Our friend JC Vaughn, who creator of Vampire, PA, and horror anthology Bedtime Stories For Impressionable Children, co-wrote three issues of Mighty Samson, with Jim Shooter, and edited A Child Is Born for Billy Tucci, stopped by First Comics News to talk about his latest project, the ZOMBIE PROOF LIMITED EDITON HARDCOVER.
First Comics News: Who is Billy Bob Driwahl?
JC Vaughn: Billy Bob Driwahl is the only locksmith in the far west Texas town of San Rosina. He’s been the town oddball for about 20 years, since he was in high school. He had some pretty horrible visions and made the mistake of telling people about them. Now they’re coming true and it’s forcing folks — at least those who are honest — to reevaluate things.
1st: What attracts Zombies toSan Rosina,Texas?
JCV: Life. Pure and simple. The zombies are showing up all over the world, even in isolated places. Wherever you have the recently dead, you stand the chance to having zombies. In that regard, San Rosina’s not so special. It is, though, where Billy Bob and our cast of characters are set.
1st: How long has Billy Bob known the Zombies are coming?
JCV: I think it’s about 22 years. It was his senior year of high school and we have him and his peers at about 40 years old.
1st: How to the good people of San Rosina deal with Billy and his Zombie theories?
JCV: Before the zombies came, the town was divided into three camps. The first group thought he was crazy. The second group thought he was crazy, but he was the only locksmith in town and he did good work. The third group, the smallest group, were good and loyal friends. We see these groups represented in the people who hang out at Dave’s Bar & Grill, one of the main locations in Zombie-Proof.
1st: Who is Rufus?
JCV: Rufus T. Spaulding, who goes by the biker name Icon, pretty quickly becomes Billy Bob’s best friend. He’s not from town, but arrives there to check on his sister, who is married to one of Billy Bob’s minor nemeses.
1st: Does Billy Bob have any support to protect his community from Zombies?
JCV: Great question. Not at first, but then quickly as the world starts going to pot, people start realizing he was right.
JCV: That’s a trade secret. But we are only as strong as our weakest link, right?
1st: How long can someone survive inside a zombie-proof home?
JCV: The structure itself will be good longer than the people.
1st: The Hard Cover also includes the ultra rare Zombie Zoo. How many copies of the original Zombie Zoo were published?
JCV: Zombie Zoo was going to the a stand alone Zombie-Proof one-shot. Then two parts of it ran as the back-up feature in my Vampire, PA mini-series. Those chapters were integrated really seamlessly – great work by my co-creator and artist Vincent Spencer – when we decided to do this collection and make Zombie Zoo the bonus material in it. While we were working on the book, I was invited to return as a guest to the Virginia Comicon. The fans there have been so great that we decided to do a limited edition run of about 150 copies of Zombie-Proof: Zombie Zoo as a one-shot. It was very nicely received there and by the other folks who have read it.
JCV: Unlike the humans, not every animal that does comes back. In fact, the government swears that they can’t. But as it turns out, animals that ingest zombie-fied human tissue may turn into zombies. So, there have been some incidents and it’s getting worse. The Zombie Zoo story takes place about six months after the zombie outbreak has started. By this time Billy Bob has followers, which is definitely a good thing.
1st: So Billy Bob can protect your home from a Zombie Elephant, or Zombie Gorilla?
JCV: Not without help, that’s for sure.
1st: Is Billy Bob just trying to survive or does he have a plan to defeat the Zombies?
JCV: Before the zombies, he’s just trying to survive. The love of his life is married to the mayor, his biggest foe since high school. Most of the people who are polite to his face talk about him behind his back. He didn’t ask for the visions and didn’t ask for what they have done to his life. But he never denied them either. Even if he thought he was crazy our doubted them, he’s been totally vindicated as they showed up all over the world. Because of him, San Rosina has done way better than a lot of places.
JCV: The first thing is all our covers. Vincent and I were blessed to have great friends come to our aid. Flesh & Blood (and way back, Robotech) artist Neil Vokes did our first variant cover. Shi creator and Sgt. Rock writer-artist Billy Tucci did our second. And G.I. Joe cover artist and Jonah Hex artist David Michael Beck did our third. And they were all as different as they were amazing. Jacob Jordan, a very talented newcomer who did variants for me on Vampire, PA, supplied the Zombie Zoo cover and a pin-up. And our Vampire, PA pencil and ink team of Brendan and Brian Fraim did a great pin-up, as did my frequent collaborator Gene Gonzales. There are some other goodies, too.
1st: Will there be a soft cover at some point?
JCV: Eventually, but it’s not scheduled yet.
1st: When does the hard cover go on sale?
JCV: It’s in the March 2012 Previews from Diamond Comic Distributors, on Page 303 under Moonstone. It’s set to go on sale in May. Until then, folks can find on Facebook (www.facebook.com/zombieproofcomic), on YouTube (www.youtube.com/zombieproofcomic) or on my blog (www.welldefined.blogspot.com).