Death Sentence Liberty #2 (and #1) is now live on Kickstarter until 13th December, written by Monty Nero (Titan, Marvel, Delcourt) with art by Martin Simmonds (Titan, Marvel, Black Crown, Vault Comics). It’s the third story in the series about an STD that gives you superpowers but kills you in six months.
It’s been called “a masterwork” by Popmatters, “Brilliant. Genuinely original.” by Mark Millar, and “the best British comic in years” by Buzzfeed.
We spoke to co-creator Monty Nero to get the inside story…
Monty Nero writes, and draws comics – including X-Men, The Hulk, Death Sentence, Hollow Monsters, @MontyandZuzu with Zyzanna Dominiak (published online), and various other stories for Marvel, Delcourt, Vertigo and 2000AD.
Based in Dundee as part of the Inkpot Studio, Monty Nero has a Masters with Distinction from The University of Dundee in Comics and Graphic Novels, where he won the Duncan of Jordanstone prize, researching how the verbal and visual elements of comics combine to elicit emotion.
downthetubes: So, what’s the new comic about, Monty?
Monty Nero: Well things get pretty freaky and dark in this issue. The first issue is about reintroducing the characters, with some epic action, and the second issue moves the story forward.
We start to find out more about the mystery behind the virus itself. The overarching plot’s been worked out since the very beginning, and the grand plan is unfolding just as it should.
downthetubes: Is Verity still the focus of the action?
Monty Nero: Verity’s always the heart of the story, the main character. Then you’ve got Jeb, who’s trying to steal the G-plus research, and Roots, who’s facing down the army with Verity.
One of the charms of the series is all our characters are very nuanced and unpredictable. You always know what Superman’s going to do under stress, not so Verity or Weasel. They’re much more human and relatable.
The comic’s stuffed full of the finest superheroic action, but there’s no posturing or tedious do-gooding. It’s not cynical either. It’s funny and real.
downthetubes: Artist Martin Simmonds has had a brilliant year with Punk is Dead and Friendo, and it looks like he’d hit another peak here. You obviously work well together. What’s the secret?
Monty Nero: Ha! Hire Martin, pure and simple. I can‘t take any credit for his talent. I just wanted to work with him because he could do all kinds of things I could never do, artistically speaking. He’s clearly revelling in the art of storytelling — stretching himself for the sheer joy of it. Issue Two is simply beautiful, and Issue Three raises the bar further.
Any true comic fan would be nuts to miss this. I’m just enjoying the ride like everyone else.
downthetubes: Thanks, Monty. The very best of luck with this latest crowdfunder!
MONTY NERO ONLINE
Critical reaction to Death Sentence…
“The Best British comic in years”
“…like only the best parts of Watchmen — a social analysis that exceeds the medium of comics, easily the equal of Dostoyevsky or Dickens.”
“Sexy, dark and mature”
Comic Book Resources
“Dazzling wit ridden debut”
Page Forty Five
“Superb – hard-edged, dramatic, thought-provoking and well deserving of the praise it’s been getting”
“Outrageous, gritty yet grounded… a hit.”
The Hollywood Reporter
“A Hieronymus Bosch vista of angry disenfranchised ‘yoof’, beautifully illustrated by Martin Simmonds,”
“Martin Simmonds’ artwork really is stellar here, with clean sharp lines and a colour palate that manages to jump off the page and give a kinetic energy to the book that fits with the stylings of the plot.”
Big Comic Page
“The art by Martin Simmonds, just pops off the pages, both elegant and realistic in his renderings of the various characters that make up this world. They feel more like matte paintings than comic book panels at times and that is definitely a good thing.”
“Simmonds is ridiculously good… rendering a world torn apart by politics and people power, and bringing a gritty wonder to the whole thing that leaves you conflicted as to whether to turn pages to see what’s next or gaze drooling.”
“Martin Simmonds’ painted artwork here is a major selling point of this book. Where most average painters good enough to get work in the medium can sell colour and mood and make for pretty pictures, he does all this and also has all the tools needed for a brilliant sequential artist.”