This Zombie is Better Than Yours: Frank Cho talks "Zombie King"

Thu, March 24th, 2005 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Seth Jones, Staff Writer

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Any comic fan familiar with Frank Cho knows that he delivers ladies that are pleasing to the eye.

But coming late next month from Image Comics, Cho rips, blasts, saws and crushes all that with "Zombie King."

"Of course [there will still be hot chicks]," Cho says. "Hot busty chicks are my trademark at this point. (But) I would rate the gore factor high. It's pretty gory at times, but not too gory to the point of being cartoony."

The "Zombie King" is the tale of what happens when a pharmaceutical company creates a drug that can mend bones, reconnect nerves and even reanimate dead cells. Only one drug company has the product, and only they know the dark secrets of this new medicine.

"Zombie King" #0, Page 1
In issue 0, disaster strikes in the heartland when the North Dakota warehouse containing this new drug is broken into. Now, with zombies terrorizing the countryside, the locals have to take action or they'll buy the farm.

Written and drawn by Cho, with co-writing, set designs and character designs credits to makeup artist Eric Crowe -- a comic book newcomer - "Zombie King" promises to be some undead goodness.

"I've been a life-long horror fan and zombies were one of my favorite monsters. I think the idea for 'Zombie King' came after I saw the 'Resident Evil' movie," Cho says. "I came up with a zombie list of do's and don'ts and the rough story quickly formed from there. The opening scene in 'Zombie King' will be one of the hilariously disturbing sequences in recent horror comic history."

"Zombie King" #0, Page 9
The story has been sitting on Cho's desk for over two years now. That's why he's itching to take it on.

"I'm going to hit the floor running. It's a pretty straight-forward zombies on a rampage story," Cho says. "I'm pretty jazzed. I wrote the 'Zombie King' story before I started 'Shanna.' So the long wait made me more excited to draw 'Zombie King.' 'Shanna' let me fulfill my dinosaurs and jungle girl need, and 'Zombie King' will fill my horror needs."

The characters are still getting polished up -- Cho wants to kill off any redundant characters before they get to the printed page. But he does promise huge amounts of zombies -- think of how many people were angered by their favorite college basketball team last weekend -- now put that number in terms of zombies, and you get the picture.

A long-time horror and zombie fan, Cho considers the new "Dawn of the Dead" remake, "Re-Animator" and "The Return of the Living" dead as some of the greatest zombie flicks of all time. And for inspiration?

"Zombie King" #0, Page 10
"I look at old Berni Wrightson art from the 1970s and read Robert Kirkman's horror masterpiece, 'The Walking Dead,'" Cho says.

All this zombie talk has Cho ready for the release of his book... but if he were ever faced with a zombie himself, the artist/writer gives himself a slim chance of success.

"Depends on the environment, but I doubt I'll last too long against an army of zombies since I'm out of shape and will get winded easily," Cho laughs. "My weapons of choice? A machine gun, a samurai sword and a big-ass HumVee with a full tank of gas."

 
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