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It was a little over a year ago that we first heard about Dennis Willman’s new comic series Ginger-Stein: Rise of the Undead, and now that the first issue is about to launch on Tuesday, October 11th, we have a lot more details and an image gallery to share.
From the Press Release:
On October 11th artistic mastermind Dennis Willman reveals his newest creation, Ginger-Stein, to the world. Ginger-Stein is the title of a multimedia horror/sci-fi project that is written, created, and illustrated by Willman and is unlike anything the horror audience has ever seen.
Ginger-Stein: Rise of the Undead is the first in a set of six comic book mini-series featuring horror’s hottest new heroine. The story and artwork are deeply rooted in 1980’s horror and sci-fi nostalgia. The violence is over-the-top, and like any good 80’s horror story, there’s sex, drugs, and a breaking of all the rules of how to survive a horror film. All characters in the series are based on models, including notable names such as Leslie Easterbrook (The Devil’s Rejects), Belinda Balaski (The Howling, Pirahna), Tiffany Shepis (The Frankenstein Syndrome), Sarah French, and Joe Knetter. Primary models Monique DuPree, Elske McCain, DeeDee Bigelow, Landyn Banx, Deneen Melody, Cari Thompson, Bianca Barnett, Cyndi Crotts and Bobby Ray Akers, Jr., make up just a portion of this eclectic cast.
Ginger-Stein: Rise of the Undead begins the journey of a B-movie scream queen who suddenly finds that the world of horror she has worked in all her life has become a frightening reality. Through a freak set of occurrences, Ginger-Stein (Madison Bannister) is transformed into the zombie-slaying character she has portrayed in film for years, forever altered physically and mentally. But she must come to terms with her new life quickly as the phenomenon that caused her transformation bends the rules of reality and reanimates the dead. As the Army of the Undead rise and begin to walk the earth, Ginger must rely on her wits, an arsenal of customized weapons, and a sleek ’71 Hemicuda to save the world from complete destruction.
The concept of Ginger-Stein is a simple love letter to everything that Willman feels makes the horror and sci-fi genres great, in particular the 1980’s. Willman explains that the story is “largely inspired in spirit by Romero’s ‘Dead’ movies, The Evil Dead trilogy and the Phantasm series. The series as a whole plays with the established ‘rules’ of the genre and bends them on their ear wherever and whenever possible.”
Visually, Ginger is the amalgamation of several actresses and models such as Elsa Lancaster, Allison Hayes, Beverly Garland, and Sophia Loren. Her body modeling includes inspiration from Loretta Kenyon-Sand, Apple Angel, and Sara Plotkin as well as various stock photography sources. Willman wanted her to stand apart from other horror-based female characters, hence the lime-gold green skin and multi-colored eyes. The white streak in her hair is a nod to Elsa Lancaster in character as The Bride of Frankenstein, which is also the inspirational genesis behind her name. Ginger’s weapons of choice, the sawed-off double-barrel 12-gauge shotgun and the chainsaw, are directly influenced by protagonists in the Evil Dead and Living Dead films. The ’71 Hemicuda is Ginger’s signature vehicle and a nod to Willman’s favorite muscle car and the Phantasm series in general.
The artwork and visuals for the comic book mini-series are a combination of hand-drawn characters and other elements combined with photography to create unique hyper-realistic imagery. All of the people seen in Ginger-Stein are created by working with models who pose for specific characters, then drawn in graphite and digitally painted. Certain elements, like the ‘71 Hemicuda, are miniature models, photographed to be inserted with the artwork and rendered to blend in to create a seamless image. In many ways the process is similar to the use of green screen in film. Ultimately, this allows for a very unique art style completely different from what has come before. Willman has taken great care in creating an aesthetic that is reminiscent of 1980’s horror films in lighting, color, and tone.
In examining the plot of Rise of the Undead, the reader will come to see that as much as this is a story about zombies, monsters, and horror, it’s true heart lies in the journey of Ginger and those closest to her. The dominant theme of “choice” runs through this story, posing the question: Can a person overcome the circumstances of their life and the events that define it to truly decide whether they are “good” or “evil?”
There are seven confirmed issues in the first mini-series “Rise of the Undead.” The first will be released October 11, 2011, and one issue per month will follow until the finale, tentatively scheduled for May of 2012. The project includes a series of comic book mini-series, a website, merchandising, and a feature film.
For more info be sure to “like” Ginger-Stein: Rise of the Undead on Facebook.
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