If you’re a big zombie buff like myself, then you may have traipsed along the webcomic “The Zombie Hunters” in your internet travels. The title is pretty self-explanatory as to the premise of the story if you haven’t though (post-apocalyptic world with only a fraction of human race left surviving amongst the living dead type stuff going on). I managed to snag a small interview with webcomic artist and creator Jenny Romanchuk about her work on her baby.
Me: So, you’ve mentioned [in your FAQ] that the whole idea for the comic came about from an idea you had had with a bunch of your friends. How exactly does an idea for a collective zombie comic just come up one day?
Jenny: Thats a good question actually. I think we all have those moments where you and your friends are all “Oh wow, we should totally make a comic about the zany things we do etc. etc”. It mostly started out like that, but we just really had no idea what kind of plot, universe, or err, thing our ‘zany’ adventures should be in, so the idea of all of us being in a comic got thrown on the backburner and was more of a fun after-thought then an actual project idea. (I think that was grade 11? Or at least I was in grade 11 everyone else is a year younger than me)
A few years after that I then had a dream about zombies with my friends [in the dream], and thus the idea of TZH was birthed! (though the TZH story is WAY different than my dream)
Me: Dreams do make for the most interesting of story ideas, I’ve come to find out.
Jenny: Yeah! Seriously! And it might sound all whimsical “wooo it came to me in a dream” fluff but that was a pretty badass dream.
Me: Do you think it was the result of watching too many zombies movies?
Jenny: I didn’t watch any movies. Zombies at that point in my life terrified me more than anything. (more than needles, more than…uhhh, wow, I wasnt scared of a lot–oh mold, mold freaks me out) I had to overcome a lot of things in order to do this comic.
Me: Have you had problems with keeping up on an interesting script, or does it just come naturally?
Jenny: Ummm, sometimes. Sometimes I’ll get stuck, but you just have to work through it. The script has been reworked probably over…oh man, a lot of times. When I first started the plot was very very different from where I am now. My writing and my views, have changed and matured a lot.
Me: So you’re changing things as you go?
Jenny: Not necessarily. Some things haven’t changed at all from the beginning, but some things have. When I first started writing this I was very young and didn’t quite understand how the world worked and how–well I didn’t quite understand people. When you are 16-17ish you view the world differently then if you are, say, 22. Not saying I have seen it all and I am a wise old bitty (I still have a LOT to learn) but I know a lot more about things then I did when I first started. *nodnods*
Me: I’ve noticed that your style since the beginning of the comic has changed from that of a slightly more light-hearted humorous and comic-y outlook, to much grittier and more serious tone. Does this reflect your style evolving, or will there be changes back and forth in tone as things continue?
Jenny: Ah, I get that question a lot.
I am going to keep the gritty style for inconstancy’s sake, and I will be ditching, or at least reducing the crazy chibi ‘anime’ style because I am not liking it. Its not who I am. I don’t even watch anime. I just used it in the comic because, well one at first the comic was supposed to be a silly gag-a-strip comic, and two, it was just sooo easy to draw, haha. But as I am discovering I don’t need to use that kind of style to be silly–or to show humor. But that doesn’t mean the comic will be serious all the time, ’cause thats not how life is really, and especially in a world like this, if you can’t laugh things off… it will just eat you alive. (basically, keeping the serious look, still will have the humor =D)
Me: So what’s your overall goal with TZH?
Jenny: Hahah wow, ummm, well when I first started it was all just a fluke. I have absolutely NO idea what I was doing with this comic. I just wanted to do it because it was fun, and I am still doing it because its fun. I love doing this comic! My goal is to give people a story to read – my goal is to make people think, to feel things for the world and characters alike, to set out and finish a project. To see it be finished; to put my design and artistic skills (and shyness oh my god the shyness) to the test–push boundaries. *inspirational fanfare music plays in the background*
And if I can make this comic into a job where I could do this all day, I totally would 😀
Me: So, what’s YOUR zombie escape plan? (aka: when/if zombies overrun the planet, how will you survive?) *actually has one herself*
Jenny: Hahaha, ummm, realistically? If zombies were to happen, especially if its the TZH world–oh just you guys wait. I’m giving the survivalists the run for their money– I DON’T think I would make it haha. I actually don’t have a survival plan at all, because most things usually never go out as planned; especially in a chaotic situation such as a major catastrophie like a zombie invasion. And, there are a lot of other things some people fail to take into account–like–something I am going to stress a lot in the comic; its not JUST zombies out there who want to kill you.
Me: Well rain on our post-apocalyptic parade why don’tcha?
Jenny: Hahaha, oh that makes it all the more fun!
Me: *has to now modify zombie escape plan*