Dead Reckoning Interview with Z.M. Thomas

by Rob Caprilozzi

Minneapolis Police Officer, Ryan Gavin, has been thrust into the very beginning of a zombie apocalypse, where the dead are tearing the living from limb to limb.
However, things go from bad to worse, when his brother-in-law is bitten by one of the infected, forcing Ryan to make a decision that could either save one life, or end them all.

We caught up with writer, Z.M. Thomas to talk about Dead Reckoning.

Horror News Network: How did the concept for this title come about?

Z.M. Thomas: I’ve always had a passion for the living dead, and have always dreamed of adding my own stamp to the genre. I remember growing up, enjoying Romero, Lucio Fulci, Kirkman and Alex Garland/Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, but always wanting more from the stories. I had always wanted to delve into the medical science behind such an infection, and just plant the seed of the hypothetic question “could this could really happen” in the back of the readers’ mind, and really use that to my advantage to scare the hell out of audience.

Horror News Network: Can you tell us a bit more about the main character, Ryan Gavin?

Z.M. Thomas: Having grown up in the state of Minnesota, and having family that have government jobs in Hennepin County as well, it felt really natural to create Ryan Gavin as the main character. By having Ryan as a member of the Minneapolis police department, it was important for me to create someone who could be at the forefront of an outbreak, and having the proper training in how to deal with such a situation. It was also a perfect opportunity to create a character, who would have the natural instinct to help others, and putting others first, even if it wasn’t within his or his group’s best interest.

Horror News Network: In your opinion, what will separate this book from other zombie comics that are currently on the stands?

Z.M. Thomas: Dead Reckoning separates itself from the crowd as one of the few books that actually explains the cause of infection, and avoids the “Unexplained Virus” cliché. The book also starts in the middle of the outbreak, instead of throwing the reader into the middle of it, allowing for the reader to really get a sense of the hopelessness that the characters are/will be going through throughout the story.

Horror News Network: What can we expect from this series in terms of blood, guts and scares?

Z.M. Thomas: There are definitely a few scenes where I think the gore-hounds will absolutely rejoice! I’m not afraid to get a little gritty, gory and extremely bloody, and I’m certainly not known for pulling my punches [laughs]. But without spoiling anything, there’s a scene that comes to mind, about forty-five pages in that will leave even have the most seasoned horror fans picking up their jaws from the floor.

Horror News Network: Can you talk a bit about the artists on this book?

Z.M. Thomas: Absolutely! Cliff Richards, who did the pencils, did a phenomenal job at creating a level of gritty-realism that is both beautiful, and horrifying at the same time. The thing I appreciate about Cliff is that he isn’t afraid to go to some extremely dark places with his artwork, and I think the book really shines as a result. Of course, his pencils are accentuated by the coloring of Michael Bartolo, who really took Cliff’s artwork to the next level.

Horror News Network: Where can our readers find out more information on this book?

Z.M. Thomas: The book is being published by Arcana Comics, so would be an excellent source for everything Dead Reckoning. Also, you can follow me on Facebook at Trepidation Comics, another excellent source for anything Dead Reckoning. Otherwise Dead Reckoning: Contagion should be available at your local comic book shop this October!

Horror News Network: In closing, what would you like to say about Dead Reckoning: Volume 1 Contagion?

Z.M. Thomas: This is only just the beginning! There are some big things being planned in the world of Dead Reckoning.

Horror News Network: Thanks for your time! Best of luck with Dead Reckoning!

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