Chris Moreno Interview – Zombie Dickheads
Bite Size Bio:
Chris Moreno is a comics artist and creator whose work has appeared in Disney’s Toy Story for BOOM! Studios, and the upcoming POP! The Darlings of America from IDW, as well as The Minions of Ka from Arcana, and Paul Jenkins’ Sidekick from Image Comics. His creator-owned character, Sanz Pantz: Ninja Platypus appears in the Popgun anthologies from Image. His other comics credits include Alien Inventor, World War Hulk: Frontline, Dracula vs. King Arthur, Monkey in a Wagon vs. Lemur on a Big Wheel, The Last Sin of Mark Grimm, the webcomic Super Frat, and Zenescope’s Grimm Fairy Tales. Chris’s work has appeared on sketch cards for Inkworks for The Spirit, Shrek the Third, Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem, Hellboy: Sword of Storms, Robots and Family Guy. His art has also been seen in role-playing games for companies like Kenzer & Co., on their Hackmaster game and Knights of the Dinner Table Magazine, and Tony DiGerolamo’s Complete Mafia for d20 from Living Room Games.
You can follow Zombie Dickheads at zombiedickheads.blogspot.com
Or on Facebook here facebook.com >>
Chris Moreno Interview
Congratulations on Zombie Dick Heads, it’s not easy to write, illustrate or produce a graphic novel and you managed to do it all. Where did you start?
Well, it all started when I was contacted by the editors of the Zombie Bomb anthologies from Terminal Press asking me if I wanted to contribute a short zombie tale to their book. I was trying to figure out a story that would both honor zombie lore while standing out from the pack. The title came to me first. It made me laugh because of how specific it was — I’d never heard a zombie referred to as a dickhead before. From there it was a matter of writing the script, roughing out the pages and finishing all the way through.
How long did it take you to do?
It was about a week to do the first 8-page Dickheads short, and another 2 months to do the art for the rest of the book and put it all together. I was under a bit of a crunch because I had to fit it in between projects.
Are the zombies based on anyone you know?
Yeah, definitely. I work in a studio with other artists, and a lot of their personalities served as an inspiration. There’s also a lot of me in them, sort of amplifications of my worst tendencies. Removing compassion and accountability, of course.
Do the zombies have back stories?
Yeah, I’ve got the people they were before they went all corpsey worked out, but it’ll be a while before I even go there. The important thing is who they are right now. I mean, you meet people in your life and you only really know who they are right now, even if their entire past informs the person they’ve become. For some of the characters, there’s a little surprise for the audience if we see who they used to be, but I think I’ve got to earn those moments. So for now, what you see is what you get.
Did you work with pen and ink, or digitally?
The pages are all drawn by hand. Everything else (colors, letters) are all done digitally.
What advice would you give the budding authors out there?
Just create. The only way to get better, to grow, is to do that thing as much as possible. And to completion, mind you. Do the thing, that’s what I say. Everything else comes with it.
What’s next for you? Is there going to be a Zombie Dick Heads 2?
More Zombie Dickheads is in the works, but I’ve gotta pay the bills. In the immediate future, I’ve started drawing a new comic by actor Alexis Cruz and Colin Rankine called The Unprofessionals, about two 20-something slackers who decide to go into business for themselves as contract killers.
If you were bitten how long do you think it’d take you to turn?
Considering how easily I catch colds, I’d probably turn in 15 minutes. But that’s fine with me. Slow zombie transitions always look like such a bummer in the movies.
Which do you prefer Fast or Slow Zombies?
It’s a hot-button issue in the zombie fan community, but I think there’s room for both. My take on it (and it’s one that’s shared in other zombie media) is that it should go hand in hand with the level of decomposition. If you’ve just turned, you’re still about as fast as a regular human being, but as your body breaks down you start to slow down. Now, If I were the one facing off against zombies, I’d definitely want slow zombies.
What is your weapon of choice for taking on Zombies?
At first, I figured something like a machete would be good, but after reading Roger Ma’s Zombie Combat Manual, I’ll take a sidewalk scraper. It gives you a bit of distance against a zombie attacker, and it’d be a pretty effective way to chop the top off of a slobbering flesh-jockey.
What is your favorite Zombie Film?
Return of the Living Dead, hands down. It was a huge inspiration for Zombie Dickheads because of the blend of humor and horror, its unique lead zombie characters, and anyone who moans, “braiiiiinssss,” when pretending to be a zombie owes a debt to the flick because it’s the one who originated brain-eating zombies (Romero’s zombies ate all flesh).
Worst Zombie Film?
House of the Dead is pretty miserable to watch, just because of sheer badness, but for me, the first Resident Evil was a huge letdown, for it’s relative bloodlessness, and also its diminished zombie presence. The games were a great tribute to zombie films, but the movie was just a generic action movie in horror clothing.
Favorite Zombie Book or Game?
I really like the aforementioned Zombie Combat Manual. Liked the Max Brooks zombie books. The Left 4 Dead series is still my favorite zombie video game, just for recreating the visceral thrill of mowing your way through the zombie apocalypse.
Final Say? Anything else you would li to add? ke
I like these questions because they always make me think of the moment before an execution. First, check out Zombie Dickheads at zombiedickheads.com. There’s an 8-page preview of the book, and you can buy the book straight off the site. There’s also pictures from convention appearances and behind-the-scenes info. And also, since the book takes place in real towns throughout the US, I’ve been asking fans to send pics of their town to potentially use in a future book. Also, I love you.