Montreal zombie apocalypse comic rips up stereotypes

A group of Montreal artists are working to show marginalized groups in a non-stereotypical way, first with their comic and soon with a video game.

Comic book series Z'Isle set to launch Kickstarter campaign for video game development

The comic Z'Isle takes place in Montreal 7 years after a zombie apocalypse with survivors working to rebuild the city. (Z'Isle)

A group of Montreal artists are working to show marginalized groups in a non-stereotypical way, first with their comic and soon with a video game.

"It's important that we dodge the tropes and stereotypes that we've grown up watching," illustrator and co-writer of the Z'Isle comic book series, Lateef Martin, told CBC Montreal's Daybreak.

"From comics to film it's the same thing: the black guy who asks all the stupid questions or is a thug, or a drug dealer or a pimp. It's important to show that we can be doctors, lawyers, engineers," Martin said.

He said he wanted to include marginalized groups like people of colour and LGBT community members in the creative process as well, not just in the portrayal. 

"Diversity can't just happen on the screen it has to be behind the scenes too," Martin said. 

He added that Montreal's history, culture and architecture made it the perfect backdrop for a unique story.

In Z'Isle, survivors of the zombie apocalypse live on roofs or in the underground city and all the island's bridges have been blown up. Neighbouring boroughs have clustered together to battle for resources.

The comic book is already available at places like Crossover Comics in St-Henri and is being turned into a video game with the help of a Kickstarter campaign launching Sept. 15.

Martin hopes the video game will be available on PC by late 2018 with edition for PlayStation and Xbox to follow. 

with files from CBC Montreal's Daybreak