Dubbed Grateful Dead Origins, the book will be published by Z2 Comics. Its set for release in early 2020 and will come in standard and deluxe editions. The former is a softcover that comes with an exclusive download for music from the Grateful Dead’s early years. The latter is an individually-numbered oversized hardcover, which includes prints autographed by the creators. More notably, the deluxe version also includes unreleased early Grateful Dead on vinyl, which is presumably a huge deal for collectors.
The book details the bands formation. It includes personal stories of The Dead’s transformation from bar band to The Warlocks to being the creators of their own sound and the forefathers of jam band culture. Readers will find the early stories of Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Pigpen, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart.
Grateful Dead archivist and legacy manager David Lemieux had this to say about the book in a statement:
We’ve seen many archival releases that offer magnificent audio representations of the Grateful Dead’s history, and several filmed interpretations of the Dead’s story. To these, we’re thrilled to add to the Dead’s narrative canon this beautiful portrayal of the Dead’s origin story in the form of this wonderful new comic. Chris and Noah have captured the Dead’s sensibility in their words and images that bring to life on the page the earliest days of the Grateful Dead, from the band’s founding in 1965 through to Woodstock. We couldn’t be happier to be partnering with such talented artists who have delved so deeply into the Dead’s history and origin.
Meanwhile, Z2 Comics continues to add to a growing list of music-related graphic novels. Since 2016, the publisher has worked with Dan Auerbach of the The Black Keys, DJ Paul Oakenfold, jazz trumpeter Dave Chisolm, and more. Last year, Z2 partnered with Japanese metal band BabyMetal on the graphic novel Apocrypha: The Legend of BabyMetal. Later this year, Z2 will release singer/pianist Andy (Six) Biersack’s graphic novel The Ghost of Ohio.
For more info about artist Van Sciver, check out The Beat’s interview from SDCC 2018 and a review of his One Dirty Tree graphic novel.
Grateful Dead Origins is available for pre-order now.