From inking new nightmares to painting fresh horrors, artist and writer Nat Jones has made a career out of creating all things creepy for comic books (’68, Spawn, 30 Days of Night), video games (Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition), and other formats.
What goes on inside the brain of an award-winning horror artist? We reached out to the source for answers …
You’ve done a considerable amount of work with zombies throughout your career. What’s the allure?
It really all goes back to being a horror fan and growing up watching everything from Universal horror to the Romero films with my dad. Monsters, ghosts, demons — the dark stuff — it all inspires me; it’s all fun. There’s nothing more fun to draw than creepy, oozing, undead things. To me, the real allure of ’68, though, is the unique voice of that Mark Kidwell has given the story. We are actually doing something new with zombies.
What makes the “zombie” such an enduring and popular subject in comic books?
Zombies work in comic books for the same reasons they do in film, novels, and other mediums. They tap into some very primal places. Zombies signify not only death but life as one of a mindless, violent horde. They are us, and deep down we know that we are the scariest thing out there.
Many super heroes have been turned into zombies for “alternate universe” storylines. Which super hero has/will make the best zombie, and why?
I’ll say zombie Hellboy, because as ridiculous as a zombified demon is, I know Mike Mignola can make anything kick ass!
If you could apply your trademark style to any comic book franchise, current or old, what would it be?
That’s easy: Batman. I would love to have a run at the villains, because there is so much great psychological horror there.
Lastly, what’s your idea of the “ideal zombie”?
A bad case of rabies and a rash? the “infected” make for some fun movies but to me those are not zombies. Give me the creepy, crawly dead things!
Contributing author Matt Bradford (@MattoMcFly) is a co-host of Zombie Cast; a weekly podcast discussing all things zombie, horror, and pop culture; and featuring segments by ZRS’s own Matt Mogk.