Four kids racing through the night in a broken down van. Dim headlights showing an endless road that slowly becomes covered by the walking corpses of the recently dead. Hungry, tired, and almost overwhelmed with the shock of seeing their world turn instantly into hell on earth, these high school students keep going with the soulless determination of those who have lost everything. No ones talks, no one thinks. Their only shared instinct is to keep going as far away from the horror of their once peaceful town as they can. Keep running, keep driving, find someplace safe. They might live if they can run far enough, fast enough. And then the van runs out of gas...
Zombie Plague started out as a board game that I co-created with Skott Kilander back in 2001. We wanted to make an easy to learn, fun to play zombie game that also felt like a zombie movie. Basically a claustrophobic setting that would slowly build up tension and would have a real feeling of accomplishment once the players won.
I think we achieved this pretty well and a lot of people seemed to embrace ZP as a core ruleset that they could expand and manipulate to create new settings and rules, depending on how they wanted to play. It has been translated into at least four different languages and has a pretty devoted following for a simple print and play game.
Later as I worked to revamp the rules, the four main characters of Zombie Plague started to take on lives of their own. Crissy Hot-Rod, Chelsea Harlow, Timmy Leong, and John Blackthorne developed into fully realized people with clear cut personalities instead of just being “girl with hockey stick” or “shotgun guy”. I realized that I really wanted to tell the story of these kids as well as give them somewhere to go after they survived the horrific night of Zombie Plague. But what was the day like before the game takes place? Crissy and Chelsea are in a band together; Timmy is a baseball prodigy who just wants to play ball and make some friends; John is the classic delinquent with a heart of gold. Where were they before and how did they all end up together in the same broken down van?
As zombie stories became more ubiquitous in comics, I noticed that many of them seemed to focus wholly on the Romero formula of people caught in dire circumstances that eventually turn on each other. I wondered what would happen if a group of survivors stayed loyal to each other and how they could use this loyalty to survive. I liked my four high school students and I wanted to see how they would react if the world they knew suddenly became a living nightmare.
I am starting this Kick Starter project to create a forty five page Zombie Plague comic that will also include revamped game rules. I have begun this challenging project joined by comic artist Phibbz Abando and my RSquared Studios partner Ronda Pattison. And judging from the pin-up art that they have created I’m sure that the book is going to look outstanding. Along with all of the classic contributors like Skott and Ben and Jeff Rodman of Fortress Figures I’m really happy to have Phibbz and Ronda join us.
Zombie Plague has long been a group project and I’ve always enjoyed a huge amount of support and inspiration from a great group of people. I really hope you will join us and help out as we create and expand the world of Zombie Plague.
Check out the RSquared Studios Facebook page for video updates:
- (30 days)