Artist Owen Freeman's illustrations for the late Chilean writer Roberto Bolano's short story "The Colonel's Son" drives the motion-comic adaptation featured on the Web site,

Last year, I posted a link on Facebook to this video where “The Colonel’s Son” by the late Chilean writer Robert Bolano, best known for such critically acclaimed novels as 2007′s The Savage Detectives and the 2008 epic novel 2666, is animated using the HTML-5 program. The result is a visually striking and brutal assault of the senses erupting with beautifully rendered drawings of zombie mayhem in a supermarket.

Eat your heart out George Romero. Or better yet, let Bolano’s zombies eat it for you!


Zombies run amok in a B-movie watched by the narrator of the short story "The Colonel's Son."

The comic-book connection is obviously the video’s motion-comic format and structure, which is not unlike an animated comic springing to undead life. The animated video of “The Colonel’s Son” – created by artist Owen Freeman in collaboration with the Web designers at Jocabola – was commissioned by the British, high-brow literary magazine Granta for its special 2011 “Horror” issue featuring short stories by celebrated writers Don DeLillo, Will Self, Paul Auster and the horror master himself, Stephen King, among others. You can also read Bolano’s chilling story in his posthumous short-story collection, The Secret of Evil, released in spring 2012.

You can check out more of Freeman’s art featured in this motion comic on his Web site:

Here’s an interview with Freeman discussing his creative process, his early love of comics and his experience working on the drawings for “The Colonel’s Son”:

A still from the motion-comic adaptation of Roberto Bolano's short story "The Colonel's Son" featuring excerpts from a zombie movie airing on late-night TV.

This technique of animating drawings into a motion comic is something that I definitely want to explore down the road for segments of Comics Are Everywhere when the film goes into post-production.

For now, enjoy Freeman’s interpretation of Bolano’s chilling short story where the narrator recounts watching a zombie movie on late-night television and just remind yourself, “It’s only a movie.”

- Neil Kendricks

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