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Virginia Park: Comic book artist snags a project to die for

Miguel Insignares is creating a book based on the zombie film Dawn of the Dead, and he's having a gory old time.

Published October 29, 2004

Miguel Insignares isn't afraid of zombies. In fact, he likes them so much he works with them daily.

Insignares and his small commercial art company,, are producing a 56-page comic book adaptation of Universal Studio's latest zombie-horror flick, Dawn of the Dead.

"I'm a big horror fan, suspense-horror like Psycho, the original Nightmare on Elm Street, psychological stuff based on your nightmares, or the fear of something chasing you," he said.

Insignares, 31, opened in December at 3420 S Dale Mabry Highway. His sister, Felisa Insignares, is the public relations director; David Stovall is the office manager.

Insignares' resume includes work with Marvel, DC and Image Comics, drawing backgrounds and inking -- a process that involves adding depth, dimension and texture to a pencil drawing using ink. His work appeared in the movie The Punisher, filmed in Tampa. He did the drawings in the apartment of the guy with all the piercings.

Dawn of the Dead marks Insignares' largest project to date. Universal Studios, which chose his proposal from a field of others, gave him carte blanche to create his comic book interpretation of the movie, which was released in theaters in March.

"They gave some small recommendations like not so much blood on certain pages," he said.

The book comes out in late November at local comic book stores, including Demolition Comics at 4049 S Dale Mabry Highway, owned by Insignares' brother, William. Insignares is also taking orders through his Web site, As a preview to the book, Insignares created a 16-page, minicomic that comes with the DVD version of the movie, available at Circuit City stores. The DVD came out Tuesday. Universal's Dawn of the Dead is a remake of the original released in 1979. It follows a band of zombie-epidemic survivors who hole up in a shopping mall to protect themselves from the ravenous undead that lurk just outside. Using armored mall shuttles, they escape in time to get help from military reinforcements.

Insignares promises his book keeps the story line intact while playing up the things comic book readers want.

"They like to see more of the guy-around-the-corner type of thing, the suspense," he said. "So if a zombie is in a room, you see him creeping around in the background the frame before."

A Plant High graduate, Insignares grew up reading comics. Among his favorites: Spider-Man, Batman, Superman and Tales from the Crypt. His passion for art and comics led him to Florida Metropolitan University, where he obtained a commercial art degree.

"I've always wanted to do commercial art, and the closer I get to what I want, I push it a little further," he said.

Aside from finishing the book, Insignares is also working on a deal with MGM to create a comic and screenplay for one of its licensed characters, whom he declined to name.

Ultimately, he hopes to become a leader in the comic book industry.

"I'd like to be known as one of the best who does it all, known for a single vision," he said.

- Staff writer Leslie Paredes can be reached at 226-3339 or

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