ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It's so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you're striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter. All content of this blog is copywrited by Weston Ochse.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Last Zombie Infects Me All Over Again

Nothing like hot sun, cool water, and a zombie comic. Nothing better unless it's from Brian Keene. He can tell a story and in the world of comics, I'm envious. I've recently been writing comic scripts so I'm becoming familiar with how the experts are doing it. From Steve Niles, to Chuck Dixon, to Jeff Marriotte, to Warren Ellis, I'm learning the art of taking my story and creating a visual and narrative symbiosis.

Essential Defenders, Vol. 3 (Marvel Essentials) (v. 3)I'm a self-described Bronze Age comic book lover. For the uninitiated, this is roughly 1970 - 1985. Loved the Team Ups. Loved the What Ifs. LOVED the Defenders. In fact, my wife got me The Essential Defenders for Christmas, which saved me from going into my jacketed and boxed collection. There's a certain naivete with the Bronze Age. The characters aren't all knowing, rarely even know themselves, and make a lot of mistakes. I think that was a character of the time reflected in the comics. It probably represents me most accurately.

Desolation Jones
Take modern comics, for instance.Warren Ellis, whom I love, created Desolation Jones among many other great works. But representationally, I think Desolation shows a modernism in comics that is polar opposite of Bronze Age. The character seems to understand himself. He knows more. Not that he's smarter than his 1975 counterparts, but as a character, Desolation is representative of a society with instantaneous information, which includes self-reflection and self-knowledge. That said, modern comics are very aware of themselves and inculcate social issues to a much greater degree.

Back to Brian... what he's done with The Last Zombie, and earlier to a degree with Devils-Slayer, is merge modern and Bronze Age comic realities. The soldiers and characters retain much of the naivete, hoping the best in people, unsure what the right answer is, and relatively unaware of their own interior motives. Yet all the while Brian is able to weave social issues and a level of self-reflection not often found in Bronze Age.

And his soldiers are spot on. Brian's ability to represent the reality of brothers in arms, soldier on soldier dependancey and love is absolutely perfect. I saw many of my friends in the characters of The Last Zombie.

Yep. Brian did it to me. I'm infected all over again. For a long time I've had my desk covered with comic covers because it's who I am. I forgot that for awhile.  My desire has been rekindled. I need to read more comic books. I need to write comic books.

My goal for 2011 is to have a comic script accepted. So all you publishers out there, watch out for it. I'll be calling soon. Expect it. The stories are exploding out of me. Ideas are oozing from my skin. I have a story to tell. I have a comic to write.

Gotta go now. My panels are calling.

Weston Ochse
Tarantula Grotto
Sonoran Desert

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