crime/horror property known as DEATH WALKS THE STREETS (DWTS). While most of the public didn't learn of the project until around February of 2005, it was in 2004 that it was written, and on December 30, officially set into the world as the first incarnation of the official DWTS website went live. The tagline was simple: VAMPIRES. DEMONS. ZOMBIES. WEREWOLVES. THE MOB. Over the next month, I will be sharing with all of you a look at what was, what could've been, and what may still be from a project that was supposed to be a movie... then a trilogy of films... followed by an enthusiastic group of loyal supporters who watched it crash and burn, then spawned comic books and repeated emergence from the shadows.

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