What if the amazingly talented artists from the Disney Animation Studios decided to channel their mighty powers towards making a graphic novel? Wouldn’t that be cool? Well it would be…and it is! Joining me today is Jeff Ranjo, Story Artist at Disney with a resume that includes “Hercules,” “Tarzan,” “The Emperor’s New Groove,” and the upcoming “Frozen.” He inherited the Editor in Chief title for the third graphic novel that the Disney folks have put out; the first was in 2008, then another came in 2009. The idea is simple: choose a purposefully vague title that asks a question, and turn the artists loose and let them do whatever they want.
This new volume is “Where is Dead Zero?” and 17 Disney artists with breathtakingly beautiful and varied styles are up to the task of figuring that out. I am also extremely honored that Jeff brought two high-profile guests with him, both of whom contributed stories to “Where Is Dead Zero.” Mr. John Musker and Mr. Ron Clements. You know…the guys who directed “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “Hercules,” “Treasure Planet,” and most recently, “The Princess and the Frog.” I think they were excited to talk about comics and NOT the same 9 questions they get about Ariel all the time, because we had a great, wide-ranging discussion about their favorite comics, how they enjoyed working on “Dead Zero,” and much more.
When you find out one of the best Disney directors of all time was originally rejected by Disney and Marvel Comics, it gives you hope and inspiration to keep plugging away! “Where Is Dead Zero?” can be found online at Stuart Ng Books for a steal at $20! They ship internationally as well. This is a relatively small run, and a seriously beautiful book for fans of comics and art. This ain’t your father’s Disney, folks…see what happens when talent is allowed to explore freely!