A number years ago, I wanted to be a late night monster movie host. I wanted to be the Crypt Keeper or SvenGhoulie. I wanted to combine my love of crazy comedy and genre cinema. I saw a hole in the Phoenix creative market. No one was doing this at the time in Maricopa county. I sought to fill that hole. Dr. Zombie was born.
Dr. Zombie first saw the dark of night on Halloween of 2009. I used him as the persona that I would embody to host live screenings of black and white “B” level sci-fi and horror films of the 1950 and 1960s. I did this with my good friends Steph Carrico and JRC of The Trunk Space, when it was on Grand Ave. For a couple of years, I hosted public domain schlock primarily at The Trunk Space.
My personal favorite night at that glorious space was when I hosted a film near Halloween, they had a pumpkin carving contest, and the sensationally macabre one-man band The Slow Poisoner opened the show. The weeks leading up to it JRC and Steph really did some fun creative promotion in designing a series of flyers with silhouettes of pumpkins, me, and The Slow Poisoner. Downtown Phoenix was covered with these flyers. There was excitement in the air. I still get chills thinking the fun we had that night and the promotion we did the weeks leading up to it. In 2011, The Phoenix New Times gave the Best of Phoenix Award to Dr. Zombie for Best Horror Movie Show. No doubt, the New Times writer that bestowed the award on Dr. Zombie was in attendance at the Trunk Space on that magic night.
Later that year, some film programmers took on a similar mantle. They hosted midnight schlock under the guise of a mad scientist host. A couple of my friends were upset about it. I respect their feelings, however, I didn’t feel anger about it. They’re film programmers. Film is one hundred percent of what they do as creative people. I do more. Comics, improv comedy, stand up comedy, writing, etc. So, Dr. Zombie became a character for all of those things and more. I wrote Dr. Zombie’s “Horror-Scopes” for the Trunk Space’s ‘Slide Rule’ zine. I did fake comedic radio plays with my friends as Dr. Zombie. I revived my stand comedy routine taking the stage as Dr. Zombie. I even designed a Dr. Zombie card game, which led to a Dr. Zombie fine art show.
I did host one last movie in October of 2016 at Super Saver Cinemas as Dr. Zombie as a final celebration of what brought him into being.
However, let’s talk comics. Dr. Zombie is perfect for comics. You can get a comic book of Dr. Zombie’s twisted tales for your Kindle right now even. But, we are doing different comics now. Yes, the gag-a-week comic is now in Dr. Zombie’s lab. Like a fool, I have recently been trying to contact Rob Liefeld about making his “Shrink” comics into a calendar. I loved the idea of a psychologist treating a different superhero each month. But, he’s promoting things these days. Go figure. “Shrink” belongs to Mr. Liefeld, but the concept of a genre comic in the gag-a-week format can belong to everyone. So, that’s what I’m doing. I’m smashing sci-fi, horror, and the gag-a-week format together to create “Dr. Zombie: Monster Family Physician”. The concept is that he’s a monster family physician, because the mad science lab doesn’t pay much and he has to a do a day job to fund his passion. I hope you enjoy this bizarre journey of cartooning and comedy.
Check out the above link to see those monstrous comics.