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Jeff McComsey Interview

Interview conducted by James Ferguson

Jeff McComsey knows a thing or two about zombies.  He's served as the driving force behind FUBAR, an anthology series showcasing an alternate history where zombies play a large role in war over the ages.  He recently joined Double Take Comics to take part in the new line of comics based in the world of George Romero's Night of the Living Dead.  I had a chance to catch up with Jeff at the Double Take booth on the floor of New York Comic Con.

James Ferguson: You have a bit of a background with zombies.  What is it about them that interests you so much?  

Jeff McComsey: I think the best thing about zombies is not just the zombies themselves, but what happens to regular people once zombies are introduced.  How do regular people react to a crisis like that?  It's something we got to touch on in Rise and Z-Men.  Suddenly you have these people that are essentially deputized, given guns, and told to keep the peace, but they have no training for it.  That scares the crap out of me on a real level.  I love the fact that zombies touch on real human elements.  In The Walking Dead for instance, once a baby is introduced, you know how hard it is to take care of a baby in perfect circumstances, but what do you do when there are zombies running around?  

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JF: This Double Take Universe is all predicated on Night of the Living Dead.  Why that movie in particular?

JM: What I love about that movie is that they did so much with so little.  Romero was an untested director and he made this cultural phenomenon.  It's a simple film for the most part, but they set up all these different timelines.  For example, they show what's happening in Washington for just a few seconds.  It created all these different elements where we could jump in and tell a bunch of stories.

JF: It's also in the public domain, so it's OK to jump in there.

JM: Yes, that is always very useful.

JF: Were you looking for that, specifically?  Or just a public domain title?

JM: They [Double Take] wanted something for fans that would at least be something they've heard about when they came on board.  That story happened to kind of hit all the different boxes they were looking for.  It was available.  It was a cult hit.  It's something that everyone is at least a little familiar with.

JF: Is the plague quarantined to the Pennsylvania area?

JM: It is for now.  One of the main concerns that we deal with in Z-Men is Washington's response to what they're hearing out of Pennsylvania.  The information they're given at first isn't very good.  As they realize that this thing can't necessarily be contained they have to make some pretty crucial decisions after that.  It won't stay in Pennsylvania forever.  

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JF: Right now everything is really focused in this area in Pennsylvania.  Are there plans to branch out from there?

JM: Absolutely.  After the first three or four issues in most of the story arcs, we're actually going to jump forward in time and see how the events in Pennsylvania have affected the United States and the world.  This is the origin of what we're going to do with the universe.  It quickly goes from Night of the Living Dead, which we're all familiar with, to something much bigger, so that's a lot of fun to write.  

JF: Ten issues at once is an ambitious project.  Are there plans to do the same with the second and subsequent issues?  

JM: As far as I know, yeah, at least until issue #3.  The batch of second issues just went to the printer and they'll all come in at once, just like the first issues.  It'll be the same for issue #3.  After that, a lot will continue, but I don't know if every single title will.  Up until issue #3, there will definitely be ten packs.  

JF: Is the first story arc contained within the first three issues?

JM: I can only speak for the ones that I've done for sure, but there are definitely crucial elements that happen at the end of issue #3 that will affect everything moving forward.

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JF: You see elements of each book that weave into the others.  Is that a conscious decision?

JM: Oh yeah.  One of Bill Jemas' mandates when we started was to have an interconnected world.  He had great success with that doing the Ultimates for Marvel, so it's something that we wanted to do early on.

JF: Will we get a definitive answer as to what caused the zombie plague?

JM: Yes.  Absolutely.

Want to comment on this interview? You can leave one below or head over to the Horror DNA Review Forum.

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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