Thursday, July 15, 2010

Walking Dead

I don't post much about the Walking Dead comic.

I love it. I buy it every month. I have from the very first issue and I read it religiously because I really enjoy that type of story--obviously--and this one, in particular, is pretty entertaining. Another reason I obviously enjoy this type of story is the fact that I've written a similarly set story of my own. "Similar" is the rub, though. I know some people out there tend to avoid interacting with anything that resides within their chosen genre for fear of accidental plagiarism, but I generally consider that bullshit. Ideas are a dime a dozen, cheap and easy to come by, it's what you do with them that is important.

So when I read Walking Dead, I do so safe in the knowledge that Robert Kirkman and I may both enjoy a good old fashioned zombie Apocalypse populated by the classic Romero established type of zombies, but other than that... we like to do things there a little differently. Kirkman generally likes things a little more "realistic", while I prefer a more noirish, two-fisted, neo-western type of setting. Hard boiled, as it were, a kind of Dawn of the Dead meets Mad Max.

So... we're different, get me?

The problem is: I know this is true and if you asked Kirkman (and if he was as familiar with my work as I am with his), he would probably say the same (I assume). But to the great unwashed, the uninitiated masses, they might not see it, or they might refuse to see it, and spend their time instead hunting for every single little piece of similar minutiae they can possibly find, just so they can hold it up accusingly and scream "plagiarism!" first or whatever, and that sort of thing, it just annoys the piss out of me... The Internet, man... let's just be honest here, it mostly sucks. If it were a real place, it would probably be kind of greasy... and smell.

So, anyway, I'd like to avoid that kind of interaction as much as possible and for that reason, I generally distance myself publicly from the Walking Dead or World War Z or the Zombie Survival guide or any number of the endless multitude of terrible, terrible self published zombie "novels" floating around out there. I just don't want to get into that conversation, I'm not interested. So as a result, I don't talk about them much or spend too much of a critical eye on them here as any criticisms I make will obviously be looked at as having come from a certain unsavory place.

The point is: There are others that wander in the same wilderness as I, and for the most part, I give them space.

BUT...

The Walking Dead was recently picked up by AMC and it is barreling ahead on production like a house a'fire. It'll air this October (otherwise know as: When Jon finally breaks down and pays for cable) and Frank Darabont is directing the pilot. I'll be honest with you, I'm excited, and I'm excited for two reasons.

1. To the people who hold the keys to the Kingdom I want access to, popular zombie stuff with a high profile means there is a market for more zombie stuff. Which means they could have room for my book. Which means: Yay for me.

2. I wrote the book because I wanted a post-initial-couple-of-weeks-past-the-zombie-apocalypse story. I went looking for it, and besides a few notable exceptions, I was severely disappointed at what was available. This part of me drove me to write the book and this same part of me is giddy at the thought of an ongoing TV show. Plus, the Walking Dead comic is really good, so all in all: Fun, fun, fun, kids.

So.... what was it that brought this all up exactly? What made me violate my "you stay over there and I'll stay over here" rule?

This.


The Walking Dead cast photo (from Io9).

GIDDY!

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