Last month saw the release of Danger Zone's Night of the 80's Undead from publisher/writer/creator Jason Martin. We had a chance to talk to Jason about the project and along with the interview we have a preview of the first issue. Dustin) The name pretty much says it all, but what’s the easiest way you’ve found to explain this series?
Jason) The pitch – Russian zombie virus contaminated Colombian cocaine supply gets unleashed at a big Hollywood party in 1986, and a group of teens who break into the party for a good time have to survive commie coke zombie ground zero!
More insightful – It’s basically a 1980’s horror/genre/VHS film, if the creators of said film were from the 21st century, and could revel in everything about the story that’s quintessentially 80’s
Dustin) The 80’s is heavily drilled into this series, but how much of it was research and how much of it was life experience?
Jason) Not much research, as I’m generation X, and so had most of my formative years during the 80’s, which makes it easy for me to spin out a story that showcases the differences between the contemporary and the minutia of 1980’s pop culture. The bulk of any research would be in lining up the events and details from the specific setting of this story, 1986, with that proper timeline, and briefly looking into terminology for cocaine, and similar aspects, to keep our coke craving undead spewing a wide variety of drug slang and behaving in bizarre drug fueled ways!
To be clear, it’s inspired by zombies, the 1980’s, and genre films of that era, but It’s not a parody as much as a love letter to that whole vibe… that happens to have unfiltered fun with it.
Dustin) In the first issue there is a ton of celebrity appearances, are there any more surprises in store for the series?
Jason) Oh yes! There are many more touchstones from the Reagan era, and some cool left turns planned in the next two issues as well (the first story runs 3 issues). Night of the 80’s Undead is a full throttle roller coaster through pastel neon la la land, strap in!
Dustin) What’s been the best part of working on this project and why is Danger Zone the right home for it?
Jason) I’m a big pop culture junkie, and zombie/horror/genre movie fanatic, so creating the book has allowed me to bathe in nostalgic joy while formulating it. It’s just been a loooot of fun to do. And as far as Danger Zone, I’m not just proud to be a part of the new Action Lab mature readers line, but I’m also the president of it! ;)
But seriously, the Action Lab crew is a fabulous group of passionate folks dedicated to bringing exciting and unique creator owned works to the market, just as I formerly did with my SR Graphics imprint, and now help to do so here. So, bringing 80’s Undead and some of the other SRG titles on board is a natural fit. Danger Zone truly is a home for bold quality works.
Dustin) Is there any possibility of a sequel? Perhaps set in the 90’s?
Jason) Hey, no spoilers! But yes, the concept is rife with sequel potential… to your point, Night of the 90’s Undead perhaps? Or maybe Return of the 80’s Undead!? We’ll see, just like this book, they practically write themselves!!
A huge thank you to Jason Martin for taking the time to talk to me and Action Lab/Danger Zone for helping set everything up. Now here's the preview and don't forget to buy the first issue that's out now!