Painting With Shotguns #63

You Got Your Vampire In My Zombie Apocalypse

“You got your zombie apocalypse in my vampire!”

Oh-ho-ho! Silliness abounds! And blood! And rotting flesh! It’s like beer and hot wings!


So, that cover there? Yeah, I didn’t do that. That is not a cover I created. That is a cover created by Abaddon Books for their Tomes of the Dead line of novels. And it happens to have my name on it.

Ta-da! I’m writing a novel for their Tomes of the Dead series and that is the first mock-up cover — a cover that they were kind enough to let me share with you crazy tmeeps.

The notion behind the book is, “Goddamn, it must suck to be a vampire who wakes up starving and finds that the world has been eaten alive by an apocalypse of zombies.” (By the way, “one apocalypse of zombies” is equal to “one hundred hordes of zombies” — that’s some End-of-Days math for you.) It’s like waking up and discovering that all the food has spoiled overnight. If you find a cow, sure, you could just eat it.

But then you’re once more without food. No cow, no food.

Now, look at that from a vampire’s perspective, with all the complexities of being undead and…

Well. You’ll just have to see.

So, I’ll keep you abreast (abreast — titter!) of the news as it comes rolling in about this project, but here it is: the cover to Double Dead, a gonzo apeshit road-trip vampire-zombie novel. Please to enjoy. (Oh, and hey novelists who also happen to be fans? I’d love to hear from you, see if you’d be willing to throw some quote love in my direction for this book. No pressure. Ignore the 9mm pressed against your temple.)

I know, I know, I said Painting With Shotguns might be going on hiatus. And that could happen at any time. It could drop dead of a heart attack like that — *snaps fingers.* But c’mon, it was too good to resist. That vampire there? He’s holding a shotgun. And it’s a painting.

Shut up. No, you shut up.

(That cover, by the way, is by the brilliant Pye Parr.)

And The News Keeps On Rolling In

In case you missed the other news, the Sundance Film Festival announced their short film program for 2011 (this January) and — guess who’s on the list?

Pandemic (aka “Mono”), a film by Lance Weiler and written by Lance and myself, is headed to the festival. The film is a precursor to our feature film, which continues to move forward in development.

Also, we’ve got a whole mind-exploding multi-tiered transmedia event going on during the festival as part of Sundance New Frontier, and Gowalla is a part of that, leading up to a really cool secret DJ show. You can read more about that whole kaboodle riiiiiight here (Mashable).

Walking Dead

Back to the zombie thing for a minute — regarding The Walking Dead, I like this i09 article which talks about the scenes from the comic which really should’ve also been scenes in the television show.

To be clear, I like the show. I do. I think despite complaints to the contrary, the writing is pretty good, the direction is firm, and the actors do the job given to them quite well.

But that last episode was beyond wobbly. With one fell swoop they just swept mystery (and in some ways, hope) right under the rug. Got too science-fictiony right there at the end. And we gained no resolution, and no meaningful character information, and it felt like a really flat way to end it — it was already sad to have a six-episode season, a stunted withered fruit of  thing, and now they had to go and cock it up with that? Yes, I get it, they went out with a big boom as far as the action sequence goes, but we really got no “big boom” in terms of character.

I’ll stay with the show — it’s still a show infinitely stronger than most genre television. I just wish they could harness some of the strength of the comic book instead of leaving it by the wayside.

Oh, Obama

Hard not to feel like we got a president whose steel spine was actually more like a hollow cardboard tube, the kind that holds wrapping paper. Wrapping paper he might’ve used to wrap up the lovely tax victory present he gave to the Republicans earlier this week.

Andrew Sullivan thinks it was actually a genius move, and I’m willing to see that maybe, just maybe, he’s playing the long con on this and is a lot savvier than we’re giving him credit for, but even still, I may be naive but I would feel a lot better having a present who stood up for the people directly rather than doing so quietly by playing backroom (“backdoor?”) politics.


Links, Links, Linkity-Links

Aaron Sorkin takes down Sarah Palin for hunting on her faux-reality show. (I agree with his assessment of her, but I don’t agree with his assessment of hunting.)

Crazy incredible photos from Rio’s Drug War — the recent assault on the drug gangs in the favelas makes for a powerful array of photography.

Anybody played Fighting Fantasy: City of Thieves? (It’s an app.)

DO NOT CLICK THIS LINK. No, really. As one poster called it, “NSFL,” Not Safe For Life. Really. I’m warning you. Don’t click it. But if you do click it, make sure to watch all the way to the end.

Finally, watch this magnificent speech from Bernie Sanders about the war against the Middle Class in America. Then, when you’re done, pass it around.


  • I love the cover. The city, the gun, the fangs—‘seventies noir with that certain vampire je ne sais quoi .

    And congratulations again for Pandemic. What a coup!

  • *throws a fit on the ground* I wanna be a writer! I want to write! I Wannnaaa!!! Baaaawwwll!!!

    …*gets self together*

    Sorry about that. Awesome news about the book! It sounds really interesting. I may pick it up when it’s published.

    About the Obama thing…I still say, regardless of whatever he does or whatever he had promised or whatever he failed to deliver, he was the best choice we were given at the time. We would have fared no better if the other guy had won.

    And I have this feeling that if Obama did stick up for us directly, he’d be impeached faster than…okay I suck at metaphors. Really fast, okay?! It’s not the President that’s the problem, it’s the whole damn political system. But since I don’t really know much about that topic (have no interest either), I have no idea how to make it better, and thus, I’ll just accept what I get until someone smarter than me can change things.

  • – Everything about that book screams badass. Definitely keep me updated, since it’s the kind of kooky horror-fusion stuff Rory and I love. No, really. We need to get our meaty paws on it yesterday.

    – Agreed 110% re: The Walking Dead. Though I still wish, pray and hope Norman Reedus becomes a regular principal than just a recurring guest.

    – Dude, I’m a little disappointed in the Not Safe For Life video. Here I was thinking it’d be something truly awful. I have to admit, I LOL’d.

    • @Kate —


      And that video — I laughed, too, it’s just, wow, it goes somewhere you really don’t expect.

      And if you expected it to go there, you may officially be Too Disturbed For The Internet.

      — c.

    • @Wood —

      I’m sorry — who are you again?

      I kid. I KID.

      And thank you, sir.

      Novel’s not written in its entirety, yet — Abaddon accepts pitches, ala freelance, ala commission. So I was able to put together a whole pitch package. (And once more proof that writers who don’t outline better learn how to outline. Because what did they want as part of the package? An outline.)

      — c.

  • On Obama, on just don’t get the mindset. It’s always couched in general terms as you’ve done here, e.g., “more spine”, “fight harder”, etc. What exactly would that look like? What would that specifically entail? I think the short answer is: better speeches, fewer actual accomplishments. Sorry, I’ll take actual accomplishments every time. If you think that Obama just caved and gave the Republicans everything they wanted, you’re not looking very far. Spend two minutes perusing any of the far right websites, and you’ll see they’re fairly livid about the compromise.

    Oh, and congrats on the book. The cover is sweet.

    • @Justin —

      Listen, I’m more than willing to agree that there’s more to this than the left is willing to see. (And a suggestion: if you’re suggesting that this was a win, fine, but it would help if you dropped a link or two to highlight the realities. In other words, tell us what the accomplishments are.)


      a) The GOP being livid means approximately zero. He could make one of them Vice President and they’d critique it, because that’s ultimately their goal right now — hammer on him until he’s not the president anymore.

      b) Obama this entire time has been saying one thing — “Will not extend the tax cuts to the rich, will fight for the middle class” — but what just happened here isn’t that. So, it’s a pretty clear indicator of a compromise that at least *on the surface* little sense given the country’s long term economical outlook. This does nothing to get us out of that hole. Tax rates right now are far shinier and happier than they were under Conservative King Ronald Reagan. Hey, I appreciate a president who can compromise. But this *feels* like more than a compromise, and perception is everything in politics.

      Now, maybe this is (again) a long con that helps actually turn that perception around, but I’m not yet sure how.

      — c.

  • On Obama… yeah, he could have stood up and refused to compromise on the tax breaks. Sure, I would have cheered his audacity and cheek. and nothing would have happened, the unemployment benefits that are keeping hundreds of thousands of families afloat would have expired and he would have been taking a page from the Republican playbook by not compromising. If there was going to be any compromise, any solution to any of the rancid bullspunk that is our current government logjam, it had to start before the lame duck congress got dissolved and the new wave came in. He couldn’t get anything going with the current bunch of yahoos and Gingrinches, so he’s got the attention of the New Batch. He caved, but it puts him in a good place to make battles that will do more.

    In the end, the rich get their tax breaks… but so do the middle class and those unemployment benefits are extended 13 months. Compromise. Nobody entirely happy, but things are getting done to improve the lots of the most possible. It’s that same as when a lot of the left were incensed that the health bill didn’t have coverage for abortions. With abortion coverage, it was NOT going to get passed. Without it, there was enough support (or lack of opposition) to ram it through. Perfect? Hell no, the New Batch are gonna try and take it down. Better than nothing? Hell yes. Now, instead of trying to get something to happen, it’s going to turn into a battle to make it better.

    Democracy… the worst form of government ever devised, except for all the others.
    – Winston Chruchill

  • That cover is beyond awesome. Totally frameable. Congrats on everything Chuck!

    And on the Obama thing, I go in and out of following politics/news – I pay attention, get frustrated, check out for a while, then check back in. After November election burn out, I am just checking back in right now…your link was helpful. This link also helped explain what happened a bit and made me feel slightly less like I voted for George McFly (With the Repubs being Biff. Not sure who is playing the role of Doc or where they are going to find a Delorian…)

    And on Sarah Palin – did you read about the Palin/Kate Gosselin episode? I still haven’t seen the actual show, but reading this might suffice:

  • Ezra Klein offers the best explanation of the tax deal’s upside:

    a) You’ve misunderstood my point. You’re correct that the GOP (and I don’t really mean the GOP, I mean the Right) will always have something bad to say about Obama. What I said was that they have bad stuff to say about the GOP for agreeing to the deal. The Far Right thinks this is just as bad a deal as the Far Left. That’s significant.

    b) He did fight for the middle class, which is precisely why he got such a good deal for them as part of the compromise. See Klein’s column linked above.

    • That’s a great link, Justin, thanks.

      I think it makes a good point, too — he’s good at inside politics, bad at communicating his decisions and victories.

      That, by the way, is not the president the people elected. And that could be a problem for him. Now, I don’t know that the GOP is going to have anybody to offer — after all, most presidents end up as not the president you elected, and they still end up back for term number two.

      Still, it’s troubling. Campaign against inside baseball, turns out to be powerfully good at inside baseball.

      Outside that, you also have the problem that in the long term, we’re reaching some troubling economic levels in this country — it’s as if we have considerable credit card debt, the rate keeps going higher, but the head of the household wants us to keep paying the minimum monthly payment. We owe. Fiscal responsibility is gone on both sides of the aisle. It’s a little scary.

      — c.

  • My thoughts exactly re: the Walking Dead finale… we don’t need a CG animation and a guy in a lab coat to explain to us the situation is hopeless. That’s pretty well implied by the show itself.

    The episode bypassed lots of juicy character drama in favor of pointless exposition and red LED countdowns. It deliberately wasted the viewer’s time.

    Still really enjoy the show on the whole, though, and looking forward to next season.

    • Exactly, Daniel — just seems a puzzling choice. Don’t we already have a physical threat? Called zombies? Do we need a rogue AI and a building that needs to maybe blow up? Shouldn’t the “explosion” have been an interpersonal one?


      Hopefully this doesn’t represent a total fork on the road for the series.

      — c.

  • Excellent news, sir. That is one hell of a cover and Abaddon looks to be doing some really cool things. Can’t wait to get a copy in my grubby, little hands. Which, incidentally I got off a street urchin. I keep them in a jar of formaldehyde for just such occasions.

    And Pandemic, well, let us know if it goes on the road. Looking forward to seeing it.

    Love the Rio shots. The Big Picture always showcases amazing work. I particularly like this one of the sulfur mines of Kawak Ijen.

    I’m sad to say that, though I like most of the writing, the acting and Frank Darabont’s work in general, The Walking Dead pretty much lost me by the second episode and the coffin nail went in at the next to last episode.

    *spoilers for those who care and haven’t seen it* My problem with it was that it was too on the nose. Let’s talk about how it’s the sister’s birthday and how she’s loved and even in this hopeless wasteland there’s still something good and wonderful to care abou-

    Oh, shit, she died? Eaten by zombies you say? Huh. Didn’t see that coming.

    The foreshadowing was a bit thick. Haven’t seen the season finale. Kind of doubt I will.

  • Taking a breather from familial drama (let me just say: raising a teenage girl? No picnic.) to distract myself with some commentary:

    1) Walking Dead: My biggest problem with this show is the fact that Frank Darabont appears to have completely misunderstood what made the graphic novels so compelling. Instead he’s abandoned almost all of that, in favor of giving us a rote-standard zombie thing… except in long-form, for television. Kinda misses the point, in a BIG way.

    2) Obama: I know that folks are saying that it’s a genuine compromise, does some good for the middle-class, etc. The problem is this: Obama’s tactic, on EVERY point of importance to liberals from Day One, has been to give away the store as his *opening bid*. After two years of that, preserving tax cuts for the top 2% — EVEN IF IT GIVES SOMETHING (and not much) to the Middle Class and poor — is just the straw that’s broken the base’s back. A bridge too far. It’s another “compromise” that gives 2 for every 1 it gets in return, and rewards the Right for their “our way or no way” nihilism. He’s just another re-heated leftover 1970s-whimp Democrat, instead of the break with the past that he campaigned as.

  • Congrats on the book and Sundance! Sounds like you have some great stuff in the works.

    I’m pretty cynical about politics and politicians, but this whole tax mess has left me frothing with indignation. Add the defeat of the DADT repeal and pay raises for the military and I just don’t know what to say other than wtf. This is supposed to be the season of generosity. Bernie Sanders’ speech got me so fired up. Too bad there aren’t more politicians like him.

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