Okay, so back at San Diego I had a bunch of new project announcements, both personal and on the publishing side, that I said I'd go into more detail about. So, since I just got done finalizing some script pages on one the projects, my NIGHT OF THE 80'S UNDEAD
, I thought I'd go ahead and go into some details about that now...
As you might guess from the title, it's a zombie story. I love zombies, and survival horror, but with a never ending stream of zombie comics I'd resisted writing my own for quite a while. Until I came up with my CON OF THE DEAD
graphic novel (which is still in limbo, in need of an artist) a couple years back. However, already having one zombie story in the works, I felt no need to muse on further zombie comic ideas, that is until last year's ZomBcon
. Something about debuting (Dan's) Zombie Tramp, taking part in a first ever all zombie convention, and meeting George Romero got my zombie juices flowing. Aside from CotD, and Zombie Tramp, I really wanted to do more zombie comics. So after many months of not actively doing anything about it, inspiration struck again and I started thinking about new zombie concepts.
That's when this image hit me...
The simple stark silhouette of the iPod ads, converted to a zombie with a Walkman... a zombie story with an 80's theme. I didn't have a story, but damn if that image didn't work and perfectly capture and inform what could be a zombie story. One set in the 80's, like so many of the classic films (like one of my all time faves, Return of the Living Dead
), but written with the fetishistic hindsight of 80's nostalgia and pop culture reverence that those films couldn't have. The story itself had to be quintessential 80's. And so that's when Night of the 80's Undead really took off.
What if it was a story about Regan era cold war, drugs, celebrities, and of course, zombies? Wouldn't that capture everything?
And what if aside from the 80's celebrities, the story touched on 80's youth, a la John Hughes?
Wouldn't that be even cooler?
So yeah. Walkmans, Swatch watches, coked-out zombies, mall-rats, and 80's icons, all mixing it up in a blast of VHS B-movie carnage. That's Night of the 80's Undead (aka Night of the Coke Heads)!!!
The plan is to include Not80'sU as part of a new zombie anthology, to start being released at this year's ZomBcon. But it may just be released all on it's own to start with, but definitely upon completion as it's own graphic novel. Production is already underway, with a teaser script (similar to a trailer) being completed in time for San Diego Comic-Con (with a limited amount of copies still available HERE
), and the first full part already underway.
For this project I'm scripting, but working with another artist. Someone I'd considered for CotD, but knew instantly fit perfectly here... Bill McKay
. Bill has been working quite a bit recently with 5finity
on their Zombies VS Cheerleaders
comics, and brings a great indie toonish horror vibe to his stuff, that's big on detail and great at illustrating offbeat zombies. With his attention to detail, and style to an extent, also great at conveying real world stories, like zombie comics, where things are all very rooted in reality. No, it's not photo-realistic by any stretch, it's very stylized, but still very much grounded in reality.
Take a look at some of his work, I'm lucky to have him!
And while Bill does great inks, at this point I'm leaning towards leaving the line work at his ultra-detailed pencil stage, and coloring straight from that. As, besides being a big time pencil honk (inks? bah!), I think the gritty linework serves the zombie story well...
I intend to color the artwork myself, and am considering a couple different options. Either using a limited neon color palette (in keeping with the 80's), or a subdued tonal wash style... We'll see!
Night of the 80's Undead will be a crazy fun time, and I can't wait to get you more of it as soon as possible!
Stay tuned for more coke-fueled, Aqua-Net soaked undead previews and info!