The start of the Grateful Dead’s long, strange trip will be explored in a new graphic novel, it was announced Thursday. Published by Z2 Comics, Grateful Dead Origins takes an in-depth look at the formation of the band, exploring the early days of Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Pigpen, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart. The graphic novel is written by Chris Miskiewicz and illustrated by Noah Van Sciver and scheduled for release in early 2020.
“We’ve seen many archival releases that offer magnificent audio representations of the Grateful Dead’s history, and several filmed interpretations of the Dead’s story,” said David Lemieux, the Grateful Dead’s audiovisual archivist and legacy manager, in a statement. “To these, we’re thrilled to add to the Dead’s narrative canon this beautiful portrayal of the Dead’s origin story in the form of this wonderful new comic. Chris and Noah have captured the Dead’s sensibility in their words and images that bring to life on the page the earliest days of the Grateful Dead, from the band’s founding in 1965 through to Woodstock. We couldn’t be happier to be partnering with such talented artists who have delved so deeply into the Dead’s history and origin.”
Grateful Dead Origins will be available in a standard edition and a limited-run collector’s deluxe edition. The standard edition will come in a softcover version that will feature an exclusive download of Grateful Dead music from their early years. The deluxe edition will come in a hardcover, individually numbered coffee table edition featuring prints and autographed by the comic creators. It will also come with a selection of unreleased Grateful Dead music from the era on vinyl. All configurations of Grateful Dead Origins are now available for pre-order.