Biff Bam Pop Exclusive: Andy Burns Talks To George Romero About Empire Of The Dead

Having defined zombies for the ages with his films, legendary director George Romero has now entered the world of comics with his Marvel series, Empire of the Dead. Unsurprisingly, Romero’s take picks up on themes from Dawn of the Dead and Land of the Dead, while in the first issue also paying tribute to his original masterpiece, Night of the Living Dead. George Romero was kind enough to answer some question about the series via email. Check out our exclusive preview of Empire Of The Dead #2, and then dive in!

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Andy Burns: Congrats on a stellar first issue of Empire of the Dead. As a fan of your cinematic work, I felt right at home with the world you were writing. What made Marvel and comics the right place for this story?

George Romero: I’d been thinking about doing a comic book for a while, and there was a story I was working on, with a broader scale than some of my films. Turns out Axel Alonso at Marvel had been wanting to do a project with me and he liked the new story, so it was a match. The timing was perfect.

Andy Burns: What’s you’re writing process like for Empire of the Dead? Is your approach much different from working on a screenplay?

George Romero: I’m writing in screenplay form, but in smaller chunks. Each issue needs to fit into the overall storyline, of course, and also have its own excitement, its own beginning, middle, and end. So the balance of the screenplay is different than a feature film, but, you know, a good storyline is a good storyline no matter what medium you’re working in, and I really like this one.

Andy Burns: What can we expect from upcoming issues of Empire of the Dead?

George Romero: I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to give anything away! It’s a big story, with some new roads to explore as far as the zombies are concerned, and a second kind of living dead that feeds on the same food the zombies do.

Andy Burns: Do you think you fans can expect to see you stick around comics for the next while?

George Romero: I’ve always loved comics, grew up reading them. It’s great to be able to write in a
longer form than I usually do, to tell a more complicated story. And not to have to worry about how many extras we’re going to need or whether we’re going to get rained out during a night shoot. So, yes, I’m going to stick around, because I’ve still got some episodes of Empire to write.

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Biff Bam Pop’s Andy Burns (left) and JP Fallavollita (right) with George Romero, October 2012 in Toronto.

Thanks to George Romero for taking the time to talk to Biff Bam Pop, and to Chris D’Lando for making it possible.

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