Recently I had the opportunity to pass some questions by the man, the myth, the legend Max Brooks. Author of such books as The Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z, and currently the next chapter in the zombie/vampire comic entitled The Extinction Parade: War, which releases July 2014. Brooks kindly took the time out of his busy schedule to answers a few questions about the ongoing series and the genre at large.
Jay: Zombies and Vampires, the angle of aristocracy is an interesting one. Can you explain the inspiration for this choice?
Max: For “The Extinction Parade” I was going for something much deeper than aristocracy. I was going for one of the most basic philosophies of evolution: our greatest strengths come from overcoming our greatest weaknesses. As a species, all of our accomplishments can be directly attributed to our original place in the middle of the food chain. We’ve built ourselves an amazing psychological-emotional survival kit which has made us so resilient over the centuries. But what if we hadn’t had that kit? What if we had been born with speed, agility, strength, healing, and above all, immortality? That’s the vampire race, and I feel that their gifts are actually curses, in that it robs them of the problem solving survival skills they’ll so badly need in a zombie outbreak.
Jay: Is there another genre of horror that you would like to tackle?
Max: Oh yeah, but I don’t like to reveal until I’m actually close to being done.
Jay: What do you think is the element that draws people to the struggle with Zombies?
Max: I can’t speak for anyone but me, and I can tell that there are a host of reasons zombies scare the hell out of me. For starters their complete inhumanity is truly terrifying. You can’t negotiate with them, talk to them, surrender to them. It’s basic and primal, kill or be eaten. I’m also scared of their sheer numbers. One zombie can be taken out with a brick. But millions? Billions? Their numbers make them a global crisis, a pandemic that can infest every safe zone on the planet. In the words of Roger from ‘Dawn of the Dead’: “Jesus, it’s everywhere!” Who wouldn’t be scared of that?
Jay: Any words about the upcoming World War Z sequel?
Max: I wish I had some. I’m not involved in the process so I can’t talk about what I don’t know.
Jay: With all the zombies games, movies, comics, and television properties do you think zombies are hitting a tipping point in the industry or just getting started?
Max: Good question. I wish I had a good answer. If I had any sense of what was going to be popular, I’d still working for Saturday Night Live. All I know is what interests me and I will continue to be fascinated with (and by fascinated I mean brown-shorts scared of) zombies for a long long time.
Thanks to Max Brooks again and we look forward to seeing where The Extinction Parade takes us. The comic is published by Avatar Press. The first TPB of the series is currently available in comic stores and digital distribution. Go check it out.