Comics Features

INTERVIEW: Creator of Dead Roots – Mike Garley

Written by Grace Davis

Dead Roots is a brand new zombie comic anthology, containing stories by a huge range of creators from across the worlds of comics, tv and film! It’s an ambitious, exciting project and we were lucky enough to have a chance to chat with the mastermind of the project, Mike Garley!

A Place to Hang Your Cape: For anyone who doesn’t know, can you tell us a little about the scope of Dead Roots?

Mike Garley: Dead Roots is a shared-world anthology, with creators from TV, film and comics all set within the initial hours of a zombie outbreak. What makes the project so unique (aside from the range of creators) is that we focus mainly on character stories and use the zombies as more of a catalyst to allow us to get straight into the heart of what we find engaging in stories.

 AP2HYC: Dead Roots seems to be an excitingly ambitious project. What inspired you to create it?

Mike: I’m not really sure. I love zombies and always felt there was scope to tell a different type of story within them. The premise behind Dead Roots suits the anthology format so it was a fairly organic process.

AP2HYC: What made you decide to use Kickstarter for the project? Do you feel that this is the future of creative funding?

Mike: Kickstarter is great as it gets cool projects in front of so many people – I think most people have backed a project which they’ve just discovered, and that’s a fantastic thing. It reminds me of watching films as a kid, when you had no preconceived idea of what to expect so you’re a little more open to things.
However, it’s a bit disconcerting the amount of companies and celebrities that (in my opinion, but this is an interview with me, so I’m pretty sure that’s cool) are beginning to exploit the format.

AP2HYC: How well do you think you’d do in a zombie apocalypse?

Mike: I WOULD have done amazing, but now I have two kids, so I’m a liability. I do have a hiding place planned. It’s a secret hiding place though so I can’t really tell you about it.

AP2HYC: What, for you, has been the most exciting part of the process so far?

Mike: Getting the artwork in. Scripts are great, but when you see how the artist interprets it, to bring a story to life, it’s amazing!

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AP2HYC: And what is the most daunting?

Mike: Marketing and promotion. I hate it! Writing flowery promotional material does not come easy – it seems bizarre that a writer struggles to write certain types of things, but there you go…

AP2HYC: You’re clearly a very busy man – writing for comics, games and screenplays as well as editing and guest speaking – what got you into all of this? Is there any one aspect, which is your main passion or do you love them all equally?

Mike: Writing stories, no matter what the format is. Comics and games are great because there’s more creative freedom, yet film and TV give you challenging constrains that can sometimes help.

I haven’t done any public speaking for a while, which is a good thing, as I get ridiculously nervous. I enjoy editing but I’m keen to cut down the amount I do after Dead Roots – I want to be a little more focused on my own writing.

AP2HYC:  And, final question, what’s next for you? Perhaps a sequel to Dead Roots?

Mike: There’s definitely a good chance that we’ll do another Dead Roots comic, but it’ll work equally well as a film, or series – we’ve actually had a few approaches that didn’t work out but that seems to be fairly common for successful projects at the moment.

As for me personally, I’m going to be working away on Eponymous with Dead Roots’ artist Martin Simmonds – we’ve just finished our first TPB and are well underway with our second. I also edit VS Comics with James Moran and Mike Stock and we’ve got big plans for that too!

To support Dead Roots, just visit the Kickstarter here. You can also check out the official Dead Roots site here or Mike’s own website for details of all of his other projects.

About the author

Grace Davis