For Day 12 of 31 Days of Halloween 2013 here on The Rock Father, I’m doing something different… I’m shining the spotlight on something that I created long before becoming a parent… years before becoming “The Rock Father”: DEATH WALKS THE STREETS. A multi-genre horror/crime hybrid, DWTS was initially conceived as a screenplay in 2004 – the ultimate mashup between monsters and the mob. I’d completed the screenplay with my friend, Ben Brezinski, and then the project took on a nearly-legendary “life of it’s own,” in 2005 as we entered into a production deal for a movie… which was then touted as “A Trilogy.” I ended up penning the sequel, DEATH WALKS THE STREETS II: THE LONG DECEMBER, and a line of prequel comic books was announced. Problem is, despite scoring a Spike Scream Award Nomination for “Most Anticipated Film,” being featured in countless media outlets, getting well into pre-production to the point of soundtrack demos, set/prop/costume design, storyboarding, location scouting, FX tests completed, and a preliminary cast in-place with merchandise already being sold, the movies never happened. Hollywood horror story? Sort of, but some comic books were made…
After regaining our freedom at the end of 2007, Ben and I 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 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.
The good news is that the two DEATH WALKS THE STREETS comics that were released are now available as digital downloads for Kindle, iPad, Nook, and more. And the funny thing is… every couple of months they still chart. Like any good horror villain, DEATH WALKS THE STREETS may fade away for a bit, but it never dies. In fact, I have the third book here in black and white pencil form – just needs colors and letters, and it could see a release. Perhaps one day that will happen… or we may get the fourth done, too. What I really want is two make those two screenplays into original graphic novels. Nearly a decade since DWTS first hit the scene, a lot has happened, a lot has changed, and yes, there’s even been some projects released that have carried similar elements. Fortunately, none of them have been able to replicate what DEATH WALKS THE STREETS has, and it’s quite possible that somewhere down the line, DWTS will rise again and be completed once and for all.
DEATH WALKS THE STREETS: Vampires. Demons. Zombies. Werewolves. The Mob.
DEATH WALKS THE STREETS #0 – “Trio”
Kicking off much like the pilot episode of a TV series, DEATH WALKS THE STREETS #0 thrusts readers right into the action in the City of New Marshall. Michael Labou, along with friends Danielle Dante and Malcolm McDermot officially work for IBVM Union Local 666. Unofficially, they’re pawns in a much larger game controlled by an International crime syndicate known only as “the organization.” When a person of interest suddenly disappears, the trio finds themselves called upon by their employer to track down the man, and bring him in for a face-to-face with local boss Dominick Savini. They soon learn that Peter Moore is being hunted by both man and beast. Meanwhile, a political storm begins brewing, and an ancient enemy returns to walk the streets of New Marshall.
The Comics even had an original theme song by Australian rapper, KidCrusher:
DEATH WALKS THE STREETS #1 – “A New Marshall Fall”
It’s Halloween in New Marshall, and for one night of the year, ancient evil takes flight and goes largely unnoticed. While Michael, Malcolm, and Danielle are called upon to oversee an event at the Vetala Theatre, the organization is thrown into an uproar as Dominick begins making local plans that could have global consequences. Meanwhile, Palmer informs Michael of a potentially dangerous politcal issue; The Old Man begins a search for something that shouldn’t be found; a supernatural murder/suicide takes place; and things get more than a little violent…
Grab yourself some free comics for Halloween… but they’re not for the kiddies!
Apple iBooks for iPad/iPhone:
Barnes & Noble Nook:
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