Can we rebuild him?
Hello Mr Reader, I'm delighted to write that the brilliant Zombo return to Prog 1825! The loveable undead brainchild of Al Ewing and Henry Flint, who politely shuffled into our Prog in 2009, was an instant hit with the readers spawning three epic, madcap adventures.
When we last saw the decaying daredevil, he was nothing but a puddle of splatted bone and gristle after sacrificing himself to stop the evil Obmoz (confused? Don't worry, there's a full Zombo recap after the step by step!) However, with an insane severed head piloting a death planet on a collision course with Earth, it's imperative that 'The Government' get Zombo back on his putrefying feet as soon as possible! Don't panic Earthlet, trust your government.
Over to the insanely talented Henry Flint to tell us more about this weeks' curious cover. He says"As you can see from the sketch, once it's been passed by editorial it's sometimes a good idea to tweak it here and there. After finishing the sketch I thought the image bore too close a resemblance to Dave Gibbons' excellent Dan Dare cover from Prog 81."
So here is the codpiece-tastic sketch...
The Fl1nt droid risks a visit ti Mek-Quake by going off-sketch...
And here is Dave Gibbons' classic Dare cover, I wonder if Dan is wearing a bright red electric codpiece under his pace suit?
Dave Gibbons? Never heard of him.
"The composition seemed to cut the cover too evenly in half which seemed a bit undramatic so I needed to angle it just slightly for my own piece of mind. The line down the middle turned red - the opposite of green on the colour wheel, nice clash!"
Henry made further tweaks "The eyes on the planet were removed as I simply couldn't get it right and anyway the cover text needed to go somewhere, so best that went. Grey skin goes well with every colour... Might not paint Zombo green anymore, grey is much better!"
Say it ain't so Mr Lunatic Artist, I like my Zombo a putrified green!
Below is the finished cover. I can't wait to see which silly places Mr Beardy Writer and Mr Lunatic Artist take us on Zombo's latest adventure - 'Planet Zombo!'
Another striking cover by the genius that is Henry Flint.
Finally, here's how the cover looks on your newsagent's shelf...
Lovely colour choices on the logo.
Thanks to Henry for sending the wonderful images and his scandalous words. Be sure to check out his wonderful blog at http://henryflint.wordpress.com/ and buy his amazing Broadcast book here, I can't recommend it highly enough!
Zombo - The Stories So Far...
If you're new to the the wacky world of Zombo, I will attempt to recap his adventures to date, as well as showing each cover to date.
Can I meet you?
A government starship en route to the Epsilon-6 Orbital Station crash-lands on the mysterious planet Chronos. The passengers of the ill-fated craft include government officials, a group of civillians and... something else. Within moments of the crash, the sentient death planet has wiped out the majority of the survivors, forcing the others on a desperate hunt for safety. Among the group are two government agents, who zealously protect a mysterious capsule. Before long the capsule opens, revealing a terrifying, yet wonderfully polite Zombie, sporting a bright red, electrified codpiece.
We discover that the creature is the result of the Biome-Z project - Earth's response to the threat of an undead invasion from a dangerous Zombie Planet. These nasty planets lure colonists in, allowing them to settle before viciously murdering then reanimating them. The agressive Zombie Planets wish to use their zombie army to attack humanity, making all of mankind 'Like us,' in it's undead image.
As Zombo leads the dwindling group of survivors to the safety of a remote research base, they are attacked by a group of inbred, Twister-playing, redneck cannibals. While Zombo battles the hillbillies, the planet unleashes a terrifying, hurricane-like Death Shadow, which rips the flesh from bones in seconds.
Zombo calmly enters the black maelstrom but is unharmed. We discover that the death shadows were manmade, created by the same Earth scientists who created Zombo, to be used as a weapon against the interplanetary zombie invaders. The death shadows were dropped on several planets but proved ineffective against the undead as they were unable to digest fetid flesh. However, the planets themselves have been able to utilise the weapons, turning them against their human creators. Zombo explains that he himself has been created to stop the death shadows, his undead body making him impervious to attack. We also discover the death shadow on Chronos was put there as a field test of the mighty Zombo. As the planet itself was relatively empty and had limited powers of reincarnation, it seemed the perfect place for an assessment.
Zombo absorbes the death shadow and is able to take control of it, turning it into a devastating weapon of his own. He obliterates the pursuing hillbillies before they can finish off the final surviving passenger of the crash, a lawyer called Ms Hollister. Zombo asks Hollister to accompany him on a search for a ship to escape the evil planet but she declines, choosing almost certain death by taking her chances in the vicious jungle...
"Merry Christmas, Mr Zombo!"
Zombo has been spending the months after his insertion onto Chronos hunting and eating the remainder of the planet's redneck settlers. Another doomed starship crashes onto the planet, this time comprising of a film crew. The crew were planning on filming 'Buddy Noel's Christmas Joyfest of Joy' aboard Hank Epsilon's Theme Park-like Epsilon-6 Space Station.
The planet violently wipes out the entire cast and crew using a carnivorous Christmas Tree, vicious face eating baubles and, of course, sentient tinsel. The whole disgusting spectacle is broadcast live to millions of homes back on Earth, and doesn't go unnoticed by a set of bored, very disillusioned teens...
Smile Mr Rebel!
The latest craze for the disenchanted youth of Earth is uploading your gruesome demise to Death-Tube, in the hope that your suicide gets a coveted five star rating by it's viewers. After witnessing the massacre on Buddy Noel's macabre Christmas special, the Suicide Boys, led by the nihilistic Kingboy, venture to Chronos in search of fleeting fame thanks to a similarly spectacular demise. Zombo is only too happy to oblige.
High above the death planet, staff on long dead Mascot Mouse creator Hank Epsilon's opulent space station are preparing to televise the grand finale of popular talent show 'Stars in the Stars.' The show, hosted by cybernetic critic Myron Snyde (his circuits enable him to make two thousand judgements per second!) boasts a huge cash prize for the winner. Among the throng of desperate, fame-hungry hopefuls are a rat-pack inspired heist group on a mission to steal the prize money and a curious man with one hundred thousand bees...
Back on Chronos, Zombo's online popularity goes right through the roof and straight to his rotten green head. Accompanied by the Suicide Boys, he decides to blast off in search of further fame. As the group prepare to leave the planet we see that one of Zombo's victims has reanimated and shuffled aboard their craft. The motley crew depart with a course set for the Stars in the Stars competition on Epsilon-6.
Zombo, the Suicide Boys and their undead stowaway arrive just in time for the talent show. As Zombo's performance causes distress, anguish and even vomiting amongst the crowd, his undead passenger claims it's first victim, one Jackie Lagoon, leader of the heist mob. The zombie contagion quickly spreads on the claustrophobic station and the undead horde grows, causing panic and destruction throughout. One of the zombies finds her way to Hank Epsilon's Cryogenic Chamber, the final resting place of his frozen head. Meanwhile, in another part of the ship, her undead dog attacks the owner of the bees, knocking him into several of the hives...
Oh what a glorious thing to be, a healthly, deadly, 'orrible zombee.
The massive zombie throng attack the audience of the talent show forcing Zombo, Snyde and the remaining Suicide Boys to retaliate. During the fighting, Zombo plucks out the diamond encrusted eye of an undead Rat Pack member. He cuts a hole in one of the windows of the space station, sucking the zombies and himself into the void of space. As the ghouls explode around him, Zombo uses his death shadow to pull himself back into the space station, just as the airlock slams shut.
Back on board and the zombies keep on coming. Zombo and his comrades electrocute the majority of the zombie horde by using a burning teen to set off the sprinklers next to some exposed wiring. Unfortunately, this shorts Myron Snyde's judgement circuitry, rendering him unable to express any negativity at all!
Suddenly, Zombo is attacked by Zombee - the unfortunate beekeeper who is now a monstrous entity made entirely of angry, undead bees! As the two fight it out, we discover that the head of Hank Epsilon has been reanimated by the zombie virus and wishes to betray all humankind. He persuades the now pleasant and compliant Snyde to help him escape the stricken space station.
As Zombo and Zombee continue their battle, reinforcements arrive in the form of the no-nonsense General Sir Thaddeus Nigel Beast, who orders Zombo to board his ship immediately. Meanwhile, the now undead Kingboy has made his way to the station's main control room, triggering the self destruct mechanism to ensure the ultimate Deathtube score. Zombo uses his death shadow to dissipate the bees and escapes just as the station explodes.
As he is picked up by General Beast's ship he meets his new handler - Ms Hollister, who managed to escape from the Death Planet in the original story...
The Day the Zombo Died.
After the destruction of Epsilon-6, Zombo is on his way back to the safety of the Government-run Earth. However the president already plans replaced him with version 2.0 - Obmoz, the anti-Zombo. Quicker, more powerful and a lot less polite, Obmoz is tasked with improving the president's approval rating by fighting crime on the streets before taking the fight to the zombie worlds.
The president sees Zombo as a failed prototype and orders his assassination, using a disruptor in Ms Hollister's newly manufactured robotic arm to cause a malfunction aboard Zombo's spaceship. The attempt fails and the group reach Earth, leading to an awkward meeting between Obmoz and Zombo. In a charm offensive, Obmoz kisses Hollister's hand, discharging the disruptor and frying his obedience circuits.
No longer under government control, Obmoz kills the president and fights with Zombo. Our hero tries to shoot Obmoz with a gun hidden in his secret agent cap, but ends up blowing his own brains out instead! Is this the end of Zombo?
Zombo loses his head.
As Obmoz continues to attack the presidential staff, General Beast saves the day, blasting the undead villain out of the window and into the street. Obmoz flees, swearing bloody vengeance In the calm after the storm we discover that the president has made an insane digital back up of himself, known as Homo Digitus, and refuses to be replaced. We also discover that Zombo has a second brain, located in his bottom. The brain bursts into life, much to our heroes horror!
Agent Karen, a technician on the Zombo project recounts Zombo's secret genesis. The Zombo Project (i.e. mixing human and zombie DNA) was the brainchild of Dr Procoptus, an elderly scientist with a penchant for male strippers and porn. She and her team tricked male stripper Eric Rabinowicz into stripping for them in their lab and signing forms to say he consented to become Zombo. As part of the procedure they swapped his brain, putting his original in his bottom!
As Hollister attempts to console and rehabilitate the shocked Eric, Obmoz tracks down Zombo's creator, Dr Procoptus. The doctor agrees to help him overthrow the corrupt president by giving him the power of one million Zombos!
Hollister recounts her own horrific experiences on Chronos, recalling how she needed urgent medical attention after losing her arm. She remembers a lab with lots of full-body prosthetics and decides this may be a way to help Eric defeat Obmoz. She calls the laboratory but there is no answer. There, we see Hank Epsilon, complete with fancy new robotic body, was wiped out the staff, helped by the docile Myron Snide...
Obmoz, now encased in a giant astral projection launches a final attack on the government, who retaliate with the terrifyingly cheesy Planetronix program. Obmoz easily swats this aside and manages to kill General Beast too. The general's death buys enough time for Hollister to order Eric to retreat, with a quick electric shock to the codpiece for good measure. This reignites the death shadow, which Eric uses to enter Omboz's astral projection. Belting out 80's 'classic' "Male Stripper" by Man Parish, Eric launches himself at Omboz, taking off his pants and throwing them onto Omboz's head. The codpiece fries Omboz's brain, killing him and saving the day (did I really just type that?
When the smoke clears, we see that Eric just now just a stain on the pavement.
As the survivors debate whether to try to save Eric or not, the decision is made for them, Hank Epsilon has commandeered a world and is on a collision course with Earth... Zombo must live again!
Henry Flint Extra
I'm not messing with him!
Henry also sent these fine, fine images from his recent Megazine cover. Over on his excellent blog he discusses composition and colour choices, brilliant!
I'm not messing with him!
Git big chopper!