Interview: Peter Richardson Invites Readers into the ‘Zombie Makeout Club’
Interview by Troy-Jeffrey Allen
The hit webtoon finally comes to print! A rebellious high school student is brought back to life in a strange underground facility after committing suicide. Now, she must piece together not only how and why she has been resurrected, but also confront the fragmented memories of her past and the horrors of the laboratory that want to send her back to the afterlife. This breakneck story illustrates a violent vision of life after death.
We talked with series creator, Peter Richardson, about the upcoming graphic novel collection and more!
So, Zombie Makeout Club is a webtoon series, a clothing line, and now you’re bringing the series to comic shops this October. But for those not familiar with your work, what can you tell us about Zombie Makeout Club?
Peter Richardson: The brand started off as a way for me to vent frustration from my day job, working at a mobile video game company. I had to make a straightforward, appeal-to-everybody, type of art, that was controlled by people with business degrees. I’d go home after work, take a nap, and then stay up all night drawing horror and manga inspired art. I stuck those designs on t-shirts, at first mostly just for myself, but then it kinda just caught on and there were tons of people wanting to buy the shirts. Really thankful all those people helped me get out of that day job haha
Tell us about this cast of characters involved. Who are they?
Peter Richardson: Since this was my first attempt at a comic, I wanted to work with a small cast. Each character is definitely a bit punk or anti-conformist in their own way. Each definitely has plenty of quirks. There aren’t any straightforward characters with typical motivations here. Everyone, outside of the main antagonist, has a reason for wanting to die. So definitely not your average bunch.
How did Zombie Makeout Club come about as a project?
Peter Richardson: In terms of wanting to start comics in addition to the clothing line, I was actually inspired to do it more by film than other comics. I watch a lot of independent Japanese punk films from the 80s and 90s. The energy that those movies make me feel pushed me to wanting to go beyond putting my art on t-shirts. I’ve always had a huge love of comics, and manga specifically. I felt that there weren’t many manga that really emulated the feeling of those Japanese punk arthouse movies, so I wanted to experiment and see what that might look like in comic form.
What made you want to bring the project to Ablaze Publishing?
Peter Richardson: I am a huge fan of Maria Llovet’s comics, most of which are published by Ablaze. They also put out a great horror manga, “Crueler Than Dead”. My representative in Europe, Max Arguile, mentioned that he had worked with Rich, from Ablaze, and I think I sort of fanboyed out until he put us in contact. I also created the whole comic while living in Portland, which is where Ablaze is from. It just all kind of worked out, and I’m very grateful for it.
In terms of audience, who would you say your comics are for?
Peter Richardson: Anyone who gets excited for experimental, dark, or alternative comics. Like the movies that inspired it, the comic is aimed to be more of an experience than anything. I think the art may have a lot of appeal for fans of Junji Ito, Tokyo Ghoul, and others. While arthouse horror fans may find the dark story and atypical delivery something to sink their teeth into.
Zombie Makeout Club GN Vol. 01 written and illusrated by Peter Richardson welcomes you to DEATHWISH! A graphic and chaotic comic about life, death, suicide, and the other side. Brought to you by the creator of ZOMBIE MAKEOUT CLUB. Collecting the popular webtoon comic series, plus bonus material! Reserve your copy with PREVIEWSworld Pullbox.
Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the producer and co-host of PREVIEWSworld Weekly. His comics work includes MF DOOM: All Caps, Public Enemy’s Apocalpyse ’91, Fight of the Century, the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics, and the Ringo Award-nominated Magic Bullet.