FIRST: If you’re confused by today’s comic, it’s probably because you didn’t realize there were 4 pages of comics in my first post on Halloween. Don’t worry, it happened to people even smarter than you. I believe I fixed it so this won’t happen again, so go to the Johnny Zombie Archives and read what you missed. I’ll wait right here.
Okay? Great. Now…
When I first started looking into this inscrutable internet-thing, I got excellent guidance and advice from Erika Moen, Dylan Meconis, and Trixie Biltmore— all of whom speak “web” fluently, while I’m lucky to mumble it with a thick, analog accent. Steve Lieber—professional, patient, and pithy— helped me over hurdles big and small, directly and indirectly. Even my good pal and web comic newbie Ron Randall showed me a trick or two! My nephew Nicholas Reyna helped me start hammering the site into shape— until I hammered too hard and it broke! Enter Ken Westfall— Nick’s old roommate, a professional web designer, and (thank God!) comics fan. I can safely say that without the Herculean help of St. Ken this site would look more like something from 1995 Compuserve. If that.
Carmine Di Giandomenico is a great artist and even greater guy. Earlier this year he did a Johnny Zombie poster for me, which I used as the “Under Construction” image here before Mad Genius officially launched. It’s a wonderful piece, and sets a very high bar for all future Johnny Zombie artists.
David Hahn cleared that bar, easy. He was my first and only choice to draw this Johnny Zombie story. I’ve always loved his art, and knew it would be edgy enough for a zombie story while still open enough for a Christmas tale. And I’ve always wanted to ink him, another huge plus. Not to mention the equal-sized horizontal panel layout was something David came up with and I wanted to, um… “borrow” for Johnny Zombie, so I kinda owed him the right of first refusal. Made my day when he said yes.
I was lucky enough to have Grace Allison color Carmine’s JZ poster earlier this year, so she was the natural choice for this story. She’s also a damn fine cartoonist, and I knew I had to grab her before bigger and better offers came her way. Which they will.
Thank you, each and every one.
Also: Big Thanks to every single person reading this. Your response to Mad Genius and Johnny Zombie has been amazing and uplifting. I’d keep writing and drawing anyway, but it means a lot knowing there are other people who get a kick out of these comics, too.
Last but far from least…
Thanks most of all to my wife Myrna. She puts up with me, encourages me, inspires me. She listens to all my crazy comics ideas, and has an amazing, instinctive sense of story— what does and doesn’t work. I am better in every way because of her. She has given me the kind of life I’ve always wanted, and I try very hard to return the favor. The best day of my life was our wedding day. Except for every day since. Thank you. Love you. Love my life with you.
Monday: Why Zombies?