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by Vince Brusio

An accomplished writer with Oni Press’ The Sixth Gun regularly attached to his name, Cullen Bunn is known to be equally at home writing about Marvel’s Merc-With-The-Mouth, Deadpool. Which is a good thing. Because Deadpool's the man. Don't dispute us!

When news broke out that Night of the Living Deadpool (NOV130696) was on the blood red horizon for January 2014 shipping, it was a no-brainer (pun intended) that we had to get the dirt on this latest Marvel milestone. In this exclusive interview, we reached out to Cullen to get the latest word on his upcoming Deadpool project, and how he thinks it will play out as a gonzo tip-of-the-hat to George Romero's film and...Abbott and Costello.

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PREVIEWSworld: You seemed to have a lot of fun with Deadpool Kills the Marvel UniverseDeadpool Killustrated, and Deadpool Kills Deadpool. But this book doesn’t fit into that “killogy.” So how did you approach trying to raise the bar with this book? Or did you take an opposite approach, like “Been there. Done that. Let’s go jelly fishing in the middle of the Dead Sea!”

Cullen Bunn: I loved working on the “killogy” but this book, being unrelated to that madness, was a refreshing change of pace for me. I’ve taken a completely different approach to this story. The challenge here is telling a “new” zombie story, something with thrills and chills… and then throwing Deadpool into the mix and bringing his brand of mayhem to the game. This is a Deadpool story, yes, but it is also a full-on zombie onslaught.

PREVIEWSworld: This book is in black-and-white. Was that your decision so as to bow on one knee to the original Night of the Living Dead flick? In this book, how else do you salute George Romero and his zombie legacy? And if you met George, what would you say to him?

Cullen Bunn: I met Mr. Romero years ago at a horror convention, and I stammered and stuttered about how much his work meant to me. Horror… including zombie horror… has always meant a lot to me. Mr. Romero has always been a big influence.

We definitely went with black-and-white as a tip of the hat to the original Night of the Living Dead, and the trick of leaving Deadpool in color allowed us to do some really interesting things with color (or lack thereof) throughout.

There are other salutes to Romero’s movies in the series, but there are nods to numerous zombie and horror flicks, from Night of the Living Dead to Reanimator to Tombs of the Blind Dead. You’ll have to try to spot them all!

At the same time, I’ve tried to bring something unusual to this zombie apocalypse. These zombies have their own unsettling nuance. I think folks will dig the creepiness of it all.

PREVIEWSworld: Deadpool comics are known for being over-the-top. Zany to the point of mindless. But that kind of off-the-rail energy can make one get carelessly bitten by a zombie. And then, that’s all she wrote for the Merc-With-The-Mouth. Therein is the fun, correct? Kind of like how the stupidity of Lou Costello makes it so much fun to watch him barely escape the fangs of Dracula. Do you take inspiration from those old school slapstick comedies, like Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstein?

Cullen Bunn: It’s interesting that you mention Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein. When I first started planning this series, I kept that movie in mind. The great thing about that movie is that while Abbot and Costello are sources of humor, the monsters are all played for scares. The humor comes from the comedians. The horror comes from the monsters. And the two magnify each other. This is Deadpool’s goofy zaniness against a backdrop of unrelenting horror. 

PREVIEWSworld: Cullen, what was going on in your life at the time that you were writing Night of the Living Deadpool? Who were you secretly snuffing every time a zombie gets whacked? Help readers sit in on a taping of Inside the Actor’s Studio if they could catch a glimpse of what Cullen Bunn’s life was like when he sat down to pen this comic.

Cullen Bunn: While working on this series, I treated myself to some inspirational viewing and reading. I raided my zombie movie collection, letting them play in the background, watching them late at night while the house was quiet.

I tried to remember the night I watched the remake of Night of the Living Dead for the first time. I was living alone in a massive, gloomy house deep in the secluded Ozarks.

I was watching the movie on a big screen TV that was situated next to a huge picture window overlooking the yard and the forest. Nights were dark and fog-shrouded, and I could envision zombies shuffling through the field toward the house. I scared the hell out of myself.

I read stories from some of my favorite zombie fiction, especially the Book of the Dead anthologies edited by John Skipp and Craig Spector. Others included World War Z by Max Brooks and The Rising by Brian Keene.

There’s so many awesome takes on the zombie mythology, I just tried to stay focused on honoring the past while creating something new and scary as Hell!

PREVIEWSworld: Last question: Fantasy Island time: If you could pitch a Deadpool story to Marvel that they would HAVE to approve, regardless of lawsuits, what would it be?

Cullen Bunn: Well… I pitched a Deadpool series that I thought might be pretty amazing… but the timing wasn’t right. That’s the book I’d love to have a “hall pass” with. I just don’t want to say much about that one. You never know, right?

But… in the spirit of the question, how about Deadpool Kills Comics? Deadpool would go after characters from Marvel, DC, Archie Comics, Oni Press, Dark Horse! It would be a 12-issue bloodbath of epic proportions!

ITEM CODE TITLE PRICE
NOV130696   NIGHT OF LIVING DEADPOOL #1     $3.99  
NOV130697   NIGHT OF LIVING DEADPOOL #2     $3.99  
DEC130750   NIGHT OF LIVING DEADPOOL #3     $3.99