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Tag teaming for charity

December 11, 2008|By CRYSTAL SCHELLE

CHARLESTON, W.Va.- At least once in his life, every guy wants to be the hero.

For Martinsburg native Daniel Boyd, that dream has become a reality - at least on paper. Boyd teamed up with William Bitner of Cross Lanes, W.Va., to create an illustrated novel where their wrestling alter egos can rid Charleston, W.Va., of evil.

"Death Falcon Zero Vs. the Zombie Slug Lords" will be officially released Friday, Dec. 12, by BookSurge, an Amazon.com company.

A filmmaker with more than 20 years experience, Boyd said originally the idea was to make a movie using their wrestling alter egos. Bitner is known in the ring as Death Falcon Zero; Boyd as Professor Danger. The story would be based on a Mexican-style, masked-wrestler movie.

The two set out and started shooting in places such as the Czech Republic and Tanzania. "But we just realized it was too big," Boyd said. So they switched from film to illustrations.

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The novel tells the story of Death Falcon Zero, a former masked wrestler who gets released from prison by the governor of West Virginia. The governor, who is illustrated as World Wrestling Entertainer Hall of Famer Johnny Valiant, promises Death Falcon Zero he can be pardoned only if he can put an end to zombies overtaking Charleston's West Side. The zombies, it seems, are being created by a former senator who is using a highly addictive crystal meth. In order to stop the zombies, Death Falcon Zero must reunite with his former Grapes of Wrath tag team.

Boyd said "Death Falcon Zero Vs. the Zombie Slug Lords" is known as a illustrated novel, not a graphic novel. "Illustrated novels were the transition that you made to reading comic books," Boyd said.

He calls "Death Falcon Zero Vs. the Zombie Slug Lords" basically "a pulp fiction novel with 27 illustrations."

The book was illustrated by Brendon and Brian Fraim known in the genre as Brothers Fraim. They were nominated in 2007 for the Harvey Award for Best Syndicated Comic Strip.

With the novel, Boyd said they were inspired by President-elect Barack Obama's "call for community action." Proceeds from the novel benefit the Rev. James D. Early's nonprofit New Covenant Community Development Inc. in Charleston. Boyd said Early deals with the real-life battles with drugs in Charleston's West Side.

"It's a mixture of fact and fiction," Boyd said.




If you go...



"Death Falcon Zero Vs. the Zombie Slug Lords" can be purchased online at www.amazon.com. It retails for $12.95. For more information about the novel, visit www.grapeofwrath.biz.

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