As announced in January, Frank Frazetta’s legendary creation Death Dealer will be coming to Image Comics courtesy of artists Nat Jones (Spawn, Rob Zombie’s The Nail), and Jay Fotos (Spawn, Giant Monster). However, the art team will be welcoming a new writer onboard the much anticipated project: Joshua Ortega, author of the cult hit ((Frequencies)) and writer for Top Cow’s critically acclaimed series, The Necromancer.
"Joshua Ortega brings a lot of energy of enthusiasm as well as a new voice to the series," says Nat Jones. "Joshua and I have been planning to do project together for years, and the timing just seemed perfect to bring him in on Death Dealer. I’m thrilled to have him on board."
"Joshua has an attention to detail that I admire," adds Fotos. "And as Nat said, he also brings great enthusiasm to every project he works on."
"I'm incredibly flattered and very excited that Nat and Jay have asked me to join the project," says Ortega. "It’s truly an honor to be able to work on one of fantasy’s most iconic characters, and I’m really looking forward to giving Frazetta fans and comic fans an epic fantasy story that’s as true to the spirit of the paintings as possible."
So what does Steve Niles, originally announced as the writer on the project, have to say about Ortega taking over the writing reins?
"Joshua was Nat’s first choice to take over the project, and he was my top choice as well," says Niles. "I’m sure he’ll deliver the fans a great new take on Frazetta’s Death Dealer, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where he takes the series."
Undoubtedly, Niles’ fans will be curious as to why he left the project. The reason had nothing to do with the property or the talent involved, it was simply a case of timing; "I looked around and saw that with everything I have going on I would be slowing down Nat and Jay's creative cyclone, and decided to step aside. I think it will be for the better of the series."
"I admit that I was looking forward to seeing what Steve was going to do with the character," Ortega says, "but I'm absolutely thrilled to have this opportunity to work with Nat and Jay on one of Frazetta’s most iconic creations. So, a big thank you to both of them for welcoming me aboard, and thanks to Steve for the nod of confidence!"
The new Death Dealer team of Nat Jones, Joshua Ortega, and Jay Fotos will all be in attendance at the San Diego Comic-Con, and they will be signing a stunning, limited-edition lithograph at the Image Comics booth (#2729) at various times throughout the weekend. The Death Dealer series is slated for an early 2007 release. Comic fans and Frazetta fans alike should prepare themselves for an epic reading experience.
"Bringing the Death Dealer back to the comic shelves is a huge event for Frazetta fans," says Jones, "and we hope the series helps bring the amazing and influential work of one of fantasy’s greatest masters to a new generation of readers. This is definitely a book you don’t want to miss!"
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