I guess I can scratch “Interview creator of a comic about zombified teddy bears” off my bucket list. Not sure why I put that one on it to be honest. Still, the point is I recently had a chance to wrangle some questions out of Jeremy Biggs, creator of the most adorable yet gory comic ever.
AP2HYC: Hi Jeremy. Soooooo… What’s it all about? Zombie Bears that is. Not, y’know, life, the universe and other miscellaneous existential thoughts. We’re talking about a comic here.
Jeremy Biggs: Generally, just be nice to each other, try to help people out and don’t be a douche. That’s my basic philosophy. Oh right – comics!! Well the concept is pretty simple really. Zombies and Bears. It’s kind of a bit like Mad Max meets The Night of the Living Dead meets the Care bears.
AP2HYC: It’s not every day that somebody wakes up and thinks: “Hey… Zombie Bears! That’d make a great comic!”. With that being said, how did the idea originally come about?
Jeremy: Two things influenced Zombie Bears. The first thing is that my little sister really loves Teddy Bears and I wanted to freak her out a bit – because you know, in real life Bears are SCARY. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Grizzly man – but cuddly they ain’t. The other thing is I’m a huge Walking Dead fan and at the time I was working on a film called The Dead making funny noises (Hey – it’s a living!), and I really wanted to have a go at making a Zombie comic- but that was unlike any other Zombie comic you’ve ever read. Put the two things together and you have ZOMBIE BEARS (RAAR optional).
AP2HYC: There’s a short animated clip on both the Kickstarter page and the Zombie Bears website that was so awesome it made my testicles explode. Literally. I guess what I’m trying to say is, what was it like animating the Zombie Bears?
Jeremy: Hahaha. It was awesome. Maybe not testicle explodingly awesome (you might want to get that checked out) – but it was a great experience.
I sent over the script and a copy of Issue Zero to Laura (Maue the animator), and she pretty much did the rest. I then took the footage and added all the meaty flesh noises and zombie grunts. At one point my cat thought I’d totally lost it.
AP2HYC: What is it about the Zombie genre that you love so much? Come on. Dish, dish, dish.
Jeremy: Blood. Guts. Apocalypse. Shambling, unstoppable forces of the undead that no matter where you go they’re not going to stop – not even to SLEEP – there’s nowhere to hide – they’re just going to keep on shambling after you – unceasingly moving on and on and ON AND ONNNNN until you finally succumb to exhaustion or death.
What’s not to like?
AP2HYC: Aside from the comics, what other Zombie Bear stuff is available (Geddit? Stuff? ‘Cause… bears are stuffed. Never mind.)?
Jeremy: These puns are “beary” bad. In fact I’d say they were un-bearable.
Oh there’s loads of stuff that people can get their paws on (OK I’ll stop now). There’s t-shirts, badges, and… no.. hang on… there’s interesting stuff too… In fact the most interesting thing is probably our range of Zombie Teddy Bears. We take regular Teddy Bears – shove them in a pen with one of the infected and let un-nature take it’s course till we have a bonafide undead teddy bear. Then – like any good comic writer we round them up and take them to conventions and scare people.
AP2HYC: Okay, Y’know what? Time for a really serious question. Ready? Here goes. *Deep Breath*. What has been the most challenging thing you have faced while making Zombie Bears?
Jeremy: I think the most challenging thing is not getting bitten. By Bakki that is – I have to take fresh meat down to her art dungeon to keep her happy otherwise she can get a bit “bitey”.
AP2HYC: And last but not least, what do you see for the future of Zombie Bears? I could at this point make a joke about you taking out a crystal ball and literally seeing into the future, but I won’t. Because I’m above that.
Jeremy: Well – we hint at the future of Zombie Bears in the most recent chapter with the introduction of Bearlands’ big bad – Vintersto. After we’ve finished Season One we’re going to take a break and write Season Two – which will probably come out as a graphic novel. Without giving too much away – Season two is an epic game of cat and mouse between our Hero (The Bear-with-no-name) and his nemesis in the zombear infested city of Lost Vegas. Imagine the French Connection meets The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, meets Day of the Dead meets the, er, Gummi Bears.
Big thanks to Jeremy for answering my unbelievably idiotic questions and make sure you visit Zombie Bear’s Kickstarter page. If you don’t you’ll get mauled by an undead teddy bear. Which, lets face it, is pretty much the most humiliating way to die.