Artist’s Editions are a recent addition to the comics shelf, starting with IDW’s over sized Artist Edition series, and continuing on with giant tomes from Dynamite and Dark Horse. Put them all together and you can build a little house! IDW pioneered the form with books that reproduced art original size, with pencil marks and flaws intact. They’re as spectacular as they are heavy.
And now IMage is joining the fray with THE WALKING DEAD: ALL OUT WAR ARTIST PROOF EDITION. This will be thick—248 pages—but not oversized, as far as we can tell from the PR. The book—priced at $34.99—will reproduced Charlie Adlard’s pencils from the violent, defining storyline of the comic. The book will be out on October 1…just in time for the new season! And here’s a wee preview of the pages before inker Stefano Gaudiano gets hold of them:
In October, fans of Robert Kirkman’s THE WALKING DEAD will see the New York Times best-selling comic as never before with the publication of THE WALKING DEAD: ALL OUT WAR ARTIST PROOF EDITION. In this 248-page hardcover from Image Comics/Skybound, artist Charlie Adlard’s raw pencils for the twelve-issue arc are reproduced, uninked and unaltered from how they appear on his artboard.
The ALL OUT WAR story arc marks a major turning point in THE WALKING DEAD, as Rick Grimes unites several communities to fight the villainous Negan and his “Saviors,” while around them the dead continue to roam. The future of the Survivors, Hilltop, and Kingdom communities depends precariously on Negan’s right-hand man, who has turned against him — and not everyone is going to see it through the war alive.
“I’ve always enjoyed books that show the ‘process,’ and All Out War certainly does that,” said Adlard. “Presenting the pencils as they are is an interesting thing, because they were done to show an inker what to do. So, at times, they are rough, fudged, incorrect…etc, but hopefully still provide an insight as to what goes into making a comic book.”
Adlard has penciled and inked more than one hundred issues of THE WALKING DEAD. Inker Stefano Gaudiano was brought onto the art team (which includes toner Cliff Rathburn and letterer Rus Wooten) at the start of the ALL OUT WAR story arc.
“And just sometimes it’s nice not to have a finished thing,” continued Adlard. “To be able to see the little bits of ‘magic’ occurring in the happy accidents of random pencil marks, which were never intended for anyone other than Stefano to see, where I wasn’t caring that it would be seen by a wider audience, makes it all a little bit bolder.”
ALL OUT WAR has never before been collected in a single volume, and this edition presents the monumental story in a whole new way. THE WALKING DEAD: ALL OUT WAR ARTIST PROOF EDITION will be in comic book stores on October 1 and in bookstores on October 8. It is available for pre-order now.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.