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Tony Moore and Katie Cook team up with surprising results

One of the unique parts of a comic convention is the chance to get sketches and fully-rendered art commissions from some of the medium’s top artists. They could draw the characters they’re known for best, or even something off-the-wall like the Swedish Chef that colorist Justin Ponsor did for me once. But a recent posting on artist Tony Moore’s blog shows just how crazy things can get when you get two artists to collaborate, or ‘jam,’ on a single piece

Behold Moore’s rendition of a My Little Pony being ridden by a zombie drawn by Katie Cook, as done during last weekend’s Emerald City Comicon in Seattle.


Wish This Was Real | George Washington: Warlord of Time

I’m trying not to post about Ben Caldwell every single day, but he’s making it difficult. Look, I resisted when he posted this picture of George Washington and a cave-girl fighting Zombie Blackbeard, but then he had to go and make an actual comic out of it. I’m not made of cave-stone here. Click the link to see the whole, one-page comic, then join me in begging for more.

WonderCon | A round-up of announcements from Friday

Amazing Spider-Man #688

WonderCon opened its doors Friday at the Anaheim Convention Center, a first for the convention as it moves south from its usual San Francisco home this year. Will it be a permanent move? The Beat’s Heidi MacDonald, who is at the show, has some thoughts on why that may not be a bad idea.

Here’s a round-up of news from yesterday at the show:

Daredevil and Irredeemable writer Mark Waid announced several digital comics plans, beginning with a PDF comic available now on his website. The zombie comic, called Luther, is drawn by Jeremy Rock. It will be followed in May by a digital comics imprint. “In May, I’m rolling out a digital comics website where material will be going up in weekly or twice-weekly installments. But before that, on April 2, MarkWaid.com goes live again as a process blog for webcomics and what we’re doing. All throughout April, we’ll be giving sample material away for free, showing what the format can do, and I’ll be doing interviews with pioneers in this field. My own artists will also be there to talk about the projects we’re doing and how we’ll be building them.” Waid was also on hand for the Marvel House of Ideas panel, which went into detail on their recently announced digital and augmented reality plans.

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Comics A.M. | Ryan Matheson speaks on Canadian manga case

From a CBLDF campaign

Legal | Ryan Matheson, who was stopped at the Canadian border in 2010 and charged with criminal possession of child pornography because of a manga image on his computer (which even the officials who arrested him couldn’t agree was child pornography), talks about his ordeal in a personal statement on the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund site. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund announced Thursday that the Canadian government has dropped all criminal charges against Matheson. [CBLDF]

Comics | Leah Moore sees two things: a huge number of women who like comics, and a comics industry that is in serious trouble, and thinks it’s time to connect the dots and start making comics that appeal to the other 50% of the audience. “Okay, well, let’s say, instead of jumping in and writing comics designed to attract women readers (Minx comics discovered this is harder than it looks), how’s about writing comics which don’t actually put women off? How’s about a bit less objectifying, a bit less sexualisation, a bit less pervy gusset shots and tit windows? Just a bit? Make some of the regular mainstream big name books everyone enjoys reading a bit less eyewatering and weird about women. That would be a great start.” [Warren Ellis]

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Previews: What Looks Good for March

The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist

It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. As usual, we’re focusing on graphic novels, collected volumes and first issues so that we don’t have to come up with a new way to say, “Batwoman is still awesome!” every month. And we’ll continue letting Tom and Carla do the heavy lifting in regards to DC and Marvel’s solicitations.

One cool change this month and for the foreseeable future: I’m joined by Graeme McMillan who’ll also be pointing out his favorites.

Finally, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell us what we missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.

Abrams Comicarts

The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist – I admit, I tend to run hot and cold on Clowes’ output, but I’m a sucker for coffee-table career retrospectives, so the idea of taking 224 pages to look back at his career to date (with, of course, the traditional little-seen artwork and commentary) seems like a must-look at the very least. [Graeme]

Abstract Studios

Rachel Rising, Volume 1: The Shadow of Death – Terry Moore’s latest series gets its first collection and I love the premise of a woman’s waking up in a shallow grave with no memory of how she got there and needing to figure out who tried to kill to her. [Michael]

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‘Two things I swore I would never write about’: Abnett to write vampire/zombie comic for Vertigo

The New Deadwardians

Vertigo Comics announced today that writer Dan Abnett and artist I.N.J. Culbard will team up on an eight-issue miniseries titled The New Deadwardians, a comic set in post-Victorian England where the upper class voluntarily becomes vampires in order to escape the lower class, who have all become zombies.

“May I just confess that this is a story that involves both zombies and vampires, two things I swore I would never write about because they had both long since jumped the shark,” Abnett said in his pitch. “Then this idea came to me and wouldn’t leave me alone. Please be tolerant of the zombie-and-vampire-ness of this until you’ve heard me out. It’s essentially a detective story set in an alternate history England, circa 1900.”

Here’s how they described the book on the Vertigo blog:

Set in post-Victorian England, nearly everyone in the upper class has voluntarily become a vampire to escape the lower classes who are all zombies.

Thrust into this mayhem is Chief Inspector George Suttle, a lonely detective who’s got the slowest beat in London: investigating murders in a world where everyone is already dead!

But when the body of a young aristocrat washes up on the banks of the Thames, Suttle’s quest for the truth will take him from the darkest sewers to the gleaming halls of power, and reveal the rotten heart at the center of this strange world.

Abnett, of course, is one half of the DnA writing team with Andy Lanning, who together write Resurrection Man and New Mutants. Culbard has done work for Dark Horse and SelfMadeHero, a British publisher, including the adaptation of Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness that won a British Fantasy Award earlier this year.

The first issue comes out in March.

Wolfe and Higgins bring zombies to Camelot in Knights of the Living Dead

Knights of the Living Dead

Artist Dusty Higgins has a knack for getting involved with projects with titles that make you scream, “Hey, why didn’t I think of that?” Over the last couple years, he’s worked with Van Jensen on the Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer series of graphic novels, the third of which is due next year from SLG Publishing. It of course pits the little wooden boy against monsters whose weaknesses include wooden stakes through the heart.

Now he’s teamed with writer Ron Wolfe for Knights of the Living Dead, a story that brings zombies to Camelot. The first issue is now available for free from SLG Publishing’s website, where you can also buy the second issue for 99 cents.

Wolfe says not to let the title fool you – the book is no spoof.

“I love the title, but don’t let it mislead you. The book is no spoof on zombies. It’s as dark as anything I’ve ever written,” Wolfe told Robot 6. His previous work includes Death’s Door and Old Fears, both horror novels co-written with John Wooley, as well as Hellraiser comics for Marvel. “That said, the premise allows for some playing around. But I really think, if I just happened to pick it up, this thing would trouble me for some time.”

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Zombies, the Spirit of Pop Culture Present: A few thoughts on Zombies Christmas Carol

In seeking to explain the pervasive popularity of the zombie genre, talkers-about pop culture have long espoused the theory that tales of the unhappy undead catch on during times of national stress, usually of a military variety.

I bought that, as 2002′s 28 Days Later re-mainstreamed zombies between the U.S.-lead invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, but zombies are still around, and more popular than ever. The argument could be made that they’re still here because we’re still stressed out and America is still engaged in the same wars we were fighting a decade ago , but then, hasn’t every single year of American history been stressful for the folks living in it? Haven’t we almost always been at war with someone somwhere?

So I’m developing my own theory. I think zombies are popular not necessarily as a psychological reflection of the common consumers anxiety about terrorism or immigration or mortality or economic decline or the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Citizens United, but simply because the proliferation of cheap filmmaking and publishing technology and the hydra-like increase in media outlets makes it easier to make and transmit zombie products, and the astronomically more specialized consumer of the past decade means its easier to sustain popularity of particular genres. It’s now possible for almost any genre to become popular enough to be self-sustaining in today’s media environment.

For example, producers pitching Walking Dead to AMC in 2010 didn’t have to worry about mass appeal in the same way that a previous generations producers might have had if they pitched a Night of Living Dead series to NBC in 1985; if they get the people who participate in zombie walks and the comic book people and the horror people, that’s more than enough to tune-in and buy DVD collections.

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Food or Comics? | Point One, Silver Star, Tezuka and more

Point One

Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

Chris Arrant

If I had $15, I’d first get the third issue of my favorite New 52 title, Batwoman #3 (DC, $2.99). Seriously, J.H. Williams III is hitting a home run on every outing here when it comes to my tastes. Although the writing isn’t up to the level of Greg Rucka’s time on the book, it’s close and only bound to get better. Next up I’d get Point One #1 (Marvel, $5.99). I think this format–an extra-size preview book for what’s coming next–is an interesting experiment, and I’m intrigued most by the Nova story, but also interested to see what the others do. Third would be Uncanny X-Force #17 (Marvel, $3.99), to get the one-two punch of Rick Remender and Jerome Opena. Iceman as a bad guy? I dig this.

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Robert Kirkman survives harrowing appearance on The View

As we noted on Sunday, The Walking Dead co-creator Robert Kirkman was a guest on The View‘s “Halloween Spectacular” episode, where he survived a gauntlet of questions about his popular creation, zombies and zombie survival. You can check out Kirkman’s appearance below; his “Zombies 101″ segment begins at about the 11:20 mark, after the first commercial break.

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CDC comic helps you prepare for the zombie apocalypse

Back in May the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took a fun approach to encouraging folks to prepare for disasters with a blog post about how to get ready for the zombie apocalypse. That post proved to be very popular, so they’ve followed it up with a comic on the same topic.

Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic was created in-house, the CDC’s David Daigle told USA Today. The same article points out that the initial zombie blog post cost $87, to buy a stock photo as an illustration. “We got an estimate for the blog that it’s worth $3.4 million in marketing value,” Daigle said. So maybe lightning will strike twice with the comic.

Their timing, of course, couldn’t be better, what with AMC’s The Walking Dead returning to television this past Sunday. Both the show and the CDC claim Atlanta as a home, which has led Atlanta Magazine to declare the city “the Zombie Capital of the World.”

Adlard, other artists create posters for ‘Mondo Mystery Movies’

The Alamo Drafthouse theaters held six “Mondo Mystery Movies” in Los Angeles this past weekend, and they had different artists create limited edition posters for each of them. One of those artists was Charlie Adlard of Walking Dead fame, who created the above poster for 28 Days Later (with title treatment from Jon Smith).

There’s also a variant edition — same poster, different title treatment — after the jump, along with the other movie posters they released for Iron Giant, City of Lost Children, Hellraiser, Assault on Precinct 13 and The Mist.

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Artist Chris Moreno draws a-holes after a zombie apocalypse

It seems that even after a zombie apocalypse, there are still dickheads you have to deal with.

That’s the story cartoonist Chris Moreno is telling in his new comic book Zombie Dickheads Are NOT Coming To Get You, set for release in October. Moreno’s produced a diverse amount of work in his short career, from Disney’s Toy Story to a World War Hulk one-shot, but this book sees him doing his first creator-owned book from the ground up.

“[The title characters are] total jerks,” Moreno says in the press release. “Imagine the idiots who get everyone killed in zombie movies the day after they come back from the dead, and now they have to stick together. I’ve heard them referred to as ‘hipster zombies’, since they have a sort of  ‘been there, done that’ attitude to the whole zombie thing. In a way, they’re sort of commentators on the whole zombie invasion of pop culture.”

The October release clocks in at 48 pages, and will debut  at Chris’ table at the Nashville Comic and Horror Fest on Oct. 1. After that it’ll be available at all his future convention appearances, as well as a website he set up for the book.

Previews: What Looks Good for October

Spera, Volume 1

It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. As usual, we’re focusing on graphic novels, collected volumes, and first issues so that I don’t have to come up with a new way to say, “Jeff Lemire’s Frankenstein is still awesome!” every month. And I’ll continue letting Tom and Carla do the heavy lifting in regards to DC and Marvel’s solicitations.

Also, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell me what I missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.

Archaia

The Grave Doug Freshley – A lot of publishers are doing Weird Western comics lately and that’s just fine with me.

Spera, Volume 1 – I like the sound of this fairy tale in which a couple of princesses combine efforts to save their kingdoms. It’s not that I’m anti-prince, but that’s a cool, new way to do that story.

Avatar

Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island – Warren Ellis doing Steampunk sounds thrilling, but really all they had to say was “pirates.” I bet this is still really good though, even if you’re pickier than I am.

Boom!

Roger Langridge’s Snarked #1 – After a well-loved zero-issue, Langridge’s version of Wonderland gets its real, official start.

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Start Reading Now | Hairy Steve vs. The Zombie Army

There’s only one page up so far, but Hairy Steve already has a bit of a history: Creators Jamie Smart and Steve Bright lived up to their last names with an indiegogo campaign that has already overshot its goal of $2,000. (The funding levels run from “stubbly” to “hirsute.”) Smart and Bright only have one page up so far, but it has a distinct EC vibe and the promise of plenty of mashup madness. Hairy Steve is, well, a hairy beast, who hides from humans because he finds them annoying but isn’t averse to rescuing them if he sees them getting into trouble. And there’s a whole lot of trouble when he accidentally crushes a zombie’s skull, bringing a plague of walking dead into his city. Smart and Bright say they can pull this story off in 24 pages, which seems like a feat in itself, but it should be fun to watch them try.


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