Protecting humans from the insatiable hunger of the undead is hard work — especially when you’re one of them. Lucky for humanity, the zombie champion with a soul is back for another run. “The Living Corpse: Exhumed” rises from the grave this August thanks to creators Ken Haeser and Buz Hasson and publisher Dynamite Entertainment, and there are undead thrills abound including a fight with a Nosferatu, Bigfoot, Chupacabra and a whole cadre of zombie ninjas. If that wasn’t enough, the series promises to answer a number of lingering questions present since the series’ inception in 2007.
Comic Book Resources had a chance to speak with writer Haeser and artist Hasson about the Living Corpse‘s rise from the grave, where “Exhumed” will take the corpse with a conscience, a few of the fights he has coming down the line and a quick update on the “Living Corpse” movie.
CBR News: Guys, first off the bat, how does it feel to bring back the Living Corpse for another run?
Ken Haeser: It feels great to bring the old guy back for another round! Especially bringing him back through Dynamite Entertainment, who have totally embraced the project and are very hands-on with the book, making sure that is the best thing we can put out. We had a ton of offers from smaller publishers to put out “LC” after we left Zenescope, but we really wanted to shoot for a top company. And not only is Dynamite like half an hour from my house, but they are consistently one of the top publishers out there.
Buz Hasson: We continued to produce the comic even while we were looking for a new publisher to stay ahead for when we would finally get it back out on the shelves. We’re really excited about Dynamite being involved, too, especially collecting for the first time the trade paperback with all the original material for new fans to catch up on and extras for those who have the original issues.
Haeser: We also have to thank all the fans of the book for patiently waiting for new stuff to come back out.
Give us an idea as to what’s in store for the corpse with a conscience in “Exhumed.”
Haeser: “The Living Corpse: Exhumed” picks up where we left off in the previous series (collected for the first time as “The Living Corpse Omnibus Vol. 1” and in stores the same time as the first issue of the new miniseries) with LC returning to his graveyard for the first time since he found out that his son is alive and trying to kill him. The Living Corpse has decided to bring the fight to his son, who is now the leader of a top-secret military operation whose sole purpose is to track down the Living Corpse to find out what makes him tick. But the Living Corpse’s son wants him for a more person reason — to make him suffer for killing his mother and sister when LC first came back.
Hasson: “Exhumed” really takes the reader into the Living Corpse’s personal struggle. The first series was a taste, the new series is the core of what’s happening in his world and what’s happening to him.
Haeser: “Exhumed” is also going to answer a lot of questions that have been floating around since the first series. We are going to find out exactly what brought back the Living Corpse from the grave 25 years ago and how his son survived. We are going to find out why LC made the deal with Asteroth to be the Gatekeeper and we are going to explore Asteroth’s exact role in the scheme of things. Everything will be revealed by the end of “Exhumed.”
The first issue has the Living Corpse facing off against a Nosferatu. Can we expect to see any other undead pop up during the course of the miniseries?
Haeser: If nothing else, the new miniseries will feature a ton of nasty new creatures. In addition to a Nosferatu we’ve got a bar fight with Bigfoot and the Chupacabra, zombie ninjas and a whole battalion of good ol’ American-made zombie cyborgs. We’ve also got the triumphant return of Doctor Brainchild — who has lost some weight but is still as crazy as ever.
Why a Nosferatu? Specifically, why that version of the vampire myth as opposed to Bram Stoker’s Dracula or any of the other versions of vampire that have cropped up recently?
Haeser: We’re huge fans of the original [director F.W.] Murnau Nosferatu and especially Max Schreck’s portrayal of the vampire. He really creeped me out when I was a kid, and we’ve wanted to have him in “The Living Corpse” since we started. The Nosferatu are the dirtbags of the various vampire races — the total opposite of the sparkly supermodel vamps that are so popular now. We wanted a vampire so hideous and repellant to seduce Lilith, just to show how much she wants to be part of the darkness. And he’s a lot of fun to draw!
Hasson: Yeah, we were really attracted to the creature aspect of Nosferatu, sort of a loathsome character who is lowly but dark with depth, almost like the Living Corpse himself in some ways.
The solicit mentions that Lilith gets caught in the middle of Nosferatu and the Living Corpse — what exactly is her role in this arc?
Haeser: Lilith will be playing a much bigger role in the new mini than before. Her run-in with a Nosferatu will change her forever and give her her dream come true. When the Living Corpse returns to his graveyard he finds Lilith turned into a vampire by a Nosferatu who has moved in while he was gone.
Hasson: Lilith really takes form in “Exhumed.” In the past she was a supporting character who gets her own voice in the new series.
Haeser: One of the plot threads that will run through the new miniseries will be how Lilith deals with her change. She is a true dark Goth girl who has wanted nothing more than to be a vampire, but she is going to find out that you do have to be careful what you wish for. That is, if the Living Corpse lets her live that long.
After reading the solicit, odds certainly seem like they’re in the Living Corpse’s favor in this match-up, but what kinds of challenges can we expect the Nosferatu to throw at him?
Haeser: The Nosferatu like to fight dirty. Lucky for us, so does the Living Corpse. The Nosferatu can turn to smoke and control the creeping creatures like rats and bugs but the Nosferatu’s greatest weapon is his control over Lilith who he uses against the Living Corpse.
What changes are in store for the Living Corpse universe during “Exhumed”?
Hasson: Some changes I’d say that are going happen in the new series is the overall depth to the storyline. More plot, deeper than returning fans ever thought it might be. The key characters show their role and place in the path of the Living Corpse, and where we’re going with it can only get more twisted, we assure you.
Haeser: I know a lot of creators say that “This storyline will change the character forever!” but in this case, we can guarantee huge changes to the Living Corpse and everyone around him. If he’s still alive (or undead) by the end of series, that is!
You have a Living Corpse animated movie in the works and recently put some stills from the film on your website. Can you give us a status update?
Haeser: The last we heard, they’re just wrapping up the finished movie now.
Hasson: The company that made it, Shoreline Entertainment, is going to be shopping it around to major distributors and making all the rounds to the major film fests to help move the film into big distribution.
Haeser: Me and Buz got to see a rough cut of the movie a few months ago, and I couldn’t be happier with how it’s turning out. I really think it’s going to blow people away with the amount of action, horror and heart that they packed into the film.
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