THE WALKING DEAD GLENN RHEE DIES

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SPECULATIVE YAHTZEE WITH JONATHAN MABERRY

We ComiConverse With Jonathan Maberry

February 22nd, 2016 | by Craig Caudill
We ComiConverse With Jonathan Maberry

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ComiConverse contributor Craig Caudill brings the second installment of his series, Speculative Yahtzee. Today he interviews noted writer and eighth degree black belt, Jonathan Maberry.

CC: What novel changed your life, and who is your favorite author?

JONATHAN MABERRY: Richard Matheson gave me a signed first edition of I Am Legend when I was thirteen. A Christmas present. That book absolutely changed my life. It’s landmark in that it’s the first novel in which hard science is used to tell a horror story. And, also, having Matheson and Ray Bradbury as mentors when I was a teen was pretty amazing. Without I Am Legend I would never have become a science geek and would never have written the Joe Ledger series or most of my other science-based horror and thriller novels.

CC: Do you think Wonder woman is sexy, specifically Lynda Carter, and why?

JM: First, I was a Marvel kid, so Wonder Woman wasn’t on my radar until the TV show came on in 1975. I was seventeen. There is not one straight carbon-based male life form who was not in love with Lynda Carter. Anyone who denies it is lying.

CC: You are a super hero, what is your name, power, and costume? Who is your Arch Enemy?

JM: My super power is flight. I used to fantasize about it while sky-diving. (Luckily I’d come to my senses and pull the ripcord!). I would not, under any circumstances, wear skin-tight spandex. Trust me on this. My costume would be a baggy flight suit with cool insignias My enemy would be a villain called Flak who tried to shoot me down.

Special Ops


CC: What is your preference, cosplay or LARPing?

JM: Cosplay. I am a huge fan. I did a bit of it in the past, mostly in zombie crawls. I have friends who LARP, but I haven’t participated. So far.

CC: Can you name a trendy drink named after a superhero?

JM: Even though I’m a Marvel guy, I’m partial to a drink called The Dark Knight. Vodka, black raspberry liqueur, a lemon twist and served in a martini glass. Trendy yet very cool.

CC Who is your favorite villain?

JM: Doctor Doom, but written with subtlety and restrain. The way Lee and Kirby did him in the late sixties. An aristocrat, not a raving lunatic. I tried to capture that vibe in my Marvel miniseries DoomWar.

Jonathan-Maberry

CC: Are vampires ruined and not scary anymore or just played out?

JM: Vampires, like zombies and werewolves, can be comical but they can always be made scary again. Twilight made them romantic and Count Chockula made them funny, but books like The Strain and my own V-Wars series bring back old school badass vampires.

CC: Could we Co-exist with vampires in a True Blood scenario?

JM: Society will panic and people will flip out –for a while, but then things would settle down. What you’d have, tough, would be an immediate political battle between right and left wings. Always. No matter what the controversial issue is.

CC: Are you high on V right now? 

JM: Not anymore. It wears off. I bring myself down to earth with a nice, cold Dark Knight cocktail.

CC: Stephen Hawking has warned everyone not to interact with aliens. However if you suddenly meet one. what would you talk to him about?

JM: Logistics. How the hell did they travel so far and why the hell did they come here? They’re reasonable questions.

CC: Do you believe in Life on other worlds? 

Jonathan Mabery novelization of The Wolfman

JM: I do. But I don’t pretend to know what it’ll be like.

CC: Did you cry when E.T. Died?

JM: I did, and I’m man enough to admit it.

CC: Roger Moore or Sean Connery?

JM: Sean Connery. The Bond in the books was a cruel bastard. Roger Moore always seemed too genteel.

CC: Does working for Rotor-Rooter qualify anyone to be an expert on the paranormal?

JM: I should think so. There’s some very weird shit down there.

CC: Do you fear a zombie reality?

JM: No. But I do think that a plague scenario is more likely than is comfortable.

CC: If your significant other was a zombie would you let them eat you?

JM: Nope. I would be merciful but not suicidal.

CC: If someone you knew was made out of chocolate would you eat them?

JM: In a heartbeat. And pour some wine to go with it, because chocolate goes great with coffee. And enough wine would soothe my remorse for eating a friend.

CC: If there was an election now between Emperor Kang Vs Emperor Kodos who would you vote for?

JM: I’m Team Kodos all the way.

CC: Who would win in fight Sawyer from Lost or Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead?

JM: Daryl would cheat, so…him. He also takes a better punch than Sawyer.

CC Same question but the original Ricardo Montalban, Wrath of Kahn vs Benedict Cumberbatch in the Star Trek reboot?

JM: Ricardo was badass, but Cumberbatch was more restrained and calculating. So…Cumberbatch.

CC OK, True or False: There is only one Batman, Adam West?

JM: False. Sue me, but I have high expectations for Ben Affleck. The thing is, much as I enjoyed the old Batman show, I generally don’t like campy versions of super heroes. I like dark, edgy, and as realistic as the subject matter allows. It’s why I liked Christian Bale and why I will probably dig Affleck,

CC: Okay, Big Foot is now discovered he’s booked on your talk show, but everything he says is outdated, racist, sexist, and Homophobic…but he’s Big Foot. How would you handle this situation?

JM: I’d want to kick his hairy ass. Being a legendary monster doesn’t excuse that kind of behavior. Or, I might get him rocked on Dark Knight cocktails and try to talk sense to him.

CC: What superhero would you like to portray?

JM: Reed Richards or T’Challa (I know, bad casting choice, me being a white guy). Those are my two favorite heroes. Tough and smart.

CC: Big Foot, Chuck Norris and Danny Trejo are in a room. A brawl breaks out. Who is the last man standing when it’s over?

JM: I hate Chuck’s politics but he used to be a superb fighter. And I knew him. He’d kick Big Foot’s ass. Danny is great, but he’s an actor. Now, if the question was Chuck Norris or Machete…then, Machete, clearly.

.CC: Ok, seriously, the last question. How has moving changed your writing better worse and what surprises await your fans  

JM: I get to sit at my desk and watch whales and dolphins outside my window. That is a measure of what my writing career has done for me and my family. I grew up dirt poor in the inner city.

The 8th Joe Ledger book, Kill Switch, comes out in April. Other new releases include the anthologies I edited, The X-Files: The Truth is Out There, V-Wars: Night Terrors and Out of Tune Vol II. And my 2nd middle grade novel, The Nightsiders: Vault of Shadows, debuts in a few months. Plus my first board game just came out, V-Wars: A Game of Blood and Betrayal.

Jonathan Maberry edited Z-Files volume

Jonathan Maberry Essentials:

NY Times Bestseller and 5-time Bram Stoker Award winner

The Nightsiders Bk 1: The Orphan Army – Simon & Schuster

Rot & Ruin Series- Simon & Schuster

The Joe Ledger Thrillers-  now in development by Lone Tree Entertainment and Vintage Picture Company

Bad Blood – from Dark Horse Comics

X-FILES: a series of all-new anthologies  from IDW Publishing
V-WARS: IDW -anthology and comics; now in development for TV

Ghostwalkers – A Deadlands novel from TOR

Website & Blog: www.jonathanmaberry.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jonathanmaberry

Twitter: www.twitter.com/jonathanmaberry

IMDB: http://www.imdb.me/jonathanmaberry

The Walking Dead: Big Mid-Season Shock

The Walking Dead: Big Mid-Season Shock

February 21st, 2016 | by Craig Caudill
The Walking Dead: Big Mid-Season Shock

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The Walking Dead has returned from its mid-season hiatus, and ComiConverse’s Craig Caudill is here to get us all up to speed. Warning, spoilers abound!

Now if you have not seen The Walking Dead‘s mid-season opener, I suggest you watch it first before you read this review. And then come back, or maybe watch a Golden Girlsor JAG marathon. I call it a JAG-off. Then we can discuss and talk shop.

Now I am a little peeved at some would-be The Walking Dead fans who in the past was hoping for an early death for Carl. I find the trend of hoping that children die on tv shows appalling. I know that the networks when they want to add a level of cuteness they bring in the kid or another younger kid to maintain the cute factor. The weirdest example was Oliver on The Brady Bunch, who I thought was alienating and ruined the dynamic of the show. I hated the show so much, and yet I watched every single episode — because with three networks there wasn’t much else to watch. So you’re at the mercy of any network whims to lure you into viewer submission. Oliver was a weird kid. He even looked like John Denver. But that’s where the insults end, because he is a human being. He’s not acting anymore. And I hope he’s married employed and happy somewhere. The same as Charlie Bucket, who owns a farm. Yes, I’m talking Willie Wonka.

The-Walking-Dead-Carl1

Now about Chandler Riggs, who plays Carl. I’m sure he is a good kid. His acting is fine and I wish he has a prolific career. I hope he’s a fine young man. But over the years I’ve read nasty memes on Facebook cheering for the character to die because they found him to be an annoying kid.

Now I know when a kid is annoying. But this wasn’t the boy Anakin in The Phantom Menace, flying star-fighters all on his own. This kid was accused of single handedly accused of ruining the whole Star Wars franchise. But I may confess that initially, afterThe Phantom Menace, while everyone applauded lightly (perhaps they were just so desperate for a new Star Wars), me on the other hand? I booed. I’ve never booed in a crowded movie theater in my life.  But I did that uncontrollably, only to be shushed by my brothers. We were pissed when we drove home. Our day was ruined.

I will bring up one Wil Wheaton, who was a source of consternation for many Star Trekfans. Myself, I didn’t watch the show until many years later, and although it was OK I wasn’t really a fan. Although I watched Deep Space Nine in the wee hours late at night — because there was nothing else on but an episode of The Twilight Zone.

But I do remember one literature student had a meltdown, in the student lounge over the relevancy of some kid on Star Trek: The Next Generation who never does anything important. God, what I’d give to remember what he screamed. All I do remember is one guy being like “Wil Wheaton Sucks I hate him.”

Mr Meltdown: “Shut up. F**k you. Leave Wil Wheaton alone. He’s a good kid, he’s important to the story…” it went something like that. But my point being, I worry about how kids are kind of abused in real life and in Hollywood and somehow people project their emotions on kids and they get cast aside or chewed up and spit out.

So now Carl gets shot in the head.

the-walking-dead-season-6-daryl-dixon-norman

I was prepared to write a eulogy for Carl. Now after a dramatic moment of hack-and-slash we’re taking back the town again. On one level this was pure cheese, but I liked it too, because it was the most action I’ve seen all this season.

Well, I said my piece about Carl. You got what you want but he’s going to be Snake Plisken with a patch on his eye? Don’t know.

What irks me about the show now

Michael Traynor as Nicholas and Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee - The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

I want to say I don’t like short-season shows. Five episodes here and then nothing for three months. Thank God I write or play music, otherwise I’d be bored. I hate sports so I’d be screwed for entertainment.

Last season was kind of just filler, but I liked when they brought back Morgan Jones (played by Lennie James) with his Zen philosophy. That was cool. But watching Daryl seemingly putting on a chopper while dead people were just dragging their feet was tedious. Then the anger I felt when I thought Glen died. I wasn’t cool with that because he’s the character I like most. I swore I’d never watch it again if that were the case. Unless of course that’s how the comic book went. I remember reading half of it on the hardback graphic novel edition. The death I must bring up, because we never really saw it happen — we just assume she’s dead — is of course Andrea Harrison, played byLaurie Holden.

andrea-laurie-holden

I would like to trade her back onto the show, and you can have the supposed genius with the mullet who turned out to be a fraud in exchange. I’m not amused about this. Yeah we all have our thing. Tom Waits had his Soul Patch Sailor on Wild At Heart, had his Snake Skin jacket. Unless your mullet is the source of your magic power… you’re a pointless character. I get the joke, but I would like for Andrea to come back instead. Nothing personal. I’m sure he’s a nice guy and this is not a hate on him.

By now the second episode of the season opener promises a big shocker. Maybe the Governor is alive, or Rick Grimes’ wife followed them from the prison? Questions, questions… But I guess I have to force myself to watch. I hope this gets better.

Just leave Carl alone!

The Walking Dead airs on AMC on Sundays at 9pm (8pm Central). Craig Caudill is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter @craigcaudill.

Speculative Yahtzee

We ComiConverse With Mather Zickel

February 15th, 2016 | by Craig Caudill
We ComiConverse With Mather Zickel

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Review of:
Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On February 15, 2016
Last modified:February 15, 2016

Summary:

Craig Caudill begins a new Q&A series at ComiConverse today: Speculative Yahtzee. His first victim is actor Mather Zickel.

It is a goal of mine to spark a dialog with creative individuals in various fields and ask them what is entertaining to them. And I hope these answers are an indication of what gives us meaning in our downtime, and what inspires us to dream in story, in music, and in the arts. No medium has allowed us to dream that more than fiction. And perhaps everyone’s favorite in many cases is generically referred to as “speculative fiction.” But this umbrella term treads many genres: horror, thriller, supernatural, noir, science fiction and countless shades of fantasy. With that I aim to ask someone who works close to the medium or works in the field. I ask them various questions — some silly, some serious. Some of the answers may surprise you.

My first participant is Mather Zickel, starring in the new horror flick Southbound, which sounds very promising to me.

Mather Zickel

So I welcome Mather Zickel in my first Q&A exchange.

Let’s begin!

CC: What novel changed your life? and who is your favorite author?

MZ: My favorite author? Hmm. Tough. I don’t generally get fixated on one particular author. Books just come into my life for some reason or other, and I like to think that there’s a reason for why they do when they do. I find I keep returning to Robertson Davies’ novels. I really enjoy his quirky Canadian world of academics, artists, priests, and eccentrics. I like his odd humor. I think he really tries to reconcile the life of the mind with the life of the spirit. And he seems to actually love humanity.

On the darker side, I also like Robert Cormier’s young adult books. Several of his novels were lauded and won awards, while simultaneously being challenged in many school libraries around the country. I went to boarding school at 14 and the first book I happened to grab out of the library was called I Am the Cheese. It really gave me the creeps. Then I read The Chocolate War and I felt completely justified in my paranoia regarding institutional structure, indoctrination, or any kind of groupthink in general. I distrust crowds.

CC: Is Wonder woman Sexy to you — specifically Lynda Carter — and why?

MZ: Yes, I find Lynda Carter/Wonder Woman sexy. The reason being, I’m not blind.

lynda-carter-as-wonder-woman

CC: You are a superhero. What is your name, power, and costume, and who is your arch-enemy?

MZ: My super hero is called Osrick of Mantos. He wears a white cloak over studded leather armor, has a pronounced limp, an eyepatch, and three ragged scars across his face, a shock of white hair by his right temple, and carries a quarterstaff. He is a sorcerer of the mind (can read minds, control minds, knock people unconscious with his mind, move things with his mind, cause horrible bodily wounds with his mind, etc.). His arch-enemy is his doppelgänger, known as Osric (spelled without a k), who appears in a black cloak and looks about 10 years older than himself.

CC: What is your preference — cosplay or LARPing?

MZ: I don’t cosplay or LARP myself, but the LARPers truly seem to go for the gusto. I think the cosplay folks are looking for a date, but the LARPers really don’t want to come home from the Faire.

CC: Can you name a trendy drink named after a superhero?

MZ: The Human Torch. 2 oz Bacardi 151, ½ oz Goldschlager, ½ oz Campari. Pour contents into shaker over a cube of sugar, shake well, pour onto bare chest, light on fire, have friend slurp contents off, Uber home.

CC: Who is your favorite villain?

MZ: My favorite villain is Julie Newmar.

Julie_Newmar_Catwoman_Batman_1966

CC: Good answer. Are vampires ruined? Not scary? Played out?

MZ: I think we’ve heard enough from the vampires for a while, particularly the attractive and tortured ones. I exclude the vampires from What We Do in the Shadows. Those guys are funny.

CC: Could we coexist with vampires in a True Blood scenario?

MZ: If Donald Trump becomes president I don’t think there will be much hope for peaceful human/vampire coexistence. I believe he would try to deport all the vampires to China. If Bernie Sanders wins, I think he will try to break up the banks.

CC: Are you high on V right now?

MZ: V? Never touch the stuff. Reminds me of Winston Churchill’s fingers.

CC: Stephen Hawking warned everyone not to interact with aliens if you meet one. But if you did, would you talk to him? And what would you talk to him about?

MZ: I’m not a very social person so I don’t think I would approach an alien — or Stephen Hawking. Obviously, I would help either one if they needed directions. I’m from New York. I like to give directions.

CC: Do you believe in life on other worlds?

MZ: I’m no statistician, but life on other worlds sounds entirely probable. I’m guessing most of that life resembles bacteria more than Leonard Nimoy, but you never know.

CC: Did you cry when E.T. died?

MZ: At the time I saw E.T., I was reading Orwell’s 1984 and was terrified about the dominance of a Soviet-style totalitarian superstate. And, yes, I cried when that little puppet died.

CC: Roger Moore or Sean Connery?

MZ: Sean Connery.

CC: Does working for Roto-Rooter qualify anyone to be an expert on the paranormal?

MZ: I don’t know if working for Roto-Rooter qualifies you per se, but it would help to have some expertise in plumbing. I think we all know that when you flush the toilet the contents are sucked down straight to Hell.

CC: Do you fear a Zombie reality?

MZ: Yes. Every time I go to a mall or amusement park.

CC: If your significant other was a zombie would you let them eat you?

MZ: Why does my significant other have to be a zombie to do that?

CC: If someone you knew was made out of chocolate would you eat them?

MZ: Are they solid chocolate or hollow like an Easter bunny? I’m just asking because too much chocolate makes me break out.

CC: If there is an election between Emperor Kang vs. Emperor Kodos who would you vote for?

MZ: I’m not familiar with either of those candidates, but I definitely don’t believe in voting for Emperor.

CC: Who would win in a fight — Sawyer from Lost or Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead?

MZ: Once again, not familiar with those two characters, but Daryl Dixon kicked some ass in The Boondock Saints so I’m going to go with him.

CC: Same question — the original Ricardo Montalbán, Wrath of Khan vs. Benedict Cumberbatch in the Star Trek reboot?

MZ: Ricardo Montalbán.

Ricardo-Montalban-Khan-Star-Trek-2

CC: OK. True or False? There is only one Batman, Adam West.

MZ: True.

CC: OK. Bigfoot has been discovered and he’s booked on your talk show. But everything he says is outdated — racist, sexist, homophobic — but he’s Bigfoot. How would you handle this situation?

MZ: I would expect that from Bigfoot.  He’s a 70’s celebrity.  I would let him smoke and drink Chivas on my program and ask him about his time in Alaska.

CC: What superhero would like to portray?

MZ: I would very much like to portray Harry Greb, The Pittsburgh Windmill.

CC: Final question. You can refuse to answer for noble reasons. God gives you permission to kill one person.

MZ: I never let my enemies know when I’m coming for them.

Yahtzee,

Mather Zickel

Yes Mather, you won this round of Speculative Yahtzee. But you may not be so lucky next time. When I see Hail Caesar… Bwa ha haaa!

 

Craig Caudill is a Contributor to ComiConverse.  Follow him on Twitter: @craigcaudill