If you've been following the teasers running on Bleeding Cool, you'll know that today brings a major announcement from Avatar Press concerning a brand new project written by Alan Moore and drawn by Gabriel Andrade (Ferals). That project is an all-original and self-contained 6-issue arc set within the epidemic-infected Crossed universe as created by Garth Ennis, but with a major twist: it is set 100 years in the future, a century from the date of the original Crossed outbreak. The series is entitled Crossed: +100.
Alan Moore has returned to full scripting a new monthly comic for this series, and was compelled to do so through a series of increasingly piquant conversations with his friend Garth Ennis about the implications of the Crossed series for humanity's future. In response, Moore has created an entirely new world and a hundred years of "missing" history to explore the future of the Crossed outbreak, what will happen to the Crossed themselves over such a long period of time, and what fate awaits humanity after losing the basic elements of modern civilization. With Moore as the single author on the series, it's a comics master producing a new apocalyptic vision for readers by returning to the roots of dynamic speculative fiction.
Crossed creator Garth Ennis comments:
So it turns out Jimi Hendrix wants to play in my band. He wants to sing my songs. I don't usually worry about vindication, but Alan is probably the one person whose opinion would be enough to change my mind about what I do.
He's the most talented individual the medium's ever seen or ever will; that he's writing Crossed means everything to me.
Gabriel Andrade, of Avatar Press' series Ferals, is delighted to be on board with this major project as artist, and his work displays the kind of nuance that can move between the horror elements of the comic and the speculative fiction aspects that even contain a hint of the detective genre. For both Moore and Andrade, this is a project heavy on the research and deeply thought-out in execution.
For me to work with Mr. Moore on this new project has been much more of a gift than a challenge. I feel a very strong connection to the world behind the story, as all the references, books, movies, music and conceptual art that have accompanied me throughout my life, are being exploited here. I have had an amazing amount of freedom, both in the creation of the look of these characters and in the formulation of the new world.
The intelligent, clear and detailed text of Mr. Moore gave me a solid base to illustrate and experience the universe we're creating. I am very excited about this work and what will be published is the result of days of dedicated and intensive research and hard work. –Gabriel Andrade
Simon Spurrier, whose work on the webcomic, later collected in print, of Crossed: Wish You Were Here, was an inspiration to Moore in turning his attention toward working on Crossed, reacts to the news thus:
Other writers hint at their cleverness through a lens of smirking mysteries, Alan invites you in for a cup of tea and lets you poke his with a sharp stick. You don't have to think he's right to think he's Right.
Likewise, you don't have to enjoy horrific things to find value in horror fiction. And you don't have to like Crossed to know Alan's take on it will be very, very interesting indeed. –Simon Spurrier
Crossed: +100 features characters in a specific enclave of survivors, many of whom have never actually seen an infected Crossed individual and are seeking to build a future for themselves upon the ruins of the past. The natural world has returned to human cities in force, and humans are resorting to reclaiming basic technological advancements. Central to the narrative is Future Taylor, a female archivist intrigued by science fiction of the 20th and 21st centuries, and her struggling team of reclamation workers. When they encounter a small group of Crossed, they are troubled by the implications of proliferation from the violent and infected beings, and set out to uncover the mystery of why Crossed seem to be increasing and behaving unusually in the region. Is there really any hope for rebuilding human culture, or will the Crossed epidemic finally stamp out human evolution through the last of the straggling survivors?
Alan Moore explains the appeal of the series to him as a writer:
What kind of human future would there be at all? Would humans all be gone? Once I started thinking about this, and I checked all this with Garth, and he thought that it was logical, it seems pretty sound. So, that's been part of the thrill of it. I think people think of Crossed as a horror story, and I can see why. It is extremely horrible. But actually I've always had my problems with genre, and I am coming to the conclusion that genre has really only ever been a convenience.
Now, looking at Crossed, I was actually thinking that this, for my purposes, is a horror story, but it's also a science fiction story. I was thinking that Crossed is actually a science fiction story that has got a really, really high horror quotient. So that was the way that I started approaching it. I was treated Crossed as a "What if?" story, which is the premise of most science fiction.
Not only has Alan Moore full-scripted this contained arc of Crossed, but he has also designed every single cover of the series personally, in multiple formats. Look out for a full set of cover reveals later in the week for the first issue of Crossed +100 but as a teaser, we'll let you know that every cover of Crossed: +100 will offer clues and hidden information about what has transpired in the 100 years since the outbreak, and hints at things to come for the characters.
In keeping with the science fiction theme running through the series in connection with Future Taylor's interests, there will also be a set of covers created in homage to famous works of science fiction tying into the themes of the particular issue in question and yet another set of covers that gives insights into "Crossed Culture".
Also make sure to keep your eyes peeled for more information on a special "sampler" publication that will precede the series' arrival in shops and include exclusive artwork, notes from Alan Moore, and a first look at the series, and also take note that an unprecedented level of care and attention has been devoted to the creation of collectors' editions and boxed sets for the advent of Crossed: +100. For an all-out series like this one, Avatar Press have pulled out all the stops to deliver unique opportunities for readers and collectors alike.
Crossed: +100 will be infesting shops this December.
Avatar Press is the parent company of Bleeding Cool.