Dead Seas: Look Inside Cavan Scott's Ghostly Comic Book – Collider

The new six-issue miniseries is part of the impressive slate of IDW Originals.
Within the Star Wars fandom, Cavan Scott is a beloved author who is known for his keen attention to character and his impressive ability to craft vibrant and engaging stories, regardless of their length. Whether Scott's penning an epic adventure in a novel or across the pages of comic books, one thing is for certain for readers: you're going to get swept up in the storytelling. Collider is excited to share an exclusive look inside the making of Scott's upcoming six-issue miniseries Dead Seas which sees him team up with fan-favorite artist Nick Brokenshire to tell a terrifying tale on the high seas.
Dead Seas is aptly described as The Poseidon Adventure meets The Haunting of Hill House, and is set within a world where ghosts are not only real but a danger to society. Of course, there are those that also deem the valuable because their ectoplasm is capable of curing diseases, and those people are willing to risk the lives of others to harvest the drug. Scott sets the scene aboard the prison ship Perdition, where a prisoner named Gus Ortiz risks life and limb for a reduced sentence so that he can get back to his daughter, sooner, rather than later. Naturally, angry spirits aren't the only things that Gus should be worried about.
Scott is no stranger to ghost stories, having penned IDW's Ghostbusters 35th Anniversary Collection, but that didn't stop us from asking him about the inspiration behind his own original ghostly tale. ​​In an interview ahead of the first issue's release, Scott shared that, "Dead Seas came from my love of disaster movies, especially those from the 70s, but as with most stories I always found myself saying 'this would be better with added monsters!' Then, a couple of years back, I was rewatching The Poseidon Adventure and I started to imagine what would happen if everyone who drowned immediately came back as a ghost. That would make escape from the sinking ship infinitely more tricky. I mentioned it to my friend and now co-creator Nick Brokenshire and Dead Seas was born."
Scott also shared with us which ghost stories are his favorite, and the answer might surprise you! There's such a wide range of ghost stories in existence, some born out of "true stories" while others are completely fictionalized tales of horror and sometimes humor. Scott explained,
"Well, it's not the scariest, but my favourite book of all time is Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. I'm a huge fan of the Conjuring movies too and thought Mike Flanagan's Haunting of Hill House was superb. I'd also recommend His House, which was a 2020 movie about refugees from Sudan who make it to the UK only to find themselves trapped in a haunted house. It's sublime."
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While most people credit writers with fully creating the characters on the page, Scott credited Brokenshire with developing the characters. When asked about where the inspiration came from for the very distinct names in Dead Seas, Scott explained, "For this one, Nick and I did a lot of work on the characters before we pitched the series, coming up with their backstories, Nick providing concept sketches. The names came during all that."
When fans of the paranormal think of a setting for a terrifying ghostly tale, they often think of decrepit mansions or abandoned hospitals, but with Dead Seas, the ghosts are adrift at sea aboard an ominous prison ship. When asked about the inspiration for utilizing a ship like the Perdition as the backdrop, Scott delved into his inspiration saying:
"[In] the world of Dead Seas, ectoplasm has been discovered to be a miracle cure and so big business has moved in to capitalize on the spooky substance. The trouble is that it's also incredibly dangerous to collect, so one particularly ethically-challenged company has decided to offer prisoners the chance to reduce their sentences if they volunteer to voyage to the middle of the ocean and collect the gunk. Of course, what the convicts don't know is that disaster is looming on the horizon. I come from a maritime city over here in the UK and have been fascinated about prison ships for years. It just seems the worst possible environment to me, all that water and no chance of escape. And you know what would make it worse… ghosts!"
Brokenshire has brought a very distinct aesthetic to Dead Seas, one that is very gritty, lived-in, and frankly terrifying. Some of the ghostly designs are unlike any other ghost you'll find in comic books or the genre, and we couldn't resist asking Scott about how they arrived at the terrifying entity known as "The Child" which will inevitably haunt the minds of readers long after they finish reading. He shared that, "Nick and I produced a six-page sample as part of the pitch package which featured a weird and wonderful ghost with multiple mouths and faces. I wondered allowed what the ghost would be saying as it approached and Nick immediately came back with 'Mother?' While that sample never made it into the first issue, a version of the ghost made it through, now warped rather ghoulishly into our bouncing ectoplasmic baby."
Before you dive into Dead Seas on December 21, when it arrives on bookshelves everywhere, here's what Scott hopes readers take away from the miniseries, "I'm really looking forward to them meeting our characters. It's not just the convicts but the guards as well, all who have to pull together if they're going to survive. And then there are Nick's incredible ghost designs. Man alive, they're fantastic. Or should I say, man overboard…." And if you find yourself hoping for more, he assured us that he and Nick "have plenty more ideas for the world of Dead Seas."
Get a look behind the process of making Dead Seas from layouts to inked pages to full color below. These exclusive images only feature pages 19-22, so you'll have to wait until December 21st to see them all when Dead Seas arrives:
Maggie Lovitt is the Lead News Editor at Collider and a lover of all things related to pop culture. In addition to reporting on the latest entertainment news, she is also an actor and member of the Screen Actors Guild based out of the Mid-Atlantic Region.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, a member of the Hollywood Critics Association, Screen Actors Guild, and The Cherry Picks. She has a special taste for horror films that make you think, rom-coms that dole out a healthy dose of Fremdschämen, high-flying action flicks that deliver hits, and has an enemies-to-lovers relationship with superhero movies.

In 2020, she co-founded the podcast “Petticoats & Poppies: History Girls at the Movies” with her longtime friend, and North Carolina-based film critic, Nicole Ackman. That same year, Maggie joined as a co-host on the Star Wars podcast ‘Outer Rim Beacon,’ and has appeared as a guest on numerous Star Wars podcasts and other pop culture podcasts. In 2021, she launched “Starbucks Lovers: A Taylor Swift Podcast” which allows her to geek out about her love for Taylor Swift and music. She also runs Millennial Falcon Reviews (@mfalconreviews).

While she spends her time writing and editing articles about the entertainment industry, Maggie’s background is in history and anthropology. She earned her Bachelor’s in Historic Preservation from the University of Mary Washington, where she focused on Colonial American history, British literature, and historic architecture. She recently earned her Master’s in Engaged Anthropology at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, where she focused her studies on dark tourism, magic, and the politics of food.


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