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'Grateful Dead Origins' to Revisit Earliest Days of America's Greatest Jam Band

Deadheads rejoice: Jerry Garcia et al. will be comic book heroes early next year.
Z2 Comics
Deadheads rejoice: Jerry Garcia et al. will be comic book heroes early next year.

Following a series of graphic novels created with musicians from Paul Oakenfold to Japanese metal band BABYMETAL, Z2 Comics has a new music-related project to announce for 2020: Grateful Dead Origins, illustrated by alternate comics veteran Noah Van Sciver.

The graphic novel, written by Chris Miskiewicz, will tell the story of the original formation of the Dead, and the transformation from mid-1960s combo the Warlocks to the jam band that inspired a generation of obsessive followers that became a community unto itself.

The book will be available in two formats: a softcover “standard” edition, which will be accompanied by a download of audio tracks from the era covered in the book, and a limited edition “collector’s deluxe” hardcover, which will be released with prints signed by the book’s creators and a vinyl record featuring previously unreleased Grateful Dead tracks. The book will be released in early 2020, but pre-orders are already available.

“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,” Grateful Dead audiovisual archivist and legacy manager David Lemieux said Thursday in a statement. “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.”

Added Mark Pinkus, president of Rhino Entertainment: “[Grateful Dead co-founder] 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. 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.”

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