Back in December, I entered a contest through Crowdspire, in which the author Tim Seeley and illustrator Mike Norton of Revival paired with Patrick Rothfuss to raise money for Heifer International. If you sent in money to this worthy organization, you had a chance to have your likeness in the last issue of Revival, a horror- science fiction graphic novel with a rural noir feel.
Mike Norton contacted me today, and let me know that he choose me! ME!!! I sent him a few pictures, and he sent me back the two panels he drew me in. I’m not allowed to show his work until the issue is published, but I was thrilled with how it looked. Although I do know what character I’m drawn as, I do not know if I’ll be good or evil. I can not wait until February 22nd, when the last issue is released, and then in April when the issues are collected into graphic novel form.
I am thrilled and honored that I will play a small part in the Revival series, which I tagged as one of my Best Reads of 2016. Go ahead and catch up on the series by reading my reviews on Deluxe Edition One, Two and Three before the big finale!
Huge thanks to Mike Norton for choosing me!
**Edit- Here it is…check the final issue out! Dr. McKay is in the house!
We are now heading into the last half of the series, as it will end with volume eight. I am curious as to how the mystery will play out and how character arcs will conclude, as these middle volumes build towards the conclusion.
Volume 5: Gathering Of Waters
Frustrating read. Moral of this volume: trust no one. Do not trust the mayor’s wife, Edmund Holt, Jesse Blackdeer aka John Doe, Blaine Abel the exorcism guy, Ibrahaim, or the Feds. Don’t even trust the fish! (Aside- What was the deal in Chapter 29 when four pages changed illustration style, and then went back to normal afterwards?!)
Volume 6: Thy Loyal Sons and Daughters
Still way too many questions about everything, with no clear answers being revealed. I’m thinking the ghosts hanging around are the souls of those who came back to life, and are waiting to be reunited with their owners, but yet there is still some murkiness about that explanation too. Such as- can souls be killed so they can’t be reunited with their original owner, leaving the body to eternal earthly life? And why is the Professor’s book a part of the mystery? I’d like more puzzle pieces please, so I am not so frustrated at the end of each volume.
As you can see, the middle volumes are a bit of an exasperating read for I want to be able to piece together clues by now, and just more layers have been added. I hope for clarification soon, and want to feel I am solving the puzzle alongside Officer Cypress. Never the less, I eagerly look forward to reading the concluding edition of this great series. The residents of the (fictionalized) town of Wausau, Wisconsin, have come to life in my mind, and I need to know how this all resolves for them!
When I read the first volume of Revival, I knew I wanted to continue reading this rural noir series about how loved ones reviving, which could be a dream come true for some, will be a nightmare for many. Author Tim Seeley and artist Mike Norton have stated the series will run eight volumes, with the seventh one coming out in September. Warning- some (but not too many) spoilers!
Volume 3: A Faraway Place
Volume 2 of this series had no recap of the previous volume, so this book played it sly and had a recap done from Dana’s son’s perspective in comic book form to start us off. Some plot threads were followed more in depth such as trying to figure out Em’s killer, and explaining that the ghosts (most likely) were the unsettled spirits of the Revivers who didn’t die as expected. But there was so many other plots that were introduced or tangled up in one another. Who is the Reviver that followed Professor Weimar? How is the Professor involved in the situation? The teeth? So many questions, but perhaps this clue will help: The card that read “The Tree is Thirsty” came from Thomas Jefferson’s original statement “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” The plot thickens…
Volume 4: Escape to Wisconsin
The saga continues…with new layers added and few to no answers resolved. Dana travels to NYC to follow up on a lead, for Anders Hine had escaped WI and headed across the country when his ruse of acting as if he were in a vegetative state was exposed. Dana finally sees the ghosts attached to the Revivers, when initially she scoffed at the idea when her son told her that he saw several ghosts. (Aside-why would she not believe her son about ghosts, when people coming back to life was a fact?!) The last part of the novel had a segment that was a crossover with another popular Image comic-Chew. Agent Tony Chu from the FDA came to help investigate this Reviver phenomenon with his tasting skills. Chu was made to match the Revival art style, but as I am not a reader of Chew I was initially very confused with this plot thread, as it had not matched the previous story. If you are a fan of Chew this cross over was very cool, otherwise, it might fall a little flat for you.
I discovered a wonderful series that has it all- great story, outstanding art, a mystery and supernatural elements set in a rural landscape. I have a feeling that the Revival series will become a must read for me!
Volume 1: You’re Among Friends
Inexplicably, twenty three people come back to life in rural small town Wisconsin. The “Revivers” are not your typical zombies looking for braaaiins. Instead they quietly rejoin their former lives, not even realizing or remembering their deaths. Their new existence sets the town on edge, with media scrutiny, a government quarantine and religious fanatics taking over the region.
Officer Dana Cypress, a single mother and daughter of the sheriff, is asked to head The Revitalized Citizen Arbitration Team (RCAT). Dana proves to be a realistic main protagonist as her relationships with her father, younger sister, father of her son, and the towns people are built layer by layer, and affect the decisions she makes on this new task force. Dana discovers her sister, Martha (Em), is a Reviver when she is stabbed with a scythe and survives. Em does not know who murdered her, but as the story continues, hints are left that point to many different suspects. Dana is paired with a scientist of Muslim heritage (possible romantic interest), and along with the Hmong population in town, is a nice nod to diversity within the story. An unhinged religious demonologist and creepy ghost also play into the mystery- what are their connections to the Revivers?
The artwork in this self proclaimed rural noir is very well done. All the characters are unique in looks and personalities, with a good artistic representation of the different walks of life within a town’s inhabitants. The variant art used to introduce each of the five chapters was beautiful and gave you a hint of what was to come.
Volume 2: Live Like You Mean It
The action picks up right where volume 1 left off with no recap- a handful of townspeople inexplicably revive after dying with no memory of their death, and the community and police try to piece together what happened. Officer Dana Cypress investigates several leads, with new people and situations being thrown into the mix. Revenge plots, ghosts, and harvesting of Reviver parts are added into the mystery; with more secrets being added than solved. This series will be like a large puzzle, with Dana and us, the readers, trying to put it all together so it makes sense.
Exceptional first volume in what will most likely be a long running series, for the characters and plot lines are set up for growth. I will definitely be reading future volumes to see how the idea of loved ones reviving, which could be a dream come true for some, will be a nightmare for many.