Unearth the Making of Shaun of the Dead With You've Got Red on You Softcover (Exclusive)

After landing on shelves last year, You've Got Red on You: How Shaun of the Dead Was Brought to Life by author Clark Collis is coming to softcover later this year, with all-new cover art from HagCult. When the film was originally released, it came at a time in which the zombie subgenre had grown stale, only for Edgar Wright's movie to entirely revive the concept, paving the way for the living undead to take over all corners of pop culture. Collis' book dives deep into how the unlikely project came together, helping launch Wright's career, along with making stars of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. The softcover version of You've Got Red on You will hit shelves this September from 1984 Publishing.

Collis interviewed dozens of Shaun of the Dead cast and crew members for the project, including director Edgar Wright, producer Nira Park, actors Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield, Bill Nighy, Lucy Davis, and Coldplay singer Chris Martin, as well as many of the extras who played zombies in the film. All helped to tell the story of Shaun of the Dead, from its origins as a back-of-a-taxi idea concocted by co-writers Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg to the movie's current status as a globally beloved pop culture phenomenon. The book also includes commentary from many of the movie's well-known fans including directors Quentin Tarantino, Eli Roth, and Zack Snyder, and Walking Dead executive producer Greg Nicotero. 

ComicBook.com caught up with Collis and artist HagCult (Mayra Fersner) by email to talk about the book, revisiting the release for the softcover debut, and future projects.

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(Photo: 1984 Publishing)

ComicBook.com: What was the most surprising thing you learned about the film, either with its production or about the cast/crew involved?

Clark Collis: The serious answer is that I was surprised by quite how many talented people it takes to make a great movie. The less serious answer would be that it seems a couple of the folks playing zombies may have had sex on the Winchester pool table during an unauthorized after-hours party.

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(Photo: 1984 Publishing)

What was the collaborative process like between you and Clark? How far off from those initial concepts did the final cover end up being?

Mayra Fersner: Working with Clark was great. He was always clear when communicating what worked for him and the design of the book. From the beginning, he was excited with the rough sketches for each concept. Fine-tuning each cover was always a smooth process. We ended up not straying too far from the preliminary sketches for the direction he wanted to go in.

Knowing what you know now about the movie/the reaction from fans to the book, who would you like most to sit down and chat with again about the movie? Who do you wish you had gotten to talk to about the movie that you weren't able to?

Collis: The director and co-writer Edgar Wright was extremely generous with his time for this project, but he is such a fountain of information and anecdotes that I would love to have another chat with him. I wish I could have spoken to the much-loved Penelope Wilton about playing Shaun's mum, but she was probably too busy acting brilliantly in something.

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(Photo: 1984 Publishing)

How did you find a unique approach to the project, given it's earned so much fan art and so many poster releases over the years?

Fersner: Being a fan of the film I knew this would be a challenge. With both cover concepts, I wanted to create something that was iconic and recognizable by its fan base but also eye-catching enough to draw in a viewer who may not have previous knowledge of the film. Taking a more dynamic perspective helped me produce something that could stand out uniquely. From designing the individual letterforms with distinctive features mimicking blood splatter to the composition and energy of the illustration, it was important for me not only to create something that captured the film's spirit but also set it apart graphically.

Are there other movies/franchises you are as passionate about that you would want to write another book about?

Collis: I hope so and I have plans for more books. So please keep your eyes out for my name at your local bookshop! 

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(Photo: 1984 Publishing)

If you could continue the adventures of any Edgar Wright film with a comic book/graphic novel, what would you like to explore?

Fersner: This one is a tough one as I'm a huge fan of his work but I would love to work on continuing Gary King's story in The World's End.

What would be a dream title/franchise to create more official artwork for?

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Fersner: I would love the opportunity to work on something Star Trek-related.


You've Got Red on You: How Shaun of the Dead Was Brought to Life is available now in hardcover and hits softcover this September.