The other day (Yesterday, wow time flies!) I did a review on Stephen Lindsay’s comic Jesus Hates Zombies. I enjoyed the comic and had fun doing the review, so I was able to catch up to Stephen again (Some people may call it stalking, don’t you judge me!) and he agreed to do an interview! How exciting is that? I think so.
I think there are several reasons why zombies are so fascinating. First and foremost, they’re terrifying. Zombies aren’t aliens or demons or some other ‘foreign’ monster. They’re us. The zombie that kills you could be your mother, 2nd grade teacher, or 4 year old daughter. THAT is scary. Secondly, they represent the antithesis of what so many people strive to be in their lives – a unique individual. Zombies represent a loss of humanity, and that is something very real and very scary.
Ya know, I always want my characters to be relate-able. That is why I depict Jesus as a blue-collar, working-class guy. So I don’t know that there are any direct influences as far as the characters go. I just want people to read them and not think, “I don’t know what the hell this guy is talkin’ about.” But from a character-dynamic standpoint, the relationship that Jesus and Lincoln have is very much influenced by 80s and 90s ‘buddy cop films like “Lethal Weapon”. That was my main reason for bringing Lincoln into the series – the desire to do a buddy cop style story.
Were you going for “Deeper meaning” or was it all just the comic, dark blood and gore that we see on the pages?
Neither, to be honest. I never set out to write with any sort of ‘message’ in mind. I try to write as organically as I can. So, typically, I’ll get an idea or a scene in my head, and I’ll build around it. Then, as I’m writing, if some deeper meaning comes into play, I run with it. If not, and the story is just mindless fun, I’m cool with that, too. The story really dictates the message, not me.
When I was reading through the Jesus Hates Zombies comic the first time, the biggest thing I was thinking about was that you’d melted SO MUCH into them with time travel, cultism, zombies, werewolves and… well everything else. Was that intentional or did things just flow together while you were writing it?
Most of it just flowed together as I was writing. I would say I was ‘winging it’, but in a sense, I was. For me, that’s the real joy of writing – finding all of those strange or interesting bits that can really change the shape of the story. With JHZ, I saw it as an opportunity to really throw together a lot of fun things that I, personally, would like to see in a comic. That is why I ended the story where I did. I knew I loved the idea of being able to throw Jesus together with dinosaurs, but I needed a way to make it happen. Now, the next 4 volume series is called “Jesus Hates Zombies: A Jurassic Kinda Life”, and I’m getting to throw my love of dinosaurs into the mix!
With the current social climate do you think zombies (as a genre) have an expiration date? (I hope not!)
Genre entertainment is really cyclical. Things come into fashion, peak, then fall out of fashion for a bit. Zombies are no exception. They’re hot right now, but that mainstream acceptance is just a sign that they’re nearing the boiling over point. The same thing happened with vampires, and will also happen with whatever bit of genre entertainment catches fire next (I’m hoping for werewolves). The great news is, genre fans never give up on the genres they love. So while that wide, mainstream appeal might die off for a bit, the die-hard fans of all things zombie will still be there, supporting stuff more than ever!
Yeah, that last demographic is going to be me, obsessing till the end. When people are worried about Sasquatch or a giant man eating burrito that was mutated in genetic experiments, I’ll still be preparing for the Zombpocalypse. I want to send a HUGE thank you to Stephen Lindsay yet again for allowing me the chance to bother him, pick his brain, and amuse myself with his comic book Jesus Hates Zombies. If you didn’t read my other review, the BEST way to get this comic book is to go down to your local comic book shop and tell them they NEED to carry this comic. If they won’t budge, you can check out 125ink.com.