A Near Death Experience Inspires A New Death Sentence Book

By | March 9, 2023

The entire 480 page Death Sentence story is available as a set of three graphic novels for the first time, in a Kickstarter campaign launching Tues March 14th at 1am Pacific Time. And series co-creator Monty Nero has a new perspective to bring, following his own brush with death a few weeks ago.

“I was in a high-speed motorway crash on the M1,” says Monty, “which shook me up, wrote off my car, and left me with a lot of interesting new emotions to put into the next book.”

“I’ve never had a near death experience before, but let me tell you that, when you stop shaking, all your thoughts are of love. For your family, your friends, and the things you love to do.

Work and money? Social media? Your legacy as an artist or writer? It just doesn’t enter your mind.

Once I’d checked the driver who hit me was okay, dealt with the authorities, rang the insurance company, and made my way home I just wanted to hug my family and see as many of my friends as I could.”

So has this led to a change of priorities for the British writer/artist?

“Well, it confirmed that spending time with the people I love is what matters most in the world. So I’m not wasting time on anything unconnected to that.”

To be honest, part of the reason I make comics is so I can be at home and spend as much time with my family as possible, be there when our daughter gets home from school, hang out, make them dinner, all that good stuff. Of course, that means getting up early to get the pages done, and working late into the night when they’ve gone to bed – but it’s worth it.”

Death Sentence has always been a very personal tale about mortality, and what people are supposed to do with their lives and talents. It’s a story spread across three graphic novels starring Verity, a struggling artist, Weasel, a rock star, and Monty, a crazed comedian. They contract a virus that gives them strange powers and six months to live. Can they fulfil their dreams and make sense of their lives in the short time they have left?

Monty says “It’s a sexy, dark, blackly funny tale about the power of creativity to give our lives meaning in a broken world. G-plus is a virus that can turn artists into gods, will all the temptation and opportunity that implies.

“I’ve been doing some new commissions as I prepare to print the final book, which collects Death Sentence into three matching graphic novels for the first time. It’s over 480 pages of story, with covers by me, Mike Dowling, Martin Simmonds, Ben Oliver, Ben Willsher, and Luke Ross.”

The three books on offer are:

  • Death Sentence: Book one (168 pages) – by Monty Nero and co-creator Mike Dowling (Marvel, 2000ad).
  • Death Sentence: London, 156 pages by Monty Nero and Department of Truth artist Martin Simmonds, and
  • Death Sentence: Liberty, 156 pages by Monty Nero and Martin Simmonds again.

The series has been described as “ a masterwork” by Pop Matters, “Sexy, dark and mature” by CBR, “The best British comic in years” by Buzzfeed, “The future of comics” by Comic Book News and “Brilliantly original” by Newsarama.

Monty says “I’m excited for people to read the whole story in one set of books for first time. It really flows, and there’s some amazing art from Mike and Martin. Plus it says a lot about the state of the world and the crazy attitudes we see around us.

As for me, I’m putting waaaay too much detail into these commissions, and putting my new perspective into the next script in the series. Life seems too short to waste time doing anything but make art that really inspires me. After all, these new paintings and books wouldn’t exist at all had I been a fraction less lucky in the crash.”

With the whole Death Sentence story finished, Monty says they’ll be able to ship orders six weeks after the final book, Liberty, goes to press. You can check out the new Death Sentence collection here – and get a preview of the brand new cover, the Ben Oliver cover,  and bespoke rewards. The campaign starts Tue 14th March and runs until Friday 31st March 2023.

Campaign link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/f02/death-sentence-liberty-graphic-novel-480-pages-in-total