The opening scene from “Death Day.”
Minneapolis comic book artist Sam Hiti is known for doing things his way. He burst onto the national comic book scene in 2004 with his self-published monster-mayhem graphic novel, “Tiempos Finales” (End Times). That book put him on the radar of the industry’s biggest publishers. But five years later, he’s still staunchly independent as he prepares to self-publish his long-awaited second graphic novel -- “Death Day.”
While “Death Day” will eventually hit store shelves as a four-part series (starting early 2010), Hiti has decided to give readers an advance look in the form of free short web episodes. It’s sort of a sneak peek, but you get to see the whole thing (one episode at a time). The first episode, which is equivalent to 30 pages, was posted on Hiti's website on Oct. 31. He said he’s already gotten 8,000 hits. The next one will be up within a month. Hiti will collect every five episodes into one graphic novel.
“Death Day” follows a group of soldiers marooned on an alien planet where they battle grotesque monsters while attempting to find a way back to Earth. While “Tiempos Finales” was a fairly straight story about a Chilean demon hunter, “Death Day’s” story is much more complicated. Likewise, Hiti’s bold, expressive artwork has become even more detailed.
Ever the perfectionist, Hiti said he scrapped three finished versions of the book before settling on this final one. “I have a huge 4-foot high stack of pages that probably won’t ever see the light of day,” he said.
In the meantime, Hiti’s “Tiempos Finales” is still being developed as a Hollywood movie. He’s also done commercial work for Nike and Coke.
Read "Death Day" at www.samhiti.com.
Check Hiti's blog for updates on the next episode of “Death Day.” www.samhiti.blogspot.com
Here’s a panel from a Coke Zero campaign he illustrated for the Hong Kong market: