It’s weird, but I suppose unsurprising, that you can browse the web for months and yet completely overlook something, even when it’s right up the alley of what you might be looking for. For example, while checking information for our visit to the upcoming WonderCon (no booth, just attending), I noticed an advertisement for something called Gone Zombie. Lo and behold, upon clicking the link I was presented with 80+ pages of a well illustrated, full color zombie webcomic that I swear I had never found reference to in any of my Googling up to that point.
That might just be my blindness more than anything, since I did put in “zombie webcomics” today and got a link on the first page of results, but then again maybe they only recently did some search optimization? I freely admit I don’t follow every single zombie webcomic out there, but I do at least like to be aware of my fellow travelers. This is more difficult than it might seem given the high startup (and shutdown) rates in the webcomic world, but with Gone Zombie I found a project that’s been updating since before Zombie Ranch even started, and has definitely not been abandoned. On the other hand, it’s not listed on TWC or any of the other usual suspects, so I don’t know how good they’ve been about getting the word out so far (his blog mentions they were part of the Zuda competition before Zuda stopped hosting most of their comics, but I admit to not having followed the Zuda much).
Therefore, for what it might be worth I’m going to play Good Samaritan and do my part here in directing the dozen or so of you wandering by this blog to give it a look. Stephen Thor (how cool is that name?) is a first-time author, but he’s crafted an engaging story so far and I’m enjoying his sense of pacing. Also, he’s gathered a team of very-much-not-first-timers around him to do the art and lettering side of things, and that really shows in the final product. These are folks who have worked for Marvel, DC, Boom!, and there’s more than one of them on the team… ask Dawn how much more time she could devote to details if she had a professional inker, colorist, and letterer working with her and she’ll respond with a wistful sigh. But though I’m sure these guys aren’t all working as volunteers, the website has absolutely no ads and even the (very occasionally updated) blog is tucked away. That means there’s not much in the way of additional content once you’ve clicked your way through the storyline, but there’s also no filler or distractions, so it’s a very pure experience.
Speaking of the purity of the experience, in the one interview I found with Stephen Thor, he confesses that he reads absolutely no other zombie comics or webcomics, out of fear of his own work being influenced by them. That almost turned me off, seeing as sounded like a similar attitude to what Stephenie Meyer has been quoted on regarding her Twilight series and vampires; however, where SMeyer has never read Dracula, Stephen has at least seen (and loves) Night of the Living Dead and several other zombie and horror flicks, and has an intelligent grasp on what the genre is about. It’s just a shame that should I meet him at WonderCon, I most likely won’t be able to talk to him about my own comic on account of his phobia.
It also means I’ll probably never see a mention of Zombie Ranch in his blog, but hey, being a Good Samaritan is all about selflessness, right? Gone Zombie is a fine little comic, so if you haven’t found it already, go now and give it a read.