Z2 Comics has announced it is teaming up with the Grateful Dead to release a new graphic novel chronicling the band’s early days, Grateful Dead Origins, which will come with an accompanying selection of Dead music, including previously unreleased early-era material that will ship with a deluxe edition of the comic.
Z2—which has previously partnered on projects with The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, Japan’s BabyMetal, DJ Paul Oakenfold and more—writes in a press release that Grateful Dead Origins will feature an original story, written by Chris Miskiewicz and illustrated by Noah Van Sciver, that presents “an in-depth and personal look at the formation of one of the most important American rock bands of all time, exploring the early days of Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Pigpen, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart…the story of the band’s transformation from a bar band performing as the Warlocks to becoming the creators of their own sound and forefathers for the jamband culture.”
The standard softcover edition of Grateful Dead Origins (see cover above) will come with an exclusive digital download of early Dead music, while the deluxe, limited-edition hardcover edition (cover below) will feature three art prints and creator autographs, plus some previously unreleased recordings on a 12″ vinyl. Pre-orders are available here.
Grateful Dead archivist and Dave’s Picks curator David Lemieux comment on the collaboration: “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.”
“Jerry Garcia was an avid comic book enthusiast so it is incredibly fitting to have the Grateful Dead’s origin story told in graphic novel form,” adds Rhino Entertainment President Mark Pinkus. “Z2’s passion for the band’s music and mythology make them the perfect partner to bring the story to life. This will undoubtedly be a ‘must have’ item for Grateful Dead and graphic novel fans alike.”
Grateful Dead Origins is set for an early-2020 release, with the deluxe edition shipping in April 2020. Read more about the Grateful Dead’s longtime connection with the comic-book world in Relix‘s early 2018 feature “Captain America Digs Deadhead: The Grateful Dead Meet Marvel.”