Remember watching Night of the Living Dead, and all those walking corpses, hungry for brains? Zombies, animated corpses, desperate for human flesh, and always outnumbering the living people by huge numbers.
If you think vampires are sexy, well let me tell you folks, zombies are the next big thing. They don't get into complicated relationships. They don't care who is most popular. Zombies have no leaders, total equality, and every one of them gets out of his grave and goes to work without complaining. Zombies are bigger than ever.
And of course, portable zombies are one of the joys of digital culture. Who hasn't wondered, standing in some long bureaucratic line that hardly moves, what would happen if a gang of zombies came in right now?
Would I lose my place in line? Or move up a few spaces, as the family in front of me gets eaten? EBooks and zombies go together like women and cellphones.
To help SBR readers keep up with zombie news, I hooked up with Scott Nicholson, author of MurderMouth and seven other zombie/undead cult classics, and asked some penetrating questions.
Why are zombies so popular?
Whole books have been written about that--the otherness, the maddening crowd, the depersonalization of humans. To me, it's the plodding relentlessness that is fascinating and scary.
If a vampire sucks the neck of a zombie, does he become a zombie? Or does the zombie become a vampire?
Zombies don't have blood to speak of, so I guess the vampire becomes the living dead undead.
I got flashbacks reading Murdermouth, like sitting around stoned and considering the true nature of zombies and all. Is that me or you?
Don't bogart that finger.
What would be your weapon of choice in a zombie uprising?
You have two contributors in this collection. Tell us about them.
Jonathan Maberry is the zombie godfather and a student of all types of creatures and monsters. Jack Kilborn (JA Konrath) is a digital pioneer and has a unique blend of horror and humor. Good friends and generous supporters.
How can I become a zombie in a comic book?
Simple. Donate $25 through Paypal and we'll draw you a zombie crowd scene. (At Scott's website, The Haunted Computer )
Who did the cover art?
Derlis Santacruz. We are plodding along on the comic, trying to stay alive and eat before we get eaten, and we'll probably bring this one in at 24 or 28 pages. I am working on a revised version of the ebook to include some work from the comic. There's also a script in there if anyone wants to learn one way to write comics. Thanks, Neil.
MurderMouth is available at Smashwords.com for $2.99, and there are links to Scott's other books there as well.
MurderMouth is a short book, which for a reviewer is a godsend. People have actually sent me trilogies to review, which I don't see getting done before I myself become a zombie. But here's the key: There's gold in them thar molars. Jack Kilburn's story starts off, "Finish your brains, Phillip." and takes off from there. This is a pen name for J.A. Konrath, who has been giving free advice on eBook publishing for years, while writing his own bestselling novels. Jonathan Maberry writes for Marvel Comics and has won awards for his own books, like Patient Zero. Check out his terrific website, http://jonathanmaberry.com/ Maberry gives an analysis of what would happen in various types of zombie uprisings (Slow Moving, Plague Origin vs Fast Moving, Radiation Origin) and what the chances of survival might be for the human race. And Murdermouth appears in three different versions, including the final where you learn how a comic book is scripted.
Is it worth 3 bucks? Hell yes. Is it great literature?
Consider this. Samuel Beckett couldn't give away his books for years. His most famous trilogy (mercifully short) Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable are narrated by what may be the same person, or may not. The trilogy ends with the one phrase everyone can associate with Beckett, "you must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on," and if that's not straight from the lifeless heart of a zombie, I don't know what is. Samuel Beckett was writing about Zombies, man! Far freakin' out!
And check out Scott Nicholson's Indie Books Blog, Smashwords writers.