On The Walking Dead

A Novelist and a Zombie Walk Into a Bar

Translating The Walking Dead to Prose
By Jay Bonansinga

A dear friend, who also happens to be a Hollywood talent manager, rings me up one day last summer and babbles into the phone: “Some people I know are shopping for a novelist to help write a book based on a comic that’s being developed into a TV series. You with me so far?”

I mumble something like, “Um . . . I think so.”

“Anyway,” he goes on, “you would be working with the guy who created the comic, who is somewhat of a big shot, and you know, this deal could very possibly open many doors across the southern region of California. And when I heard they were looking for some author with horror chops who can play nice with others and has a really sick, disgusting imagination and is somewhat morally challenged . . . I naturally thought of you.”

“Uh huh,” I say. “And may I be so impertinent as to ask the name of the comic?”

“Ever hear of The Walking Dead?”

“The Norman Mailer book?”

“That’s The Naked and the Dead . . . and I said comic.”

“There aren’t any naked people in this?”

“Are you on something right now?”

“I’m kidding.” I take a deep breath. “Of course I’ve heard of The Walking Dead . . . cripes! Who do you think I am, your dad? It won the Eisner Award and it’s like a marathon of great, lost Romero movies all strung together . . . but better . . . it’s like the picture George Romero would make in heaven on acid with God as his cinematographer.”

After a long, exasperated pause, my buddy says, “Shall I take  …

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