Dan Mendoza and Jason Martin talk about Zombie Tramp

First Comics News: Who is Janey Belle?

Dan Mendoza: Janey Belle is a girl that’s had a rough life. a short-tempered girl that could never catch a break no matter how hard she tried. and through several unfortunate events, she ended up becoming a call girl as her only means of survival.

1st: How did she become a Zombie?

Dan: One night she was set up on a bad date with a crooked Sheriff that was harboring a zombie in his basement and killing prostitutes for food. Janey escaped but unfortunately was bitten. and when she awoke from her death, she was a zombie. but her soul stayed intact.

1st: There are a lot of different kinds of Zombies from the low moving Zombies of the Walking Dead to the super-fast Zombies in World War Z. What type of Zombie is Janey?

Dan: Janey is a fast zombie in most conditions. to me, or in the zombie tramp universe, all zombies start out as fast when they’re fresh. as a zombie get’s more and more decrepit, they begin to slow down.

1st: What type of powers does Janey have?

Dan: One of the main things about Janey is that she has the ability to switch out her body. when a body gets old or unusable, her soul is able to jump into a new one.

1st: What exactly are Necro Powers?

Dan: Along the way of Janey’s journeys, she found a copy of the sacred Necronomicon (the book of the dead). since then she has been using it as a survival guide with tips and tricks of witchcraft and monsters. it’s like her own google for the afterlife. she dubbed it “Necro-powers”.

1st: Is this really a bad thing for her if she can change back and forth from Zombie to Human?

zombie_tramp_23_digital-2Dan: It doesn’t affect her at all. its just an illusion. but mentally, she has the fear of her slipping and becoming pure monster and lose her humanity.

1st: So in Zombie form, is Janey in control or is it mostly rage?

Dan: Janey is Janey. in Zombie form or human. the acts of rage and short temper has been with her whole life.

1st: What makes Zombie Tramp want to be Janey again?

Dan: Janey never had much growing up. few friends, no money, no respect from others and was made to feel insignificant. all she’s had as a constant is her beauty. it’s the vanity that makes her hold on to that human form.

1st: Is this comic just blood, violence, and boobs or is there more to Janey?

Dan: So much more. of course, at a glance, that’s all people see, but the ones that actually pick up the book and read it become instant fans. Janey is a character that people can relate to. she’s so flawed in so many ways that root her in our minds of familiarity.

1st: There are feminist comic fans who complain about Zombie Tramp being misogynistic and a poor portrayal of women in comics. How do you react to that assessment?

zombie_tramp_23_digital-5Dan: This is a very touchy subject. we live in such a sensitive society nowadays that its hard to take a stand about anything without backlash. I’ve had my fair share of it from reviews, con panels, and passers-by at shows. my female fan base is strong. I get so much fan mail from so many people that I know that I’m doing something right. I always tell naysayers that I’m not doing anything different then what’s been done already. Zombie Tramp is just a reflection of our society. I’m not doing anything different than books such as Deadpool or Harley Quinn. but my books are rated R., not PG-13. I’m not doing anything different from what was done in the 70’s grind-house and exploitation film era with such things as RUSS MEYERS; FASTER PUSSY CAT KILL KILL AND MOTOR PSYCHO. JOHN WATERS; PINK FLAMINGOS. PAM GRIER MOVIES, JIM KELLY MOVIES, LLOYD KAUFMAN MOVIES AND CHARLES BAND MOVIES. these people went through the same ridicule as people today who follow in their footsteps like, QUENTIN TARANTINO, ROBERT RODRIGUEZ, ELI ROTH, AND EVEN JAMES CAMERON. My book is a horror action-based comic. there are no superheroes. its not a superhero book and it doesn’t disguise itself as such. it’s in your face enough that people should get that at first glance. I’m a bigger fan of movie genres and that reflects in my work. should there only be one genre of comic book? no. there should be as many genres of comic books as there is in movies. some times people forget that and typecast what a comic should be. I don’t have time for hypocrites that complain about my use of my sexuality, nudity, and violence in my book but can’t wait for the next episode of GAME OF THRONES. all that matters to me is my fans. I take time every day to answer emails, messages, and fan art people post on almost every single social media. my fans mean everything to me and it touches my heart that they have so much love for what I do and what I’ve brought into the world.

zombietramp_issuenumber26_covere_solicit1st: Do you think that people are going to lash out at you now for answering such a P.C. touchy question?

Dan: Ha ha ha indeed they will. but growing up, as an aspiring comic artist, I used to buy these videos called “visits with the comic book greats” hosted by Stan Lee. and an influential one for me was the TODD MCFARLAND one. he said that “good notice or bad notice. it doesn’t matter. you were noticed.” ill always remember that. now that I’m older and more observant of the world and setting goals for my self, I’ve found my self following the “6 RULES OF SUCCESS” from ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, and one of his main rules is, “avoid the naysayers.” and I try to do that every day.

1st: Do you see Zombie Tramp as a parody of horror films or a commentary on inhumanity?

Dan: It’s a little of both. it’s definitely a reflection of society like I said earlier, but I grew up loving horror films with iconic characters such as FREDDY, JASON, PINHEAD, MICHEAL MYERS, CHUCKY. what has always been missing is that there is no iconic female horror character. that’s what I always had in mind to make with Zombie Tramp.

1st: You originally self-published. What was it like trying to distribute the comic yourself?

Dan: No. I recently have left my day job. with all the spin-off books, and other related things, Zombie Tramp has become a full-time job and I couldn’t be happier.

1st: You and Jason co-write the comic, how does that process work?

Dan: I and Jason always throw ideas back and forth to each other but mostly all the plots and big story arcs are mine. and since to growing success of his own title, VAMPBLADE, I’ve been solo writing every book since issue 17

1st: You drew the original series why take on an artist for the monthly comic?

Dan: It’s just a lot of work to balance out. but since this has become my full-time job, I’m proud to say that I will now be starting to draw more books and take on more art duties.

1st: What does TMChu bring to the comic?

Jason Martin: TMChu has been amazing since day one. he approaches Janey in such a different way then I would art wise and his page layouts are a thing of beauty. Unfortunately, I’m sad to announce that issue 24 will be his last book. he’s moving on to do his own thing for a while. we support and wish him all the luck in the world. I’m sure he might return here and there for covers and an occasional issue here and there, but only the future can tell.

1st: What makes Zombie Tramp so cool that no true comic fan should miss an issue?

Jason: Zombie Tramp is raw and uncut. it’s unapologetic. if your a horror fan or wish your latest issue of Harley Quinn was a little more extreme, then this book is for you.

Dan: Yes she’s sexy. and yes, she flaunts it. but that’s society. a world of Kardashian vanity. it’s reflected in all media that you get riches and fame from being scantily clad and a promiscuous. Janey Belle lived this life and knows it well. she knows how to use her sexuality to get what she wants. she struggles day to day with the reasoning of why she should hold on to her humanity and not become a monster. why, when humanity is the biggest beast of all.

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