Washington Irving never envisioned a headless horseman like this! Chopper, for those of you not in the know, is the story of a supernatural headless biker named The Reaper, containing beheadings, a drug-pushing cheerleader and badass motorcycles. Fire it up, baby! Chopper comes to a comic shop near you for its introductory five-issue series on October 5.
And this is just the beginning for the rolling dealer of death. Written by Martin Shapiro with artwork by Juan Ferreyra, the hideous anti-hero’s comic launch (in both print and digital format) will be accompanied by a live-action web show. You can grab a peek at the high quality artwork on this six-page preview. The live-action show will star horror big fellas Tyler Mane and Andrew Bryniarski. It will be a prequel to the comic story and prepare fans for a potential feature film in the future.
Check out the teaser trailer below, and prepare yourself for Chopper and The Reaper.
From the Press Release
Asylum Press and Night Owl Productions announced that Chopper, a gritty new five-issue horror comic book series with a tie-in to a live-action web TV show, will debut online and in comic shops nationwide on October 5, 2011, just in time for the Halloween season. The books will be distributed through Diamond and iVerse as a “day-and-date release” in both print and digital formats on the same day.
Written by screenwriter Martin Shapiro and drawn by acclaimed Dark Horse artist Juan Ferreyra (Falling Skies, Rex Mundi), Chopper is a modern-day re-imagining of the headless horseman of Sleepy Hollow fame. After taking a strange new drug with supernatural side effects at a party, the rebellious teenage daughter of a police officer starts seeing ghosts and is stalked by the Reaper, a headless Hell’s Angel on a motorcycle who collects the souls of sinners in the afterlife.
The story has elements of A Nightmare on Elm Street and Candyman. Instead of being killed in your dreams, you’re vulnerable while you’re high on the drug. The target audience for this book is mature readers, horror hounds, and motorcycle enthusiasts. It will appeal to fans of Rob Zombie, Steve Niles, and Garth Ennis.
“When Martin Shapiro showed me the first two issues of Chopper on the iPad, I was blown away. The artwork is the same high quality you’d find in a top-of-the-line Marvel or Vertigo book,” says Asylum Press President Frank Forte. “Martin is an enormously talented writer. He has created a dark, truly original world of drugs, outlaw bikers, and supernatural mayhem that horror fans should really respond to. We are thrilled to bring his first comic book to the world.”
“For me, working in comics is very similar to movie making – it’s like the ultimate storyboard,” Shapiro commented. “With Chopper, I wanted to create one of the most beautiful books on the market with lots of attention to detail and cinematic coloring. That’s why I teamed up with Juan Ferreyra. I’ve been a fan of his for a long time. His pencils and inks are amazing – very dynamic with lifelike, expressive characters. I couldn’t ask for a better artist to bring the script to life.”
Shapiro added, “The idea for Chopper came to me when I was at the Daytona Bike Week Festival in Florida hanging out with a bunch of bad-ass bikers, getting stoned and telling war stories. I love custom choppers and I love horror films from the 1970’s and ‘80s, so I decided to combine the two elements into a hardcore, no-holds-barred, R-rated story. I wrote the script at UCLA Film School in a screenwriting class taught by Mike Werb, the writer of Face/Off. He helped me develop the emotional conflict of a troubled girl being pulled in two directions by two different father figures – one dead and one alive. He also encouraged me not to shy away from the controversy of having a drug-dealing high school cheerleader as the protagonist.”
Shortly after the art team delivered issue #1, producer J.C. Christofilis, a former executive at Mandalay Pictures, saw a digital PDF of the book and snapped up the movie rights to Chopper. He quickly put together financing to produce an innovative web TV series to introduce fans across the globe to the Chopper mythology and build awareness for an upcoming movie in 2012. The TV series stars Tyler Mane (played Michael Myers in Rob Zombie’s Halloween remake, and Sabretooth in X-Men) and Andrew Bryniarski (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Any Given Sunday, Batman Returns). It will feature all-new prequel story material NOT in the comic book.
Other transmedia components associated with Chopper include an iPhone game app, a music deal with a popular heavy metal band to be announced next month, and a sponsorship deal with Rockstar Energy Drink.
“We are working hard to expand upon the comic book’s key characters and back story through a series of original tales that will make the reader’s experience even richer and simultaneously allow us to reach out to new audiences worldwide who might never see the printed comic book,” said producer J.C. Christofilis. “If you like Sleepy Hollow, Frailty, The Frighteners, or Wes Craven’s original A Nightmare on Elm Street, then this new supernatural horror franchise is right up your alley!”
Chopper #1, a 32-page full color comic book for $2.99, goes on sale in stores in early October, the same month as the highly anticipated Chopper web TV series debuts on YouTube! Fans should pre-order Chopper #1 at their local comic book shop (here’s a great site for locating a comic shop near you) to ensure they get a copy before it sells out. Retailers can pre-order Chopper #1 from Diamond Previews August catalog (Asylum Press section – page #249).
Diamond Comic Distributors gave Chopper #1 a “Certified Cool” in its August Previews catalog. It is now featured on Diamond Previews World.
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