Nolan Cross alongside one of the characters he created for Zēp at The Roxy Theatre at the film’s premiere on Nov. 23. (Josh Piercey/Revelstoke Review)

Nolan Cross alongside one of the characters he created for Zēp at The Roxy Theatre at the film’s premiere on Nov. 23. (Josh Piercey/Revelstoke Review)

Nolan Cross creates an alternate world in his graphic novel Zēp

The Revelstoke teenager’s creation has also been made into a film

Even at three years old, Nolan Cross had a creative mind. He and his babysitter would play out theatrical stories with his action figures in his living room.

“It was something to watch,” said Nolan’s father, Steven Cross. “They would go for 2-3 hours, doing these dramas with action figures. I would just sit down in a chair nearby and listen.”

Now, 13 years later, Nolan’s passion for storytelling and theatre has led him to where he is now: premiering his first movie, Zēp, at The Roxy Theatre in Revelstoke on Tuesday (Nov. 23).

Zēp Volume 1: The Depths of Pandemonium, is a graphic novel created by Nolan, with the art done by artist Benji Andringa, that has been turned into a motion picture in collaboration with Declan Saville, video editor and composer on the project.

Nolan has complete creative control on the project, which he called a ‘passion project’. Andringa works with Nolan to make his vision come to life through grey-scale illustrations he draws digitally on a specialized iPad. According to Steven, Nolan is meticulous in the way he creates the characters and the world in his vision. Nolan said it took him six months to get the characters faces to look the way he wanted them.

A physical copy of the graphic novel Zēp. (Josh Piercey/Revelstoke Review)

A physical copy of the graphic novel Zēp. (Josh Piercey/Revelstoke Review)

The world of Zēp is set in a parallel world to earth.

“I kind of wanted to create this alternate world because it allowed the imagination to run wild,” said Nolan. “I could take a mosaic of characters and put them in a world I could call my own.”

According to Nolan, the story blends a variety of genres: horror, action-adventure, drama, and dark comedy.

“Blending it all together gives the story free-flowing ability to go where it wants to go,” said Nolan.

Zēp’s artistic elements are merged with epic storytelling to create a unique feel: a cohesive story with deeper meanings that the audience needs to look deeper in to to understand.

Nolan says he takes influence from a variety of sources: from film directors like David Lynch, Quentin Tarantino and Peter Jackson, to video games and television he enjoys.

“Nolan’s dream is Hollywood comes knocking one day,” said his dad, Steven.

Nolan and Steven hope to take the film version of Zēp on the road to other theatres in the Interior, and will eventually stream it on their website.

Zēp Volume 1: The Depths of Pandemonium is the first of 12 planned volumes in a series of graphic novels. The physical version of the first volume is available for purchase at thezepworld.com.

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@josh_piercey
josh.piercey@revelstokereview.com

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