Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Deadman's Land by Barry Duffield

I liked comics growing up, but wasn't a rabid fan. Asterix was by far my favourite (loved the mix of adventures and humour), and I also read Tintin and some Disney stuff when I was really young. I never really got into the superhero comics in a huge way (eg X-Men, Batman, Superman, Spiderman etc), though I read some occasionally.

Graphic novels are a huge market, covering all sorts of genres - not just superheroes or sci-fi - with millions of people all around the world being rabid readers. Some excellent crime writers also pen graphic novels, such as Gregg Hurwitz and Denise Mina.

I've recently read DEADMAN'S LAND, a new werewolf-themed graphic novel by New Zealand screenwriter and actor Barry Duffield. Duffield is perhaps most well-known for playing the hulking gladiator Lugo in the popular television series Spartacus: War of the Damned. He has also played a police officer on soap opera Shortland Street, and appeared in the Xena and Hercules television series and Hollywood movies such as Yogi Bear and Escape from Asbolom, and has several screenplays in the works, including one that will be of very great interest to Crime Watch readers. More on that when news becomes official. 

A long-time screenwriter, actor, director and producer, DEADMAN'S LAND is Duffield's first foray into the books world. It will be interesting to see if, like some other graphic novels, this book finds its way to the screen too. It is certainly a very visual, action-packed tale. And the screenplay on which the graphic novel is based was a 2013 quarter finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition.

In DEADMAN'S LAND, "A squad of battle-hardened US paratroopers find themselves in mortal combat against a pack of genetically-altered Nazi Werewolves, with the outcome of the Second World War hanging in the balance," says Duffield. It was his passion for all things lycanthropic and an overwhelming desire "to bring something fresh to the genre" that led to him writing the 'Deadman's Land' screenplay, then working with Steve Stern and illustrator Tyler Sowles to adapt the screenplay for a reading audience. 

You can visit the DEADMAN'S LAND Facebook page here, and its Amazon page here

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