Zombie Survival Crew’s Special Forces Unit is the place for the strongest, toughest and most experienced battle-ready warriors of our team. You won’t always find them on the front lines, but you can count on them to be there when the situation calls for expertise and precision, or even when some good old-fashioned butt kicking is needed.
This week we introduce you to our Special Forces Unit’s most versatile and multi-talented members. This man has worn many hats – actor, wrestler, philanthropist, comic book hero and so much more – ZSC brigadiers, salute Special Forces Unit member Brimstone.
A man of many talents, Brimstone started his career at an early age with children’s television series Sesame Street and Romper Room. The New York City native had a career in music performing with bands such as Image, Who’s Laughing Now, and Bugsy. However, his interests soon led him down another path. At the age of 21 he launched a career in wrestling, finding his spot in the ring among leaders in sport entertainment nationally, internationally, and across the independent circuit.
Before long, Brimstone discovered a new passion, and stormed the comic book scene with an arsenal of creativity and talent! As co-founder, President and CEO of Hound Comics, Inc Brimstone launched his comic book series Brimstone and The Borderhounds on October 31, 2010 at Borders Books and within months the series was a worldwide success.
Deep inside the Borderlands a seemingly endless well of creative merchandise was discovered
Borderhounds has a line of branded merchandise including Eastsport Backpacks – not too shabby for creating a Go-Bag, in case you were wondering – Troll Lord Games for Brimstone RPG’s, Demeter Fragrances (Cologne/Perfume), 3 Coconut Monkey (Vinyl/Plush Toys), Dragon Song Forge (Brimstone Swords), Serenity Custom Drums and… food.
Lots of food. Spicy, hot and sweet.
Brimstone has labels under CaJohn’s Fiery Foods and The Jerky Connection, (Brimstone’s jerky is a perfect addition to any go-bag for tasty on the road rations), ButterWinks Cookies for the sweet tooth and a multi-award winning line of gourmet hot sauces and spicy seasonings.… are you hungry yet? Check out Food Hound: Tidbits for more palate-pleasers!
When Brimstone is not watching over the Barren Wastelands, brewing up a new hot sauce flavor or developing yet another brilliant plot for worldwide domination, he can be found at various conventions and events across the United States. As proof that even the toughest of tough guys can also have a heart of gold, Brimstone also volunteers his time aiding numerous charities and causes, including: RADD (Rockers Actors and Athletes Against Driving Drunk), and Project Meridian Foundation.
If any evidence of the pen being mightier than the sword must be given, Special Forces Brigade member Jonathan Maberry will gladly oblige. While ZSC Command seems unable to agree on exactly when Jonathan joined the crew, all reports indicate that he appeared in the command center in the middle of the night and made himself at home. Upon closer inspection, it was discovered that Jonathan’s impressive expertise in the area of zombie literature is not the only talent he carries with him. At this point, ZSC Command decided that they probably couldn’t make him leave if they really wanted him to… but it was also decided that nobody wanted him to leave and he was immediately assigned to Special Forces.
Jonathan has nearly fifty years of martial arts experience, and has achieved an 8th degree black belt in Shinowara-ryu Jujutsu. This former bodyguard and bouncer has invested valuable time teaching and sharing his knowledge with a vast range of self-defense groups of all ages and backgrounds. He’s been inducted into the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame, and the word around town is that he’s also taught combat techniques to CIA agents and Special Operatives. His earlier works revolved mostly around martial arts and self defense, including Judo and You, Ultimate Jujutsu and Ultimate Sparring.
Our previous Commander Monday field reports have centered around actors, directors, producers and others closely involved in the film and television industry. As we continue to delve deeper into the ZSC Special Forces Unit, we will uncover those with an even wider range of talents and unique abilities. This week the spotlight falls upon a different stage as we take a look at our next Special Forces Brigade member, musician and songwriter Paul Phillips.
While it’s true that Paul’s experience with actual (un)living, (not)breathing zombies may seem somewhat limited, he has faced a shambling horde of an entirely different sort, made up of adoring fans and admirers from one rock & roll venue to the next. His extensive traveling experiences alone have no doubt taught him that sometimes the best way to survive is to keep moving, with one eye on the horizon up ahead, and the other to the road behind.
Paul Philips hails from Brunswick, Georgia and first began plucking at strings from an early age. He has admitted to taking a few lessons but is primarily self-taught, taking inspiration from his father’s musical background as well as influencing bands such as Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Pantera, Nirvana, and Alice in Chains. Paul’s travels took him to Florida and eventually further West. In 1999 he landed in Los Angeles, California, which eventually led him to join forces with the alternative rock band Puddle of Mudd . Their first album, Come Clean, was released in 2001 and has gone triple platinum while selling nearly 4 million copies to date. Paul also toured briefly with the band Operator, releasing one album before returning to Puddle of Mudd. In 2011, Paul and Puddle of Mudd parted ways once more as he decided a much-needed break from the road was in order.
Paul is currently operating out of Jacksonville, Florida. He recently completed work on the upcoming filmNitro Circus 3D, for which he was offered an opportunity to compose the original music score in collaboration with former Puddle of Mudd bandmate Damien Starkey. he has also been involved in The Fallout Collective and Chiller Channel’s Real Fear.
We look forward to seeing more from our own resident rock star, and have nothing but confidence that he will continue down the road to success wherever it may lead…
If you’re just joining us for this series, please be sure to check out our previous Commander Monday reports!
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.
A whole slew of Zombie Survival Crew commanders and sergeants-at-arms will be attending Wizard World Philadelphia on June 19-22nd. Your duty, brigadiers, is to ensure the undead hordes don’t find a way into the convention center. So grab your go bags and head on over.
When: Thursday, June 19th through Sunday, June 22nd
Where: Pennsylvania Convention Center – Philadelphia, PA
On the eighth day, God created Michael Rooker and said “That should give the zombies something to worry about.”
True story. Special Forces Commander Michael Rooker is badder than ol’ King Kong, meaner than a junkyard dog. Foes alive, dead or mostly dead quake in their boots when he’s around. The UGA couldn’t catch him. If you look up “badass” in the dictionary there’s a photo of him. Chuck Norris has nothing on Michael Rooker. When Michael Rooker speaks, everyone listens. His legend precedes him the way lightning precedes thunder. He is the most interesting man in the world…
That’s enough clichés.
We would love to tell everyone that Michael Rooker is actually a nice guy with big heart and (sometimes) a quiet, observant and soft-spoken manner. We would also love to tell everyone that regardless of his ass-kicking reputation, he doesn’t like violence and is more likely to shoot stuffed animals than zombies, but he would probably not be happy if we ruined his reputation. You can just ignore that last part.
Commander Rooker was born in Jasper, Alabama but spent the most interesting years of his young life in Chicago, where he studied at the Goodman School of Drama. His first forays into acting included appearances in local stage productions and pilot episodes for the television series Crime Story. In 1986 he jumped headfirst into the role of infamous serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, and delivered a truly frightening performance for the cult-classic and controversial film Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. In 1988 he fought for and won the role in Eight Men Out, and also co-starred in the civil rights-era film Mississippi Burning. From Sea of Love , Days of Thunder, and Tombstone all the way up to James Gunn’s Slither and Super, Michael very quickly established himself as a hard-working, talented actor with a determination matched by few.
In 2010 AMC’s The Walking Dead exploded into the living rooms of zombie-genre fans all over the world. Even with only brief appearances in the first two seasons, Merle Dixon quickly became one of his most memorable and sought-after characters. During the record-breaking Season 3, Rooker returned with a vengeance and brought the best of Merle Dixon into living rooms all over the world. It was with heavy hearts and more than a few tears that we said farewell to Merle as Season 3 came to a close.
But as the saying goes, when one door closes, another one opens. That new door leads to Marvel. James Gunn’s much-anticipated Guardians of the Galaxywill feature our Special Forces Commander as the mysterious (and very blue) Yondu.
The Voice of Rooker has also become one of the more recognizable in the gaming community. He has appeared in the mega-hit franchise Call of Duty: Black Ops 1 and 2, Lollipop Chainsaw, and most recently The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct from Activision. When he isn’t filming, voicing or producing, he might be found on the firing range, of which he is a co-owner, or on regular patrols to keep the West Coast safe from zombie infiltration.
Over the last few years Michael has increased his presence on the convention circuit alongside other Walking Dead co-stars Norman Reedus, IronE Singleton, Chandler Riggs, Madison Lintz, Lew Temple, Vincent Ward and… well, everyone else. Always pushing outward, he has expanded his convention visits overseas. He recently visited Germany and Australia, and will be traveling to Japan this summer.
We at the Zombie Survival Crew need no further convincing, Commander Rooker and his Special Forces Unit are more than up to the task as the strongest line of defense in the days to come.
If you’re just joining us for this series, please be sure to check out our previous Commander Monday reports!
Did someone leave a sign in front of the ZSC command center or something? We’ve got another new addition to Zombie Survival Crew Command ready to join our ranks! Brigadiers, raise your weapons and give a salute to Ming Chen, the newest Zombie Survival Crew commander!!
As one of the starts on AMC’s “Comic Book Men” Ming Chen provides plenty of knowledge about all things geek, and takes his share of razzing from fellow Secret Stash employees. Behind the scenes, he’s the tech guru for Kevin Smith’s View Askew and SModCo websites. He cohosts the “I Sell Comics!” podcast with fellow ZSC commander Michael Zapcic on Smodcast Internet Radio (S.I.R.) every Thursday. Ming donates his tech skills pro bono to Street Poets Inc. and The Kenny Gordon Foundation.
Ming joins his Comic Book Men compadre Michael Zapcic as a member of our Special Forces, under the Command ofMichael Rooker.
Raise your arms and salute the newest ZSC commander to join our ranks, Michael Zapcic!
Zapcic may sell comic books for a living, as well as starring on AMC’s “Comic Book Men” but that doesn’t mean he’s unprepared for the zombie apocalypse. Not with a wealth of comic book battles locked in his encyclopedic mind to pull information from.
While waiting for the undead to shamble forth, Zapcic continues to work in Red Bank, NJ at Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash while filming “Comic Book Men.” Every Thursday he records “I Sell Comics!” for Smodcast Internet Radio (S.I.R.) with cohost Ming Chen. Along with his fellow ZSC commanders, Zapcic believes in aiding charities to make the world a better place now, instead of later. He’s proud to support The Wayne Foundation and Lunchbreak of Red Bank.
Last month ZSC Command introduced you to our newest Special Forces member, Brimstone. Not surprisingly, this man of many talents and much energy has one of the busiest schedules we’ve seen in awhile. Here’s a quick (ish) update for what’s happening in Brimstone’s world.
Hound Comics, Inc. and Butterwinks Cookies have entered into a promotional relationship. Keep reading to find out when, where and how YOU can get a FREE Butterwinks/Brimstone cookie!
Interview with the Superhero Speak Podcast from 9/18/13 – Click HERE
Interview with Trash Talking Radio from 9/25/13 – Click HERE
Brimstone on the Chimichanga Talk Podcast on 9/25/13 – Click HERE
October 7th 10pm – 11:30pm (Pacific Time) – Brimstone will be interviewed LIVE on the Brothers Bear Podcast. Make sure to tune in by clicking HERE.
Brimstone will be featured in the November 2013 Edition of Maxim Magazine in an article by writer Steve Leckart. The issue will be on sale on or around October 15th – Keep your eyes peeled!
Conventions and Appearances
Make sure to visit Brimstone at Monster-Con taking place at the Wonderland of the Americas Mall in San Antonio, Texas from September 27th – 29th. First 20 people to visit Brimstone and say, “I wanna be Brimstone Butterwink’ed” receives a FREE Brimstone cookie compliments of Butterwinks & Hound Comics. **Cookies available while supplies last – ONE per family
Brimstone will be appearing at New York Comic Con 2013 from October 10th – 13th at the Jacob Javits Center, NYC. Scheduled signing in the celebrity autographing area is Saturday, October 11th from 12pm – 1pm (add to your schedule HERE). Brimstone will also be signing with the Stan Lee Foundation at booth 3148 throughout the entire weekend.
Catch Brimstone at the Forest of Fear during their opening weekend October 4th – 6th. The tri-state area’s HOTTEST haunt is located in Tuxedo, New York and is rated within the top ten in the United States.
San Antonio, Texas – Brimstone will be back on October 25th – 27th to appear at the Alamo City Comic Con taking place at the B. Gonzalez Convention Center. First 20 people to visit Brimstone and say, “I wanna be Brimstone Butterwink’ed” receives a FREE Brimstone cookie compliments of Butterwinks & Hound Comics. **Cookies available while supplies last – ONE per family.
While you’re at the Alamo City Comic Con, make sure to grab your own copy of the EXCLUSIVE ‘Batman vs Brimstone vs Wolverine’ print ONLY at the Alamo City Comic Con. **Available from ACCC while supplies last
Brimstone will be appearing at Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo November 1st – 3rd at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California.
Brimstone will be returning to the Great Allentown Comic Con on November 16th taking place at the Merchants Square Mall in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
**AVAILABLE SOON** from The Jerky Connection – Brimstone Sweat Heat Meat Treat Jerky! New gourmet jerky using Brimstone’s award winning Sweet Heat Treat(Sweet Chile Hot Sauce). More details as they become available.
Brimstone inked a licensing deal with Serenity Custom Drums in the UK for Brimstone based Snare Drums! More details as they become available.
Bulky Boy Clothing will be producing a Brimstone/Bulky Boy collaborated t-shirt that will be made available on the Bulky website as well as at Brimstone appearances around the country. Artwork is being done by Hound artist ‘DONT‘. More details when available.
Hound Comics, Inc. has officially signed with Troll Lord Games and will be releasing a Brimstone and The Borderhounds RPG (table top role playing game) under the extremely successful Castles & Crusades brand. More details as they become available.
Stay Tuned for the first peek at the’ Brimstone’ custom designed YO! Figure being designed for Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment by Christopher ‘Evilos‘ Avalos. Once the piece is completed – it will be auctioned off by POW! to raise money for charity! More details as they become available.
More more more!
NEW Contest taking place on the Official Brimstone Facebook – ENTER NOW!
Darby Customs to re-create the Brimstone motorcycle from the Brimstone and The Borderhounds comic book series to be auctioned off for two child related charities (Stan Lee Foundation and RAAC). More details as they become available.
Hound Comics, Inc. (Hound Entertainment Group) received word that Brimstone and The Borderhounds product will be seen on the set of the Emmy Award Winning series “The Big Bang Theory” on CBS! We will announce episodes once we are given that specific information; however we are told that the Brimstone (Eastsport) backpack will be seen in Koothrappali’s apartment and the comic book covers will appear as posters in the comic shop in later episodes. More to come.
Our mission here at the Zombie Survival Crew is straightforward and true: Keeping you safe from the shambling horde, and taking human beings off the endangered species list one zombie at a time. As you browse through our field reports, you’ll find information that is vital to the survival of the human race as a species, entertaining, educational and downright practical. Our fearless leaders are experienced in dealings with not only zombies, but also vampires, werewolves, alien insects and monsters of the regular human variety. But few in our esteemed command crew have ventured into a less-often traveled realm of the paranormal, the world of ghosts, spirits, shadows and things that go bump in the night. This week’s report focuses on one such unique individual, Special Forces Brigade member Britt Griffith.
Born and raised in sunny Southern California, Britt was born into the world of Lights, Camera, Action. Well-acquainted with the business both behind and in front of the cameras, Britt already had all the tools he needed from a very young age. Which of course led him to stray off the path for a brief decade or so, taking a blue collar job and working hard while pursuing a lifetime hobby of paranormal investigations. In 2008 fate brought him back in front of the cameras, where he found a way to continue his most-loved hobby by joining the team on SyFy Channel’s Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International. Britt left GHI in early 2012 to pursue other interests He has appeared in several television series, including Food Network Challenge, Run This Town, Chillerama, and the films Azienda and 5 Minutes.
Britt recently appeared in the 2012 film The Black Dahlia Haunting, and is working on several other projects including one short and two full-length feature films.
When not filming, chasing ghosts or wrangling large snakes, Britt continues to travel and appear at various events, including lectures on paranormal activity and investigation. He also is a devoted supporter of the Dyslexia Foundation, and spends much of his free time tutoring and mentoring youngsters with learning disabilities.
Coming soon for Britt: keep an eye on the horizon for The Zodiac Legacy, scheduled for release in 2014!
If you’re just joining us for this series, please be sure to check out our previous Commander Monday reports!