The Moth Storytellers Hired for New 'Night of the Living Dead' Comics
Going from slam storytelling to zombie storytelling may seem like a stretch, but that is what happened to six storytellers from The Moth, the lauded group that is behind the popular podcast and NPR show.
Double Take, the graphic imprint of Take 2 Interactive, is launching 10 Night of the Living Dead comics in September and when it came time to find writers, Double Take's chief Bill Jemas looked to The Moth as his talent pool.
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"It’s always a struggle to find good writers," said Jemas, who as the former president of Marvel was instrumental in launching the Ultimate Comics line that brought then-rising writers Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Millar into the Marvel stable. Bendis has gone on to become one of Marvel's star architects while Millar, after writing key books, now writes comics Hollywood loves to option.
"I'm Big NPR fan and my wife and are Moth fans," said Jemas, who has attended storyslams. "Moth came on the radio, and the sunshine came out. We started to call Moth writers and the response has been great."
Now, established scribes, from those with Hollywood experience to a teacher in Hartford, Conn., are among those writing the comics.
The company has hired Brian Finkelstein, a former Emmy-nominated writer on Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show; Peter Aguero, a professional storyteller and Moth veteran who also worked in Moth’s community outreach program; Second City alum and Moth GrandSlam winner Jessica Williamson; stand-up comedian and Moth GrandSlam winner Brad Lawrence; screenwriter Aaron Wolfe; and teacher and novelist Matthew Dicks to tackle the new comics.
Jemas is also co-writing a couple of the books.
"These are people with an ear for language," Jemas said. Another bonus, per Jemas: "Moth people are people who have experience in the real world. They are visceral and realistic. That talent is rare."
Double Take’s stories will take place in the Night of the Living Dead universe established by George Romero. The comics will have a mix of old characters and new, with the authors given considerable leeway to unleash their imaginations. Stories will run the gamut of involving President Lyndon Johnson and the Secret Service to the 1968 movie’s character of Barbra to sexy co-eds fighting the undead.
The plan is to launch all 10 comics in print and digitally at once on September 16. Julian Rowe, David Wilson and Kurt Tiede are among the artists.
"This is a nice pile of newbies," Jemas said of his writers.
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