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Bart Alex Thompson talks Chaos Campus

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SORORITY GIRLS VS. ZOMBIES




Untitled Document

Do you love half naked sorority girls running around? Do you love zombies? Mix them together and you get Chaos Campus from Approbation Chaos_Campus Comics. We sat down with Bart A. Thompson and talked about his upcoming book, Chaos Campus.


TheBigBadWolf: How did you get your start in the comics field?

Bart A. Thompson: I self published my first comic, Vampires Unlimited: Shades of Things to Come, around 2002. It was distributed to Diamond, full color, and for an unknown title from unknown creators it sold very well. The cost of printing full color wasn't something I was prepared for as the first issue wiped out my life savings and the profits from the first issue were nowhere near the print bill for the second. So fans have been waiting years for the rest of the story, and I've just been able to deliver a bit more.

If you mean a complete start, I've been writing and drawing comics since grade school, but I never realized that making comics was what I was doing. I loved telling stories and I'd make up characters with my friends and I'd document and expand on them (if you've ever seen the Dangerous Lives of the Alter Boys, it'll give you an idea). I didn't really "get into" comics until high school. I sold candy, cards, whatever, and a guy was selling comics cheap, so I decided to sell those, too. But then I read the books I bought and I was hooked. I was always exposed to cartoons and TV shows spun from comics, but I never got into the original art form. And I was doing it all along. So I wrote and drew mini comics I ran off from a school or work copy machine, sold locally, and soon distributed nationally through that Pen Pals section Wizard used to have.

TheBigBadWolf: How did you come up with the idea for this comic?

Bart A. Thompson: Joking around with my friends. We were laughing at all the "blank versus blank" movies that were starting to become popular, and knowing Hollywood will take a decent selling idea and run it into the ground (remember natural disaster movies, buddy comedies, and now comic movies and 70's/80's TV). So we were messing around with what they could come up with next, and one of mine was "Zombies vs. Cheerleaders." Then with another set of friends we had a game of how adding "zombies" to any known property would make it even better. Like "Married with Children" could be "Married with Zombie" or "Zombies with Children"... and so on. So all that stuck with me and I was like, "This is a great idea! Too bad I can't write comedy." But for like a year it kept hammering at my subconscious and finally I discovered a way I could write a one shot... that grew into a two issue miniseries... that became a six issue first storyline arch... and so on.

Chaos_CampusTheBigBadWolf: Tell us about the main characters in this comic.

Bart A. Thompson: Paige is the lead character of the three and sort of the reader's gateway into the series (she's the short haired brunette with the purple eyes). Paige has a very academic family, but her gypsy grandmother showed her the fun side of life with her stories and magic tricks. When her grandmother died, this also killed the fun/inner child within Paige, but before her grandmother passed she gave Paige a necklace that's been in the family for eons. Fast forward to now- Paige is trying to re-discover her fun side and self confidence and one of those ways was to join a sorority. After the zombies hit she discovers the necklace gives her powers, but with her self doubt and more academic mind she can't use the powers well.

Brittany is the comic relief and the more stereotypical sorority girl of the group (she's the curly haired red head that's super tall in the catholic schoolgirl outfit). While Paige learned to repress her inner child at an early age, Britt over embraced hers and she's always seeking fun and to be the life of the party. Her sexual desires and saying whatever crosses her mind when it crosses her mind can get her in trouble. But her strength is her genuine concern for those she cares for and that she wears her heart on her sleeves.

Jamie is the take no mess action junkie of the trio (she's the short one with pink pigtails). She was raised by her single father and became a tomboy and a loner, but coming to college she wants to try to gain friends so she joins a sorority though she really isn't the standard sorority type. When the zombies hit she's the best prepared already trained in weapons, fighting, and survival tactics. She's always on the aggressive side and her personality clashes very well with Brittany, which is always fun (for us anyway).

TheBigBadWolf: How did this zombie outbreak start and how big is it?

Bart A. Thompson: We don't really know for sure, yet. The girls are really hoping it's just a local thing and that eventually they can find a place that's zombie free and zombie proof. So far things are looking pretty bad for that hope, but we'll see through their further adventures.

TheBigBadWolf: Are the girls stuck on campus fending off the zombies or do they head for safer grounds?Chaos-Campus

Bart A. Thompson: They're free to go wherever, but with the stress of the situation within the first six issue arch they're trying to get their bearings on this new situation and stay one step ahead of the zombies. In the second arch they try to take a stand and make their own safe haven, but trouble comes from within their proposed safety zone. Third arch they take their show on the road trying to seek the cause of infection and trying to find that safe place where they can finally lay their troubles down. Volumes four and beyond... ah, we'll get to those eventually.

TheBigBadWolf: When will this book be available?

Bart A. Thompson: Until I can get the regular series published (another full color series, so this time I'm going to make sure ALL my ducks are in a row so there will be no serious problems) I've been self publishing Preview comics to give people quick tastes into the series. The Preview books contain different short stories involving the girls fighting the zombies done by different artists. Four Preview issues are planned, but I will keep putting them out until the real series is solicited and ready for full Diamond release.

Preview issues #1 and #2 are already available online or by sending a money order directly to us. For the online choice, those links are:

http://www.comixpress.com/catalog/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=26&products_id=366
http://www.comixpress.com/catalog/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=26&products_id=433

TheBigBadWolf: Is it an ongoing or mini series?

Bart A. Thompson: Both. You'll find this is a theme with me, but it's the way I write. I write within self contained story archs that end up being chapters within a larger run. Think of each issue as episodes, each arch as a season, and the greater look being the full run of the show/storyline. I've done the same thing with Vampires Unlimited, ChiSai, Lethal Instinct already. Just another way to try and give new readers easier jump on points (though this will be much easier with Chaos Campus as most of the issues will be issue contained stories, though there are two-parters throughout each arch).

Chaos-CampusTheBigBadWolf: What can we expect from future issues of this book?

Bart A. Thompson: Hot girls, action, humor, and zombie gore... but with an in-depth underlining story. I hope from the surface you'll be entertained and laughing your butt off, but then before you know it you're addicted to the series and finding yourself actually caring for the well being of these three gals.

TheBigBadWolf: How can fans get this book if they don’t see it at their local comic shop?

Bart A. Thompson: Right now just the Preview books from our online store or by mail. Those links again are:
http://www.comixpress.com/catalog/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=26&products_id=366
http://www.comixpress.com/catalog/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=26&products_id=433
But yeah, becoming part of my "street team" would help! Buy the Preview issues and leave your positive comments and reviews on the site. Send letters and e-mails of your thoughts, comments, and support to us directly. Tell your retailer about the series and that you want copies ordered and held when it's solicited and released. Get your retailer's contact info (store name, owner name, mailing address, phone number, e-mail) and send those to us so we know which retailers are interested for more updates on the series progression. Spread the word to friends and buy copies for them if you need to (we need to get more people into comic, too... Chaos Campus is intended to be a "gateway comic").

TheBigBadWolf: Tell us about the Chaos Campus movie that you are planning on making.

Bart A. Thompson: Here is the press release about the movie.


“CHAOS CAMPUS: SORORITY GIRLS VS. ZOMBIES INDEPENDENT MOVIE”

Bart A. Thompson, up and coming writer, artist, and publisher of Approbation Comics is now currently in pre-production of a live action feature adaptation of his creator owned property “CHAOS CAMPUS: SORORITY GIRLS VS. ZOMBIES.” Thompson is sharing directing and screenwriting chores with independent movie maker Matt Niehoff while also co-producing the film with newcomer Sara Eberhardt.

Quickly becoming an established name in the comic book industry, Thompson’s name is attached to many projects including LETHAL INSTINCT through Alias Enterprises, BLOOD, SHELLS, & ROSES through Arcana Studios, along with CHISAI, MIKAYLA, PANDORA’S BOX, MYRIAD, VAMPIRES UNLIMITED, the LAZARUS FACTOR, the METAMUTOIDS, and the aforementioned CHAOS CAMPUS all through Thompson’s own Approbation Comics. With comic books depending so much upon graphic storytelling and sharing so much with cinema and television, switching between mediums is not only a logical movie, but also something Thompson planned to do for a while now. “Make no mistake,” Thompson begins. “I’m not leaving comics for movies. Creating comics is in my blood and you couldn’t pay me enough to stop. But I am a work-a-holic and the opportunity arose to do both, so I ran with it!”

The story behind CHAOS CAMPUS is pretty much summed up within the subtitle of “SORORITY GIRLS VS ZOMBIES.” The series is a pop culture and horror parody filled with action, adventure, drama, and character development to go along with the “cheesecake” visuals and gory violence. “If you mixed the American Pie films with Charlie’s Angels and Shaun of the Dead, you’d gain a decent idea of what CHAOS CAMPUS is like.”

The CHAOS CAMPUS series is already gaining acclaim within the comic book community. Daniel Schaffer, writer/artist/creator of Dogwitch through Sirius says that CHAOS CAMPUS is “Great with brilliant comical moments! The perfect blend of cheese, gore, & shocks””

CHAOS CAMPUS will be shot primarily in Louisville, KY and surrounding areas during the months of May through September. Thompson is seeking actors, actresses, prop designers, special effects wizards, and in general “anyone available and willing to work on the film for credit and the overall fun of the experience.” Thompson is also seeking local musicians to contribute original music for the movie’s soundtrack. “Oh, yeah... and if anyone has a well behaved Jack Russell Terrier, please come to us with more info!”

Issues of the CHAOS CAMPUS comic can be purchased at local comic stores or online via the Approbation website. Anyone wishing to contact Thompson regarding the movie is welcome to do so via e-mail at ChaosCampus@yahoo.com.

TheBigBadWolf: Thanks for the info Bart, good luck with the comic and movie.

Talk about this interview here.


















Copyright © by Horror Comic Book News - Comic Monsters All Right Reserved.

Published on: 2006-04-07 (8024 reads)

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