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Greg Melton on the Production Design of The Walking Dead

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Can’t get enough of “The Walking Dead”? We can’t either. The network bringing us the goods this October, AMC, has just put up another blog on their site to bring us a better idea of what to expect when this baby debuts! Today’s subject? Production designer Greg Melton.

“The Walking Dead” is based on Robert Kirkman’s popular comic series. It chronicles the months and years following a zombie apocalypse. Frank Darabont is the project’s writer, director of the pilot, and exec producer with Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert also exec producing. KNB will be handling the effects, and Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey DeMunn, IronE Singleton, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Chandler Riggs, Steven Yeun, Michael Rooker, Emma Bell, Adrian Kali Turner, Linds Edwards, Keith Allen Hayes, and Jim Colemanare are all set to star.

If you haven’t begun reading this tale yet, click below, order, and get started like yesterday. You’ll be thanking us later.

Check out the interview below courtesy of AMC’s Blog!

Greg Melton on the Production Design of The Walking Dead

Q: How did you approach designing for “The Walking Dead”?

A: I did Tales From the Crypt for many years, and I always approached that show from a realism standpoint — trying to set up a realistic world, and then let the surreal horror spin out of it. And that’s the strategy I’ve taken with this, to root it in reality as much as possible and let Rick move through this world and see it get more and more skewed. A great example is when he wakes up in the hospital. It just gets worse and worse. It’s like there was a running gun battle through this hospital. There were grenades. He comes outside and it looks like Dachau. Then as he comes to the parking lot, there’s going to be an entire military hospital unit that’s been overrun. It just keeps unfolding. When you read the comic, Rick walks outside and there’s a car crashed into a tree. [Laughs] I’m like, “OK yeah, we’ll do this burned out bus and dump trucks stacked with bodies.”

Q: What visual inspiration did you get from the comics?

A: It’s like having a storyboard of the whole production. Usually I get a storyboard of an effects sequence or an action sequence. But it’s very interesting to have something from beginning to end. There are a lot of iconic images in that graphic novel that we have taken into the series. People will go, “Oh yeah that’s the downtown Atlanta shot.” For instance the police station in the graphic novel: One day I was driving around and saw right behind our production office this little brick building that looked exactly like the police station. So there are a lot of points like that, and then the hospital is something we really took to a whole new level as far as the devastation and really showing for the first time the scale of the apocalypse in Rick’s town.

Q: How much do you typically have to dress a location?

A: I would say very little. Obviously we had to devastate the hospital, but one of my rules with this is we need to own the location. Rick’s house was kind of an abandoned house that was for sale. It had no windows, it was boarded up, kind of derelict. But it laid out beautifully for us, so we went through the trouble of fixing it up. But I would say overall, we’ve been very fortunate with locations. They’ve been big dresses: The gas station was a huge dress. The hospital was a huge undertaking, especially once we got outside of it.

Q: What goes into making Atlanta look like it’s been through an apocalypse?

A: The challenge is, again, to find areas that we own. We’re setting up an abandoned city, so we needed to find areas of downtown that we could shut down over a weekend. I was looking just to keep it tight, so that it was hard to see around corners and know what’s coming ahead of you. And then from there, it was just trying to build some backstories to what happened there: The concept was that a section of Atlanta had become a Green Zone where the military could protect a certain square-block area. And basically the thought is that Rick approaches this military checkpoint that’s been overrun. We had lots of abandoned cars with luggage or doors open, like people had come, tried to get in; some people had tried to run the blockade, we had some burnt, turned over cars.

Q: How long did that take to set up?

A: They shut down the street at 7PM on a Friday night, and at 7AM we were shooting these apocalyptic scenes over six blocks. The set was so large, when Frank [Darabont] got there he didn’t even see we had a Huey helicopter landed in the street. He’s like, “Where’s the helicopter?” “It’s down there!” “Well bring it up here!” So we immediately brought that up. That’s how big it was – the helicopter got lost. [Laughs]

Q: Will you have to supplement these set-ups with CGI?

A: I have to say rather proudly that there are two or three sets that we’ve done – downtown Atlanta, the gas station – that were going to have a lot more CG work done to them. But when we got done with them, Frank was like, “We kinda have it,” which was great for me. He’s like, “I don’t think we need to extend this set. This is actually much more than I thought I was going to get.” That’s been kind of cool, to actually be able to deliver enough physical scenery to fill the shot.

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Buy Stuff From Eibon Press, Get More Stuff For Free

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Eibon Press have announced that they’re starting Black Friday a day early and will be running their specials for almost a week, through November 28th. This year, they’re doing something a little different, a little more interesting. Rather than reduce prices on their inventory, they’re doing a deal where depending on how much you buy from their store, you’ll get a certain amount of free swag in addition to your order.

The first tier sees anyone who makes a purchase getting two double-sided mini-posters featuring art from their upcoming Bottomfeeder and Maniac and The New York Ripper series. The second tier sees anyone who spends at least $30 getting a free copy of their VHS Comics titles Laserblast plus the mini-posters. The final tier is for those who spend $50 and more and that will net the mini-posters, the #1 issue of Laserblast, and a free copy of Lucio Fulci’s Gates of Hell #2.

Lastly, five random people will receive an extra bonus gift, which they won’t reveal but promise that, “…you’ll love it!

All order cans be placed via Eibon Press.

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KISS Meets Army of Darkness in New Comic Miniseries!

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Dynamite Entertainment just announced that they are planning to bring two of their bestselling brands together in “KISS/Army of Darkness #1”. The new comic book series will unite the rock band with none other than Ash for some Deadite ass kicking.

The series will be written by Chad Bowers and Chris Sims and illustrated by Ruairi Coleman. And the debut issue of “KISS/Army of Darkness” features three art covers from Kyle Strahm, Goni Montes, and Ken Haeser.

You can find all three covers below along with quotes from the creative team. After looking through all of that make sure to hit us up and let us know how excited you are about this new hybrid comic series in the comments below or on social media!

With Ash vs. The Army of Darkness, Chris and I were given kind of carte blanche to do whatever we wanted to the world of AOD, and we went for broke,” Co-writer Chad Bowers says. “We introduced some new characters and concepts, and built a legacy for Ash’s comics adventures that I’m immensely proud of, but not in a million years could I have guessed we’d get to continue that momentum with the added bonus of tossing the world’s greatest rock n’ roll band into the mix! I’ve been in the tank for KISS since I was in middle school. I remember buying the KISS tribute album, KISS My Ass for the Lemonheads (they covered Plaster Caster), which lead to me picking up Greatest Hits, and so on. But when I found out there was a KISS comic with blood in it, I signed up for life! Of course, I adore the songs (literally listening to Do You Love Me right now), but I’m just as obsessed with the way KISS transcends the music to become something of a genre themselves. It’s something I think about a lot, honestly, so no surprise, it’s a big part of our story too!”

“When it comes to Army of Darkness, I guess you could say that Ash is a bit of a gambler, but he’s nobody’s fool,” Co-writer Chris Sims says. “And since our first story was set back at Alan Shepard High, we’re looking forward to showing him some things that you can’t learn in school. Okay, okay, I’ll stop with the deep-cut lyrics now, but for real — if you thought Deadites at Homecoming and the Supernatural Military-Adjacent Response Team were taking Ash in a new direction, just wait until you see how we team him up with the Starchild, Space Ace, the Demon, and the Catman. In the grand tradition of the film, we’re tearing up the entire space-time continuum and if you think you know how weird this is gonna get… well, you sure know somethin’!”

“Having done some work for Dynamite in the past, I’ve really been wanting to get my foot in the door here for a long time so I can play in the sandbox of the amazing licenses they have,” Artist Ruairi Coleman says. “Chief among those, and high up on my bucket list, is Army of Darkness: Hail to the king, baby! So, when I was offered the job of drawing the KISS/Army of Darkness crossover, I couldn’t believe my luck! The concept is totally bonkers, but in a way, that would make complete sense in the world of Army of Darkness. Thinking about it, I’m surprised it hasn’t been done already and I’m honored (and more than a little intimidated) to be the guy who draws it.”

“After a more than 40-year career, KISS continues to be one of rock’s most celebrated bands, while Army of Darkness continues to be a staple in the comic book industry. We’re both honored to have the opportunity to work so closely with Gene and Paul to bring their world-renowned alter-egos to comics alongside our very own Ashy Slashy,” says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. “The raging guitar chords and pyrotechnic spectacle of their stage shows could have come straight from the pages of the Necronomicon, and this epic battle between The Demon and Deadites will appeal to the hellions in all of us!”

Issue #1 will be available on digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Kindle, iBooks, Google Play, Dynamite Digital, iVerse, Madefire, and Dark Horse Digital.

The KISS/Army of Darkness miniseries event hits February 2018.

Synopsis:

KISS is on top of the world and rocking faces until the night disciples of The Destroyer show up and the band disappears. With the tour canceled, a young Ash misses one of the most important events of his life that will change his destiny. Now the Chosen One has to get back on the right path and join the KISS ARMY OF DARKNESS!

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Jason Lives Director Pitched Follow-Up: Jason Vs Cheech and Chong

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One of my favorite entries in the Friday the 13th series is director ‘s Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. The mixture of old-school gothic horror and comedy is always a welcome treat around these parts.

But why wasn’t McLoughlin asked to write and direct the follow-up?

Actually, it turns out he was asked to follow up Jason Lives, McLoughlin recently told Mick Garris on the Post Mortem podcast.

But his pitch – Jason vs Cheech and Chong – didn’t go over so well…

“[Frank Mancuso Jr.] wanted me to do another film after we did Jason,” McLoughlin says. “And I said, ‘What are you thinking? I don’t know what it could be now.’ And he said, ‘Well, what do you think about Freddy (Krueger) and Jason?’ And I go, ‘But Freddy’s at New Line and the guys at Paramount have [Jason].’ And it’s like, ‘Well, we’re going to try and see if we can work something out.’ So, I started thinking about that, going, It doesn’t make sense. I mean he lives in one realm and — you know, I take this stuff very seriously, what realm a monster’s supposed to stay in. And he came back, he goes, ‘Eh, forget it, it’s not going to work anyway.’ And I said, ‘You know what? You guys own Cheech and Chong. What if we do Cheech and Chong-meets-Jason? They’re like camp counselors or something. It’s like, ‘Hey, man, I saw Jason out there.’ ‘No, man, that’s a myth.’ But he said, ‘You know what? No.’”

Too bad. While I don’t know how well a Cheech and Chong/Friday the 13th flick would go, with McLoughlin at the helm, the film would have at least been funny as hell.

Plus we already got these two knuckleheads in Part III.

Are you upset we never got Tom McLoughlin’s Jason vs Cheech and Chong? Make sure to let us know in the comments below or on social media!

You can buy Friday the 13th: Part VI – Jason Lives on Blu-ray HERE.

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