This week I’m gonna take you down a very dark and scary path to a place that’ll make you wear diapers again. These aren’t your run of the mill campfire tales. These are ones that will make you feel like you’re on a spit over the campfire and something really nasty is gonna eat you for dinner.
So turn off your night-light and prepare to get horrified.
30 Days Of Fright & Delight
30 Days Of Night by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith was a comic book that was born of a brilliant idea, one that had been under the noses of writers for many years and ignored; vampires in Barrow, Alaska; where it’s dark for over 30 days. The ultimate vampire vacation spot. When IDW Publishing put that book on the stands you could hear the phrase, “Why didn’t I think of that?” thundering across the globe like worldwide thunder.
When I was VP of marketing at IDW Publishing I was thrilled beyond words when long time friend, Steve Niles mentioned this story and idea. I’ve known and worked with Steve for 20 years and it just clicked that a creator of his talent would come up with this. IDW co-founder, Ted Adams also had a very long history with Steve. Ted was instrumental in getting Steve’s work published at Eclipse Comics, Todd McFarlane Productions and at IDW. He has always believed in Steve’s talents and supported it in ways that a creator can only dream of. At IDW Steve hooked up with artist Ben Templesmith and the two of these talented guys made comic book history with 30 Days Of Night. Just the business story alone on this book is worth a documentary. It was a small indy comic that brought horror back to comics and showed that they could become successful profit genre again.
30 Days Of Night is the ultimate comic book, novel, TV show, and movie idea. Now, except for the TV show, it’s been all of these. (I’m sure a TV series won’t be far behind). The Sam Rami produced film will soon be on the movie screens this year. The first trailer of 30 Days Of Night is on the web now at:
It looks to be nothing short of a wild action packed horror ride that will send your blood racing if it doesn’t drain it out of you first. Before when you thought of vampire movies you always had that period gothic look or a modern urban setting. Until now the only other vampire movies that took you out of lacy ruffled shirt sets were John Carpenter’s Vampires and the classic Near Dark.
Now picture vampires in one of the coldest towns on the planet with tons of wind and snow. Just from the short trailer you’ll be able to see that blood in the snow can be very, very scary. The best part of 30 Days Of Night the movie is that not only does it have the usual amount of blood that you demand from a vampire movie, but it also has all the gore from a zombie film, the violent manly action of Die Hard film, the intellect and twists of Lost AND a burly, bearded character named BEAU that mops up vampires like they were a spill in aisle three of your local Wal-Mart.
30 Days Of Night is a moody, horror film with action as tight as a piano string around your neck. The trailer that’s up is just a very small taste of what awaits you with the film. You’ll never look at snowshoes the same way again.
You Want Zombies? Okay, Here’s Your Proof?ZOMBIE-PROOF!
J.C. Vaughn was raised in Texas. Next to being from West Virginia that’s about as good as it gets. J.C. has seen his share of armadillos and empty bottles of Lone Star Beer? sometimes even in the same bar. A few months ago I let y’all in on a sneak peek of J.C.’s upcoming comic book called ZOMBIE-PROOF. Today, I’m taking it a bit further and managed to not only get J.C. to talk a little about ZOMBIE-PROOF, but got him to pay for the beer as well.
Before we toss a few questions at him I figured it’d be best to give you a little background on this manly horror comic:
The Basics: Billy Bob Driwahl, the only locksmith in the isolated town of San Rosina in far west Texas, knows they’re coming. In fact, he’s known since before he graduated high school 20 years ago. His mistake might have been trying to tell people. Since then, the town’s been divided into two groups. There are the folks who think he’s plain crazy, and there are the other folks who think he’s plain crazy but realize that he does good work and is, after all, the only locksmith in town. ??Then the civilized world starts to collapse. What happens to the good old boys in this rural town when the big cities are tearing themselves to pieces? Zombie-Proof has the answers. And some of them are sort of funny.
BEAU: Where the hell did you come up with this idea from? It sounds like Home Improvement meets Night Of The Living Dead?
JCV: There’s a bizarre element of Cheers in there, too, but I’m going to have to use that as a log line. I came up with the lead character, Billy Bob Driwahl, when I was roommates with my 24 co-writer Mark Haynes. I started just singing the Billy Bob Driwahl theme song one day. That may be why we’re not roommates anymore. Anyhow, I didn’t know a lot about the character or in what story he was going to be used. That was a couple years before Billy Tucci came up with Zombie-Sama. Since I’ve written or co-written a lot of Shi stories in the last six or seven years with him, he tends to bounce ideas off me. He also mentioned that even with the Hollywood types he deals with, guys tend to know whether their place is zombie-proof or not. A light bulb went off. I pitched him the character to use in his story, but he was already too far along, so I decided to do my own story and call it Zombie-Proof.
I’m originally from Pittsburgh, where Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead were made, but I also grew up in Texas, so that had a lot of influence and seemed like the place Billy Bob would live. Once I knew he was a Texan, the rest of the characters came together very quickly. His friends include a Native American (John) and an Indian (Vjay) who are blood brothers, and his enemies include the town’s Mayor and his cronies. When I met an incredibly talented artist, Vincent Spencer, at the San Diego con last year, things just clicked. He loved zombies, too, and off we went.
BEAU: Are you pulling real life love of hardware for this story? Are you a fix-it man in real life?
JCV: I’m not particularly great or menacingly awful with tools, but I’m some sort of spackling savant when it comes to getting a place ready to be painted. I don’t know where the power comes from. We do have some solid hardware folks in the family, though. My brother’s great with tools and my mom is just incredible in that way, ranging from woodwork to painting. My dad’s weapons are sarcasm and satire. And sometimes pathos.
BEAU: Zombie-Proof has movie and TV series written all over it. Are you planning on pushing this property that way? It seems made for it. A kind of blue collar Buffy, The Vampire Slayer.
JCV: On the Paper Films Forum, one poster commented, “Maybe you should add a cover blurb at the bottom that says ‘Soon to be a Major Motion Picture? if Hollywood is SMART!'” I took that as a great compliment. Likewise, my brother isn’t a massive comic book guy, but he said, “Oh, this is definitely a movie!” before he even saw Vincent’s artwork. Both Vince and I love zombie movies, and we’d be thrilled if that were to happen, but you can’t do comics based the notion that it’s going to suddenly be a movie. The story still has to work, and reader still has to want to turn the page (the ultimate test of any print medium) or what’s the point? On the other hand, it’s cool that Zombie-Proof #1 isn’t in Previews until the July issue and we’ve already had inquiries from the movie world. Some have been from people who know my work, so that’s okay by me.
Other Background: I just got my first Harvey Award nomination for Antiques: The Comic Strip, which runs in the antiquing field. I also have the 24: Nightfall trade paperback in the June Previews from IDW. It details the special forces mission that directly lead to Season One of 24.
With that, J.C. tossed a wad of cash on the bar and followed a very pretty waitress that had been eyeballing him, out of the bar and into the night. I proceeded to show a photo of me around from my college days and tried to tell everybody that Billy Bob Driwahl was really based on me. It got me nothing but annoyed looks and grunts. I showed myself out.
So look for ZOMBIE-PROOF in Diamond Previews and make sure you ask your local comic shop to order a few for you. It’s coming from the find folks at Moonstone, home of The Phantom AND my own upcoming werewolf / western story called PASSING THROUGH.
Three Issue Series
Cover Price $3.50
Busted Knuckles Manly Cover Of The Week
Creature From The Black Lagoon: Time’s Black Lagoon
by Paul Di Flippo
DH Press Paperback
I can never get enough of the Creature From The Black Lagoon. I figure you must be the same or you wouldn’t be reading this. Here is a recent and pretty cool cover of the famous Gill Man in all his scaly glory. The only thing missing is Julie Adams.
In case you didn’t know about this book here’s some info on it from the publisher:
- In 1954, an expedition found what seemed to be a missing link in the evolutionary chain: an ancient, immensely powerful amphibian creature. Scientists tried to tame it, break its will, and even change its very being with surgery and torture, but the beast rebelled, killing nearly all in its way. But was the creature truly a throwback, a freak survivor of some prehistoric era ? or was it something more?
Six decades later, one scientist attempts to find out, using a time machine to journey into the past. What he finds not only shatters his vision of what the Creature might be, but could change the history of the human race forever. Paul Di Filippo reinvents the Creature with a tale of time travel, horror, and mystery that blends Cold War science fiction with today’s cutting edge cyberpunk.
Join The Beau Nation Army!
My personal online publicist and bodyguard, Jason Willey, has constructed and started the newest phase of Beau Nation. Through MySpace he has started a forum and enlistment center for regulars and recruits of Beau Nation. It’s a great little place for all of you to gather and talk about my favorite subject?ME!
Jason Willey and his Lovely Wife
Jason has done a wonderful job in getting the word out and I hope that all of you?not just some of you, but ALL of you, stop by and join up.
I’ll be checking in to see who’s there to back me and who isn’t. Trust me, you don’t wanna piss off Santa Claus, The person that cuts your hair, serves your food or ME.
Leader of Beau Nation
Check it out at:
Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week
Canada just keeps giving us one beautiful actress after another. Jessica Steen is one of em’. Jessica is one of those actresses that can play any roleand look good doing it, from Femme Fatale , scientist, lawyer, astronaut, cop, and girl-next-door. Some of you sci-fi folks might know her from the very interesting TV series Earth 2. She’s no stranger to sci-fi and has been in such stuff as Armageddon, The Outer Limits, Charmed, Supernatural, Mutant X, and Stargate Atlantis. She’s always a pleasure to watch and I think you know just what I mean.
Make sure you check her out in her semi-regular role as special agent Paula Cassidy on NCIS.
Our middle son, Brad is in from his current home in Lake Tahoe, California this week, so we’re keeping him busy going from one family gathering to another. He’s getting to see his new nephew, Andrew for the first time. I’m hoping he’ll get a smelly surprise from Andrew when it’s his turn to hold him. That should make him think long and hard before he decides to become a parent any time too soon.
Brad will get to have his mom fuss over him and he’ll hang out with his brothers, Nick, & Dana as well as his rowdy friends. I’m sure he’ll have lots of fun and a good week. He’s just gotta remember that the Chili Cheese Fritos are MINE.
And so goes more of my updated version of My Three Sons.
Brad and Kaci
Dana, Andrew, and Andrea
And Nick? about to flatten is nose!
As always I look forward to your emails and letters. I’ll be around so keep em’ coming.
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507
Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!