Posted by Decapitated Dan |

Deep Discussions with Decapitated Dan: Gary Reed

I recently had a chance to talk to Gary Reed, writer of Deadworld: Restoration, about the upcoming Mini-Series and more. Check it out:

Decapitated Dan: Who are you and what do you do?

Gary Reed: I’m Gary Reed and the writer of Deadworld but I’ve written a number of other comics and still do.  I’m also the publisher of Transfuzion and was the owner and publisher of Caliber Comics.  I also was a retailer with four comic stores at one time.  When I’m not playing around in comics, I teach biology college courses.

DD: How did you find yourself getting into making comics?

GR: When I was in college I decided to start my own business so I opened a used book store.  I added comics to the mix to attract the kids without realizing that comics were more for adults.  That part of the store grew and eventually it led to four stores.  During the 1980s, it was a real exciting time in comics with the sophistication that was being brought by the likes of Gaimen, Moore, Miller, and others. That’s when I launched Caliber. In my beginning days of college, I was desperate for money to pay tuition so I entered a writing contest and it won me a scholarship that paid for a semester of school.  So, I figured I’d try out this writing stuff as well.  It’s sort of stuck with me since then.

DD: So what can you tell me about Deadworld: Restoration?

GR: Restoration. The title says a lot as there are many characters attempting to restore things to what they were.  Well, maybe not exactly what it actually was but to what they think it should be.  You have the intelligent zombies who want to restore the world back to its path of dying. The humans, who have long moved on from the idea of zombies to accepting them, want to restore their place at the top of the food chain again.  Of course, you have individuals who are looking more for personal restoration.  Don wants Donna back.  Donna wants her daughter back.  Mosaic wants live skin so he can sew it on his dead flesh to get life again.  There’s lot of small restorations and whether that ties in with the big picture or not…it all depends on your point of view.

DD: What’s it all about?

GR: Although this storyline ties in with the previous one, War of the Dead, and of course is built on the long legacy of Deadworld going back to the 1980s, I tried to make sure it was reader friendly. Obviously, you can’t recap everything sufficiently without sacrificing the story, but I don’t think anyone picking this one up will be lost at all on what’s going on.  At the end of the last series, Donna, the half zombie-half human, was pulled into the clutches of King Zombie.  She retaliated by cutting off his head and becoming the leader now, the Queen Zombie. She’s on the hunt for her daughter and she’ll destroy anyone and everything in her path.  That includes the city of New Washington which is the local authority for humans and run by Moloch and his consort, Reyna.  Dan is travelling with Deake but doesn’t know if Deake is the secret to everything or just a raving lunatic.  Of course, you have Bowker playing all sides and you have the Dead Killer who is on the hunt for the tattered man, Mosaic.  As you might guess, many of these players will intersect in the series.

DD: Who are the main characters in this Chapter?

GR: I’ve always seen Dan as the main character even though many times, it seems he just gets swept away with all the events surrounding him.  Bowker is the instigator, the one that drives things and often times in unexpected directions.  Of course, King Zombie but he’s headless as of the end of the last series.  Donna has come to the forefront because of that.  Bowker and Reyna play a major role as they are the leaders of the last holdout of the humans…that we know of.

DD: If you were to give this book a movie style rating (G, PG, PG-13, R,  X) what would it get, and why would you say that?

GR: I think it’s probably PG-13 although some parents might go to an R.  But I don’t think most would see it that way.

DD: What are you hoping readers can take away from this story?

GR: I think this series, as well as Deadworld in general, has moved to a more sophisticated look at the zombies.  I don’t mean that in some kind of elitist way but rather we’re at a point where the humans have accepted the zombie menace and have moved on from the shock of that and are now dealing with this new world as it is.  I think that forces them to strategize differently in this world and so I think Deadworld is ultimately about the hope of the human race.  It’s not against a plague as that implies something like an infection and this is more like a cancer that is spreading.  There may not be a cure but you might be able to co-exist with it….for awhile. Then it either gets you or you get it.  It’s a bleak world yet humanity still exists.

DD: So how did you come up with the concept for this chapter of the book?

GR: From the previous chapter.  The deeper it goes, it just seems to open all kinds of possibilities on which direction to go, which concepts to explore.  I just have to choose which door to go through and then tell the tale of the journey.

DD: Can we expect more from you horror comic wise in the future?

GR: I’ve done quite a bit of horror although I wouldn’t consider myself a horror writer. Horror is such a broad term and there’s all kinds of horror and even stories that I do that might not be labeled horror, I usually try to weave it in.  I don’t deal with demons or outwardly manifestations, I like more subtle horror.  Deadworld is probably my most blatant horror writing and the only time where I deal with something that would fall into the monster category.  Most of my other horror has monsters, sure, but they’re human.  My upcoming series is Saint James Infirmary which deals with an insane asylum during the early 1900s and gets pulled into some police cases as they’re trying to deal with a new type of killer, something that will eventually be called serial killers.  That should come out sometime early in 2014. So, it deals with horror but I don’t know if I could label it as a horror series.

DD: So where can readers find out more about this book?

GR: IDW has information on their website ( and of course, for more detailed information, visit  The facebook page is also updated often.

DD: So in summary give me a quick recap on Deadworld: Restoration and why fans should give it a try.

GR: Ah, I’m no good at these hard sells.   This is a story of bringing restoration to one’s world.  But for that to happen, the other side has to be destroyed.  I think Deadworld fans will like it and I think new fans can come in and find out why Deadworld has persisted so long.

DD: Thanks so much for your time Gary.

GR: Thank you, Dan.  Keep up the good work on promoting horror comics!