WARNING: Before clicking on any of the links in this article, please be aware that many of them go directly to Billy Tackett’s website. Billy advises that those who suffer from heart problems, weak stomach, fear of the dark or a shortness of a sense of humor should never visit his website www.billytackett.com.
In order to better understand what makes the shambling horde shamble, it is important to employ only the brightest, the strongest, the bravest and most twisted of imaginations. The Zombie Survival Crew has hunted far and wide for new recruits, having successfully located loyal supporters of all colors, shapes and sizes. But even the best of the best are not always able to look at the enemy from inside out. Our elite Special Forces Brigade combines brawn, brains, creativity, and experience into a powerful, unstoppable force of sheer awesomeness to do just that. Just last week we introduced you to our Special Forces Commander, and this week we will begin to delve into those on his command.
For starters, who else but zombie mashup master and creator of the original Zombie Sam, the world’s foremost Zombification Specialist™ Billy Tackett can bring us a unique, striking and honest perspective on our future foes? Few others have had the foresight to ask the most difficult questions of all, the what ifs of the upcoming Z-pocalypse.
What if ‘monsterism’ is the next stage in natural evolution? Do we have the right to interfere with mother nature? Wouldn’t the killing off of werewolves, vampires or zombies be akin to genocide? Or at least the extermination of a species? Conservation should be the keyword. We live in a world filled with endangered species lists. I’m not sure we can justify killing off a creature just because it wants to eat us.
Billy’s approach to the growing undead problem may seem unorthodox, even controversial. Some may suspect he’s a sympathizer and a security risk… but the Zombie Survival Crew thinks otherwise. In a world changing rapidly before our eyes, a kill or be killed attitude is not only common, but for many it’s the only way they can imagine survival when the dead outnumber the living. Billy’s unique perspective is not only one that should not be be lightly cast aside, but may in fact hold the key to our survival in the days to come. Perhaps in better understanding that which we perceive as our enemy, we might find a way to survive and even co-exist in the next evolutionary era.
Billy hails from a rural Kentucky town, and little has been documented about his childhood. He began drawing zombies, vampires and other undead things that go bump in the night in the 1970’s. But you’ve seen his work. Everyone has, somewhere at some point in their lives. His work has appeared in magazines, book covers, as fine art and advertising illustrations. He has spent the last decade and more building a solid reputation and a loyal fan base from all walks of life. We’ve seen him on National Geographic, in Horrorhound and ImagineFX magazines. Billy’s always entertaining Daily Arting gives us something to look forward to as we struggle forward with the daily grind, and we strongly recommend an occasional dose of Splatter Art for everyone.
Among others, Billy has created brilliant cover art for authors Robert Silverberg, Shane Moore, Piers Anthony, Richard Lupoff and fellow Special Forces Brigade member Jonathan Mayberry. Billy’s Dead White & Blue comics series are a masterpiece of horror, patriotism, humor and ingenuity that no self-respecting zombie genre fan should ever miss. He has also recently launched his own line of apparel and merchandise, and his art book For the Love of Monsters is also available to all.
Billy is always on the move. He travels the country on an exhausting schedule, keeping in touch with fans, supporters and his fellow ZSC members at all times. Billy doesn’t actively recruit for the Zombie Survival Crew, choosing instead to educate and inform the public of the nature of Monsterism from a rarely-seen perspective. For his love of monsters and for decades of awe-inspiring artwork, we salute Special Forces brigade member Billy Tackett.
With the holidays upon us, things have been a little hectic around the command center. Not only are processing all the reports coming in of suspected zombie activity, and with the cold temperatures who knows what will happen, the Oracle is dancing around sprinkling tinsel everywhere and has put up so many blinking lights the command center looks like a 70’s discotech. So despite the serious task at hand, command does have the holiday spirit.
And now to bring you a little holiday cheer is the commander of the Orange Brigade, our very own RC Murphy. And if this isn’t proof that she’s been spending too much time with the zombie bunnies, then I don’t know what is.
Walkin’ in a Zombiepocalypse (to the tune of Winter Wonderland)
lyrics by RC Murphy
Zombies groan, can you hear ’em? On the walls, blood is glistenin’ A horrific sight, A world full of fright Walkin’ in a Zombiepocalypse.
Gone away is the old world, Here to stay is a new world Of death everywhere And being so scared, Walkin’ in a Zombiepocalypse.
On the sidewalk lays a rotting body, It begins to twitch and moan and groan. He’ll rise, very hungry We’ll arm up then And blow that sucker’s Brains all over town.
Later on, he’ll expire, As we set him on fire His face full of rage We’re saving the day, Walkin’ in a Zombiepocalypse
Everybody SING! Walkin’ in a Zombiepocalypse… Walkin’ in a Zombiepocalypse… Walkin’ in a Zombiepocalypse…
It has been a wild, crazy, and sometimes downright chaotic twelve months. For those of us who were here when the foundation was laid for the Zombie Survival Crew, those twelve months have flown by. When we sat back recently to look over the progress we’ve made we realized how truly astonishing an accomplishment this empire really is.
And we couldn’t have done it without you, our ever-faithful crew members.
Day by day our numbers grow and we’re introduced to new folks that are eager, ready to take on the shambling horde coming our way with nothing more than a 2×4 and their courage to aid them. The sentiment warms our hearts. It also makes us realize how lucky we are that you all have accepted us so readily. Your support has taken the ZSC from, “I wonder if…” to reality with enough energy left over to drag us into our second year of existence.
We stayed in touch with Zombification Specialist Billy Tackett after our interview with him earlier this year, and now Billy is one of our Special Forces operatives. Back in February he hinted that there were some fun projects in his future, but didn’t want to jinx himself. Now we’re finally getting a sneak peek at what’s kept him up to his eyeballs in rotting flesh for the last few months.
Billy has taken his iconic Zombie Sam image and turned it on it’s head, creating Dead, White, & Blue Comics, a graphic novel centered around Zombie Sam and his Fightin’ Yanks. The artwork harkens back to older comic book styles while delivering on the grotesque and twisted humor. Hope y’all have a strong stomach for this one.
From billytackett.com, “During World War 2 Sam & His Fightin’ Yanks were a comic book sensation. Every red-blooded American kid followed their monthly adventures in Red White & Blue Comics, never knowing that their favorite Star-Spangled heroes were actually based on real live super powered beings! During the final days of the Great War something began to go terribly wrong. Sam and his partners Fannie and the Sarge began to turn into horrific, cannibalistic monsters! They were taken out of service and put into suspended animation.
Fast forward to the day after tomorrow: The evil that Sam & His Fightin’ Yanks battled decades before has returned with a vengeance! Every man, woman and child on Earth are in danger. Our only hope lies in the monsters we once called heroes…”
The creative plot and use of existing zombie pop culture references has us really looking forward to Dead, White, & Blue Comic’s release. Billy has a 14-page teaser up on his website right now. Crawl on over and get a taste of what is to come from this amazing artist.