Take-Two Interactive, the company behind Grand Theft Auto, Borderlands and 2K Sports, is no longer just a video game publisher. Take-Two is branching out into comics with a new line of graphic novels set in the world of George Romero's 1968 zombie film Night of the Living Dead.
The company's publishing imprint is called Double Take and is spearheaded by former Marvel Comics publisher Bill Jemas. Double Take's first three graphic novels, Rise, Insurrection and Soul, are all set in the world of (and feature characters from) Night of the Living Dead.
Double Take is quick to point out that "no one affiliated with the 1968 Night of the Living Dead film is in any way involved in the creation of the new stories." But since Romero's zombie movie is in the public domain — the result of a copyright mistake on behalf of the film's distributor and a disastrous flood that ruined an early print of the film — it's legally fair game.
Scenes from Rise, Insurrection and Soul are being posted to Double Take's Facebook. Many of those scenes are a work in progress, going from sketch to inked to colored work, and some feature recreated and expanded scenes from Night of the Living Dead in comic form.
In an interview with Comic Book Resources, Jemas said Double Take's plan is to post its comics to social media and eventually to digital comic distributors like Comixology and Madefire. Later, "traditional, gorgeous print versions" of the comics are planned, as is a Kickstarter fundraising campaign to get those comics made.
Double Take's ambitions go beyond zombie stories, Jemas says. They'll be introducing superheroes to their universe, which will still share narrative space with the Night of the Living Dead-inspired fiction.
Take-Two has previously explored the comic book market with titles based on its Borderlands and Duke Nukem properties, but Double Take looks like the company's attempt to carve out something new. Based on the success of Marvel Studios' film franchises and The Walking Dead's video game and television series, Take-Two must see an opportunity to build upon a fresh comic book foundation.