The Horrors of World War I in WHITE DEATH

July 31, 2014

Original graphic novel by Robbie Morrison and Charlie Adlard in September

“On a sunlit day in September 2013, 500 people attended a double funeral in the small alpine ski resort village of Peio, northern Italy. The bodies were those of two Austrian males, aged 17 and 18 years old. They weren’t, however, holiday-makers who had fallen victim to a tragic ski accident. Both had bullet-holes in their skulls and had been frozen in the snow and ice of the Presana glacier for almost 100 years. They were First World War soldiers who had fought in a relatively obscure part of that conflict, now known as the White War.” –From the introduction to WHITE DEATH

Image Comics is pleased to announce the September release of WHITE DEATH, a hardcover graphic novel by Robbie Morrison (2000 AD) and Charlie Adlard (THE WALKING DEAD). Set in the Trentino mountain range, WHITE DEATH follows Pietro Aquasanta, who, as a rifleman in the Italian army, returns to what was a realm of wonder adventure in his childhood during World War I, but has now become a sterile world of death and despair.

“‘White Death’ is a slang term used to describe avalanches in French and Italian Alpine regions,” wrote Morrison in his introduction, “and in my head, the avalanche became a metaphor for war — a terrifying, irresistible force that remorselessly consumes and destroys everything in its path.”

Heightening the tone of isolation and destruction is Adlard’s art — smudged and scratchy black charcoal and white chalk on a stark gray background that depicts the horrors of trench warfare and hand-to-hand combat. WHITE DEATH pre-dates Adlard’s arrival on the comics phenomenon THE WALKING DEAD, but his work on it informed the direction of his career.

“I could do my OWN thing,” Adlard wrote in his introduction. “This, to me at the time, was a revelation. I hadn't been aware very much of the concept of creator-owned comics and, yet, here I was, doing just that. White Death eventually formulated my world view and opinions on where I wanted my career to go after this.”

WHITE DEATH is a 104-page black-and-white hardcover graphic novel. It will be in comic book stores on September 3 and bookstores on September 16.

WHITE DEATH by Robbie Morrison and Charlie Adlard

  • ISBN 978-1-63215-142-1
  • Diamond Comic order code JUL140461
  • Hardcover
  • 104 pages, $14.99
  • In comic book stores September 3, in bookstores September 16
  • Rated T+