Zombies and robots. Zombies mobbing robots. Robots blowing zombies to bits. It’s a combination to thrill the heart of geeks everywhere. IDW and creators Chris Ryall and Ashley Wood have certainly had a major success in pitting these two not-actually-living creatures together in the wildly successful Zombies vs Robots comic series. Clanking, retro robots and the brain-chomping hordes of shambling corpses they were created to annihilate fill the wonderful pages of the IDW Publishing opus, with nuclear apocalypse and Amazons thrown in over the course of the series, just for good measure.
But it doesn’t end there. As announced at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con in July, the company plans on expanding the franchise into the area of prose fiction — even as a film of ZvR goes into development through Sony Pictures, with Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes as producer. Yes, there’s not only a major cinema release on the horizon but a massive anthology of stories set in the ZvR universe, edited by Jeff Conner and featuring a huge cohort of notable writers from around the world — including myself, the writer of this blog, and a bunch of other Aussies.
“It’s gratifying to see that ZvR has taken on an unlife of its own,” said Ryall, series co-creator and Chief Creative Officer/Editor-in-Chief for IDW. “Expanding from comics into prose is a logical progression, though as the heretofore sole writer of the series I must admit that letting other writers into our subversive little world was at first troubling. But now I’m fine with it. Really. Mostly. Especially since editor Jeff Conner has corralled such a talented array of writers to tackle some really bizarre and creative prose stories. As long as no one expects me to let them write ZvR comics, too…”
The list of undead authors is impressive. Apart from Ryall himself, it includes headliners John Shirley, Nancy A. Collins, Rio Youers, Brea Grant, Steve Rasnic Tem, Amber Benson, James A. Moore, Rachel Swirsky, Norman Prentiss, Mark Morris, Simon Clark and John Skipp & Cody Goodfellow — along with Dale Bailey, Amelia Beamer, Jesse Bullington, Lincoln Crisler, Stephen Dedman, Rain Graves, Rhodi Hawk, Robert Hood, Stephen Graham Jones, Nicholas Kaufmann, Steven Lockley, Nick Mamatas, Jonathan McGoran, Joe McKinney, Gary McMahon, Bobby Nash, Yvonne Navarro, Hank Schwaeble, Ekaterina Sedia, Sean Taylor, Simon Kurt Unsworth, Kaaron Warren, and Don Webb.
Editor Connor tells me that these good folk have had a gut-smashing marvelous time chronicling the wartime atrocities of the gun-toting machines and their cannibalistic enemies. For myself the experience has been the most fun I’ve had this side of the actual zombie apocalypse … hmmm, maybe I should rephrase that… Na! My story — “A Colder War” — grew into an epic tale of exploitation, betrayal and violence, set at an unexpected time in an unexpected place. No, I don’t intend to elaborate — you’ll have to grab a copy of the book when it appears to find out how domovoi get into the act.
And why on Earth wouldn’t you?
More about the film version when we hear about it.
- Source: Press release (and personal involvement). To learn more about IDW Publishing, check out their website.