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SYFY WIRE comic previews

The Purge meets The Walking Dead in AfterShock's new horror series, Dead Day

By Jeff Spry
DD Hero

In a clever twist on The Purge, The Returned, and The Walking Dead, AfterShock Comics is delivering a serious dose of jolting terror in an upcoming horror series that's sure to swiftly melt your spring when the premiere issue rises from the grave on Apr. 15. — and SYFY WIRE is opening the casket on the demented debut issue with an exclusive expanded preview.

Dead Day #1 is written by Ryan Parrott (Oberon, Volition, Death To the Army of Darkness) and matched with eerie artwork from Evgeniy Bornyakov (Descendent, You Are Obsolete) in a provocative project that asks the question... If the dead could return for just one single night, would we actually want them to?

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Capitalizing on his affection for event-based world building, Parrott has crafted an intriguing storyline perfectly complemented by Bornyakov's macabre, moody artwork. The plotline unfolds as we're introduced to The Haskins, a generic modern suburban family, while they go about gearing up for the annual supernatural holiday known as “Dead Day" – when the deceased emerge from the sanctity of their graves from sunset to sunrise.

Most come back to reunite with beloved family and close friends, some for one final night of recklessness and rioting, but others shuffle back into society with nothing but revenge implanted in their rotting brains.

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"I think of all the comic ideas I've ever come up with, Dead Day is by far the easiest one for people to understand," Parrott tells SYFY WIRE. "Obviously, we've all lost someone, so there's an element of wish fulfillment in wanting to reconnect with loved ones, but I think there's also the flip side of wondering what it might be like to rise from the dead a year or so after you pass and seeing what the world is like. What would YOU do with that time? Would you go visit friends and family or try to check things off your bucket list with the time you have?" 

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"To tell a little bit of the story, It's about the Haskin Family, a seemingly normal nuclear family preparing for Dead Day," he adds. "But what we learn very quickly is that Melissa Haskin, the mother, is expecting an old flame to return that night... and if he does, she's going out with him. This obviously doesn't sit well with her husband, but he has no choice. Our story is about Melissa's past life and present life smashing into one another... a collision that will change the family future forever.

"I think I try to strike a balance with both the gore and the psychological horror. Obviously, we have decomposing human beings wandering through the night, so there's a certain amount of just general creepiness in the series, but the stuff that I really like is the existential horror. If the dead crawl out of the ground once every few years, are they there all the time? What's it like to try and feel when your fingers are half gone? And... what does morality mean to someone who knows what happens when you die? It's the complicated stuff like that I've enjoyed the most."

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Now shamble into our 5-page peek at AfterShock's Dead Day #1, with colors via Juancho Velez and covers courtesy of Andy Clarke w/ Jose Villarrubia and Francesco Francavilla, in the the full gallery below, then tell us if you're dying to get your mortal hands on this mortifying new series.