Zombie Dickheads is a comedic look at the undead apocalypse from the zombies point-of- view. It follows four dysfunctional zombies who don't eat human flesh, as they attempt to find a place of their own in a world where they don't fit in amongst other zombies, humans, and each other.
We caught up with creator, Chris Moreno to talk about Zombie Dickheads are NOT coming to get you.
Horror News Network: How did you come up with the concept for Zombie Dickheads are NOT coming to get you?
Chris Moreno: I was originally approached by Rich Woodall and Adam Miller, editors for the Zombie Bomb anthology from Terminal Press, about doing a short zombie tale for their book. I've always been a zombie fan, but I wasn't sure I had a zombie story in me, as so much territory had already been covered in the genre. But what I tend to do in situations like that is look at what's been done to death (pun intended) and veer away from it. In this case, I didn't just want to do another short story about a group of survivors trapped in a house with zombies outside trying to get in -- just a bunch of talking heads, and maybe a little zombie action. But how many times can you draw a zombie head shot and make it look interesting? And luckily, Rich and Adam didn't want it either.†
But I think I was playing Left 4 Dead and I was getting swarmed by zombies -- like you do -- and I was cursing out my zombie attackers, and I remember calling them "dickheads", and it made me laugh. Zombies are usually treated as a faceless, en masse monster. "Dickhead" has such an air of specificity. From the title, I just extrapolated from there. What kind of personality would a zombie have to be considered a "Zombie Dickhead"? The idea for a bunch of jerky zombie assholes brought them to the forefront as the protagonists, and I just ran with it. Make these zombies the survivors and look at the zombie apocalypse from their point of view.†I put together the first 8 page story for Zombie Bomb, Vol. 4, and then realized I wanted to keep telling stories about these characters.
Horror News Network: Can you tell us a bit about each of these four zombies that the story follows?
Chris Moreno: Overall, I imaginged these characters to be the folks who get everyone killed in a zombie movie -- the know-nothing-know-it-all, the panicky one, the contrarian -- but it's now the day after they come back from the dead, and they're still the same jerks they were when they were alive.
They also abstain from eating human flesh for their own reasons. I thought it'd be interesting to play against people's expectations of what a zombie can be, and removing that impetus for being makes us, and them, ask "Well, now what?"
Dennis is more or less the leader of the group (self-appointed), though no one tends to listen to him. He's fussy, very prim. He's the only one of the group who tries to change into fresh clothes wherever they go, though his wounds usually end up soiling them again. He's also very repressed, and that repression, along with a compulsive need to be tidy, means Dennis doesn't make for a good flesh-eating ghoul. It's also earned him the nickname "Dickless" from Josh.
Josh is fat, lazy, and unmotivated. If you could call up for human flesh, like Dominos or Chinese take-out, maybe he'd eat it. But people run away, and he doesn't feel like chasing them. And like most lazy people, the longer they go without doing something, inertia sets in. He does have a pretty healthy self-preservation instinct that often gives way to fits of leadership and momentary ingenuity, but most times he could really give half a shit, which is still only half a shit more than none at all.
Colton is kind of a hipster snob. He likes movies you've never seen, listens to bands you've never heard of, he thinks thoughts you've never thought of, and says all the things you'd never say. He's always going against the grain, which is why he'd rather eat a bullet than some brains. He just won't give anyone the satisfaction of fitting into what society says a zombie should be.
Lisa was always very popular, mainly by just following the "it" crowd. So when the "it" crowd got turned into flesh-eating corpses, she followed suit. But she's always been a picky eater, and she just couldnt bring herself to mae such a mess. So the crowd moved on and left Lisa behind to fend for herself -- something she's never been particularly good at. Luckily, the Dickheads came by just in time, and while they're not her ideal companions, they'll do until someone cooler comes along.
Horror News Network: What can fans expect in terms of blood and guts from this comic?
Chris Moreno:†Being a horror fan, and particularly of zombies, it always used to bug me when movies would skimp on the gore, or just paint people's faces green. I really loved the unique zombie types that would show up in the Romero movies, or Bill Stout's zombies in Return of the Living Dead. So I wanted to make sure my zombies had that level of personality, but also even moreso, because they're more individual than the usual zombies. I also drew inspiration from the zombies in Idle Hands and Griffin Dunne in American Werewolf in London. The whole fun of it is watching nasty, rotten corpses just get into mundane, everyday arguments.
The gore doesn't just sit on our heroes, though. In this book, we see boiling water burns, exploding heads, redneck rampages, exploding rednecks, and something called the "zombie shit-kicker jamboree".
Horror News Network: Zombie Dickheads is your first creator-owned comic, can you talk a bit about that?
Chris Moreno:†I've done creator-owned projects with other creators, where they own the property, and I've done work with partners, but Zombie Dickheads is my first time going it solo on the production and distribution of a comic. It's definitely very challenging, but I've had the support and wisdom of my comic pro friends to draw upon and learn from. And I'm also getting to try out some things I've wanted to try to reach the audience for this comic. I've got some exciting plans put together for Zombie Dickheads that I can't wait to put into motion. But, bottom line, it just feels great to create something that just comes from my love of these things, and not from demographic analysis or calculated career moves. I just had a goofy idea for a comic that makes me and my friends laugh, and I want to share it with as many people as possible.
Horror News Network: Where can our readers find out more about Zombie Dickheads?
Chris Moreno:†The website, zombiedickheads.com†is the hub for all Dickheads-related news, and we're also on twitter (@ZombieDickheads) and facebook (Zombie Dickheads). Those are the best places to keep up to date and associate with your fellow Dickheads.
The book is 48 pages, full-color, and reprints the first 8-page Zombie Bomb adventure, along with a brand new 22-page story. It also includes pinups from top comics talent, like Tommy Castillo, Tone Rodriguez -- a lot of "T" names! It'll be available Oct. 1, at my convention appearances, starting with the Nashville Horror and Comics Fest, Oct. 1 & 2, and ZomBcon in Seattle, Oct. 21-23rd. It'll also be for sale through the website.
Horror News Network: In closing, what would you like to say about Zombie Dickheads?
Chris Moreno:†I've heard Zombie Dickheads referred to as "hipster zombies", and I think there's some truth to that. Being a Zombie Dickhead is sort of a lifestyle. If you were into zombies before they sold out and went mainstream, if you spend $200 to make yourself into a movie-quality zombie to win $100 at your local bar's Halloween costume contest, if you've got a list of all your friends in order of who you'll eat first, they you're a Zombie Dickhead.
Horror News Network: Thanks for your time, Chris. Best of luck with Zombie Dickheads! Comment on this interview here.