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Animation professor releases zombie graphic novel

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Cover art for "Dead Anyway"
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Book art by Bryan Ballinger
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Book art by Cole Phillips
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Book art by Josh Addessi

HUNTINGTON, Ind. Blood, guts and rigor mortis just in time for the holidays. The undead-loving types will get a kick out of the new dark-humored zombie graphic novel featuring the talents of Bryan Ballinger, assistant professor of digital media arts at Huntington University.

Ballinger, along with HU animation grads Josh Addessi (2010), Cole Phillips (2010) and Sarah Krzynowek Bodnar (2012), contributed stories to the graphic novel, "Dead Anyway: Stories from the Zombie Apocalypse."

"It's basically a collection of comic stories about zombies," Ballinger said. "Most are silly and humorous."

Ballinger first heard of the idea for "Dead Anyway" after connecting with Pete Mitchell, front man for the L.A. rock band "No More Kings." Mitchell had done several zombie-themed songs with the band that caught Ballinger's attention, but his artwork was even more impressive.

"I found his portfolio online and really liked his work," Ballinger said. "I sent him a note about it, we became friends, and he told me about his graphic novel idea. I told him about all these great artists I was friends with and whammola, we started working on it."

In addition to being a contributor, Ballinger also served as the art director and editor for the graphic novel, and was in charge of the layout and general production of the book. As editor, Ballinger approached various artists seeking contributions for the quirky zombie anthology.

"Having had Josh, Cole and Sarah as students, and having stayed in touch with them and their work since graduating, I was very familiar with their artwork, and I knew they'd be perfect for this," he said.

He and Mitchell also gathered contributions from some of the best in the industry to bring their undead graphic novel to life.

"We've got an incredible mix of contributors to this book, from established children's book illustrators to a concept artist who did work for several Pixar films, to an art director from Cartoon Network, to artists who've worked at Disney, to an animator and designer from Brazil, an illustrator from Belgium, and an artist who's done a ton of work for Marvel comics," Ballinger said. "I am really proud of this book, and I feel very blessed to have been able to work with all these great artists."

After five months of work, "Dead Anyway" is now available for sale online at DeadAnyway.com and IndyPlanet.com.