Tag Archives: zombie

Interview with ZOMBIE RANCH creators Clint & Dawn Wolf!

27 Mar

by Mike Hansen

2010-04-06-issue2-version2The zombie genre has exploded in the last few years thanks to the success of The Walking Dead and hit movies like 28 Days Later and the Dawn Of The Dead remake, but the concept as envisioned by creator/director George A. Romero has had plenty of bad stories and ripoffs and surprisingly few stories that stretch the concept into new directions (such as Max Brooks’s fantastic Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z).

ZOMBIE RANCH is a terrific, long-running serialized webcomic from creators Clint & Dawn Wolf that places the modern zombie in an entirely new venue: the American desert of the future, with Big Brother-like “reality show” floating cameras recording the story’s events. Following in the classic Romero tradition of focusing on the survivors (not the monsters) and commenting on modern society, what sets Zombie Ranch apart is that its story starts long after a zombie apocalypse has ended. The mark of a good story is having it start as late as possible, and this ballsy approach has paid off: After its launch in September 2009, ZR has found a dedicated following, thanks to its clear and entertaining storytelling, a deceptively simple “animation cel”-style of artwork, regular updates, and frequent west-coast convention appearances. Over the last few months, I exchanged an email Q&A with the Wolfs. Enjoy (and as always, CLICK to make the artwork bigger):

2009-11-04-06_donthurtthemmuchWhat made you want to do a webcomic?

DAWN: I’d been doing an occasional webcomic strip called Bits of Nothing for years, but I always wanted to draw an actual story comic. I had a lot of false starts with other writers, including a comic that almost went to print but got rejected. Clint and I had been married for a long time but he’d never really tried to write anything for me, but then I drew that picture and it really fired him up. It was shortly after I’d been taking some web design and comic design classes, too, so I thought it would be neat to go with the web.

CLINT: Webcomics are the ultimate self-starter scenario. If you’ve got a story to tell and the passion and patience to see it through, it’s an unequaled way to connect with the widest possible audience at the lowest possible cost. Also, you don’t need to impress anyone with a resume, just with your output.

2009-12-09-pg11_nothinbutmeatHow did you come up with Zombie Ranch?

CLINT: Dawn drew a crazy picture at 3 A.M., and the rest is history. It might not have gone anywhere had she answered me that her shotgun-totin’ cowgirl was a zombie hunter rather than a zombie “rancher,” but once that happened, the idea ate into my brain as surely as if a hungry ghoul had gotten hold of me. I’d say another big piece of the concept came from the modern trend of dangerous-job reality shows such as “Deadliest Catch,” to the point I already mentioned it in the comic itself. The gal wearing a belly shirt started me thinking of setting it in the future instead of the past, and in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse that had come and gone. You just didn’t see too many stories exploring how things might be ten or twenty years down the road, when all the running and screaming was over.

2010-01-06-13_firstimpressionsI don’t know how much where we live influenced the theme so much as the fact that the concept started with Cowgirl-Ranch-Zombies, and two of those three concepts are pretty solidly “Western.” It doesn’t hurt that Dawn grew up on a farm out in the desert, so she has insights on how things might go from day to day.

DAWN: Some of the pieces I draw that get the biggest responses are the ones I do in the wee hours of the night after Clint’s gone to bed and I’m left alone with my weird ideas. I wanted to do something different than the usual “zombie-hunting” art and decided she would be a rancher. Clint thought that was a really neat idea, and then we ended up selling the original at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con Art Show for the most I’ve ever sold a piece, and there was a bid war. So we figured we might be onto something.

2009-09-25-onthezombieranchSo how do you explain Zombie Ranch to someone who’s never read it or heard of it before?

CLINT: The simplest answer would be “Cowboys & Zombies”, but we’re not the first to come up with that idea. Plus that falls pretty short of communicating the details I think make our story unique. Usually I’ll start by telling people that this is set many years after the apocalypse has come and gone, and people survived and adapted and rebuilt, and not only that, discovered a way to profit off the new reality of the walking dead. Then I tell them that Zombie Ranch is about the daily lives of the men & women who wrangle those undead for a living.

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Links: The Oatmeal update, Avengers, New 52, World War Z, etc.

12 Jun

by Mike Hansen

The cover of World War Z

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Matthew Inman at The Oatmeal raised his $20,000 to spite FunnyJunk in only 64 minutes. He’s now at over $117,000.

Warren Ellis explains why he’s cool with Iron Man 3 using his ideas without paying him. (At least modern creators know what they’re getting into – too bad it doesn’t help the original creators that built comics in the 1930s-1970s.)

Liked the Avengers movie? Support the Jack Kirby Museum!

Were cave dwellers the first animators? Could be.

Speaking of animation – this is the greatest comics commercial I’ve EVER SEEN:

Why can’t DC’s New 52 commercials be that good? (And why are the currently running commercials advertising the upcoming collected editions almost exactly the same as the old ones? That’s a good way to get kids to tune out.)

Speaking of the New 52, it looks like Continue reading

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