Imagine a world where extraterrestrials descend on Earth and release a poisonous gas to befit their own respiration, rendering large swatches of the planet inhabitable. The gas is generally fatal to all forms of life, but some humans change into horrible aberrations who are only satisfied by destruction. Unlike their alien ‘parents’, these abominations are capable of breathing both inside and outside the fog, rendering them even more dangerous. What’s left for the planet’s rightful inhabitants? Occasional trips into the fog for supplies while they avoid the unwanted intruders?
Of course not, because no self respecting human goes down without a fight. They fight. They resist. They plan to retake their home. They are The Fog Walkers.
The creators of this ambitious graphic novel series, husband and wife Tim and Alorian Haire, have decided to take a few moments to tell us about the conception, execution, and story of the first issue of The Fog Walkers.
Alorian Haire: I have been a fan of horror movies since I was a kid. I still remember burying my head in my father’s shoulder while we watched The Exorcist until he told me the ‘scary part’ was over, although most of the time he told me to look when the scariest scenes were playing! I have always been a fan of the good vs. evil aspect of storytelling, especially with the group dynamic. I’m a die-hard fan of the Resident Evil games and especially movies like Zombie 2, Dead Alive, The Evil Dead series, 28 Days Later… pretty much every zombie movie created!
Tim Haire: I am a huge geek and nerd, I often don’t understand why people say you cannot be the best of both of those worlds. I love all things Zombie, I love survival horror, and what got me into these things goes back to the old black and white Night of the Living Dead. Then when Resident Evil came out, I was in love because of the interactivity of the story. More often than not, my wife will find me dwelling on something and she says “You’re trying to figure out how to use that during the Zompocalypse, aren’t you?” For the most part my reply is “Yes!”
BW: Your series, The Fog Walkers, seems to be a wellspring of several different ideas converging on the undead. What were your influences?
Alorian: We are fans of cosplay, larping, photography, etcetera. Neither one of us can draw too well, but I like to think I’m talented in the way of manipulating images to be what I want them to be, and Tim has past experience with photography. My biggest influence without a doubt is definitely the work of Joss Whedon – especially Firefly. We like to joke that our medic, Cidney Barton, is the daughter of Simon Tam and Kaylee Frye because of her sunny disposition and medical background. Also, movies/shows like Aliens, The X-Files, The Devil’s Rejects… pretty much every zombie movie to date has been an inspiration.
Tim: I am also a huge fan of comics and we draw a lot of inspiration from the works of Robert Kirkman and Frank Miller and the art work styling of Charlie Adlard. There is also a story going around the internet about a Russian experiment during WWII about taking prisoners and pumping this gas into the room that was also a stimulant, and it literally turned those inside into Zombie-like creatures that needed the gas to survive after a point.
BW: At the moment, there is one issue of The Fog Walkers forthcoming. How many issues have you planned for? How far in advance do you develop your plotlines?
Alorian: We have 10 issues planned for the first volume of The Fog Walkers, maybe more. We have the story already written up to half of the first run, but ideas for the future volumes are already set and just need to be embellished. We hope you guys grow to love the characters as much as we do… but just remember that we are fans of Whedon and George R.R. Martin, so you might not want to get too attached!
Tim: What she said!
BW: What have you found is the hardest part of completing a graphic comic series?
Alorian: I think the hardest part so far would be finding a good place for ‘studio’ shots! Right now we’re using our front porch and it’s working fine, but we can always do better. We’re in talks for a 6,000+ sq. ft. studio, so hopefully that’ll be a reality soon enough and we can have a designated place for photos. We’d love to have a set made up in some of the space as well.
BW: How do you go about casting a series that relies upon real actors?
Alorian: We start with a character in mind and then look for those features in our actors/actresses, however, sometimes someone will surprise us and we’ll re-think the character. For example, Marla Kinney wasn’t our first choice for the role of Lt. Col. Rathborne; the character was initially 6 ft. tall and blonde, but when we met Marla and experienced her infectious enthusiasm and devil-may-care sarcasm, we knew we’d found what we were looking for in Rathborne.
Tim: And our medic, Cidney Barton, played by Hannah Bass, was not even originally in the story, let alone a main character. She was so enthusiastic about the comic book when we met her that we came up with a character, and she did so well with it we decided to make her a permanent fixture.
BW: In the event of a zombie apocalypse, where would you go and what would you do?
Alorian: I would stick close to my husband, who has far better creative ideas than I do as well as a shotgun and melee weapon!
Tim: I would say since we already are here, farmland, where there are already barbed wire fences with generators for working away from the house, I’d add a few spike-lined trenches, a tank of diesel, an abandoned car maze, and set up a few rifles with scopes since everyone where we live has at least five and they know how to use them. We’d use the space to grow food and live stock, and as a plus, since we’re near a river to use as a water source, we could make a water wheel. And we could always rig an alternator to a bicycle or go to one of these cell towers with a solar panel. Alternately, a Home Depot or similar hardware store would be a good place to fend off due to the amount of improvised weapons lying about, fenced in garden area, and plenty of building materials.
BW: Certain aspects of the undead have been pretty divisive among fans. Is there anything about zombies you’d never do? Is there anything you’re dying to see done?
Tim: This is where my wife and I differ majorly. I believe that when a person is infected they are still capable of running, jumping, and more. If they were torn up before they were reanimated, or they started to rot, then they would likely shamble and lunge.
Alorian: I am a die-hard fan of zombies NOT running – if they are strictly zombies! But our abominations are more of a mutated zombie, so running is totally feasible in our series! Not only do they run, but also they are incredibly feral and animalistic. And you do not turn if bitten in our series.
BW: Interesting! Well, we look forward to seeing how The Fog Walkers plays out! Thanks for stopping by!