by Nevs Coleman

A Response to Zombie Jesus.

Before we got started, click the link below. I promise it’s not NSFW.

Rob Liefeld’s Zombie Jesus.

Okay, I admit it, I thought it was a joke.

After all, it wouldn’t be the first time that Rob had kicked off with a project that was ‘based’ on the current hot thing of the time, although to be fair, it does look like someone’s lent him a copy of ‘The Last Temptation Of Christ’. It used to be a game we’d play down the pub: ‘What Would Rob Do?’ We’d sit around with a copy of Diamond’s catalogue of upcoming stuff, Previews, and try to work out how he’d translate the surface elements into his own work. It’s all a bit lost to a boozy mist now, but favourites include :

‘RIP’: Being the adventures of a man from the future with a glowing eye and lots of pouches and a big gun who has to take out a cybernetic killer with lots of cross hatching on his face who is killing women with oddly shaped breasts and very thin legs in Whitechapel. FROM THE FUTURE!

‘SPOOK PLANET!’: Documenting the exploits of two alienated girls unsure where their lives will go with glowing eyes, lots of pouches, oddly shaped breasts and very thin legs fighting an evil record collector with a big gun and lots of cross hatching on his face. FROM THE FUTURE!

‘JOY!’: In which a school of talented youngsters interact, only with pouches, breasts, long legs, glowing eyes, big guns…you get the idea.

Now, if anyone thinks this assessment is harsh, let me run a few examples of popular things that happened over the years and Rob’s coincidental response to them…

Marvels: Fully painted overview of the early days of the Marvel Universe, written by Kurt Busiek.

Rob’s response: Youngblood Year One: A fully painted overview of the early days of the Youngblood universe, written by Kurt Busiek.

The Sopranos: Mob Boss sees female psychiatrist to discuss mental difficulties brought about by choice of profession.

Rob’s Response: Shrink: Superheroes see female psychiatrist to discuss mental difficulties brought about by choice of profession.

JLA: Grant Morrison re-ignites the World’s greatest super team in epic widescreen style to critical acclaim and huge sales.

Rob’s Response: The Allies. Some characters that nobody could give a toss about until Alan Moore wrote them, form a team. Nobody cares (Note, no issues of this were published, as far as I can find, although they were solicited for and the team made appearances in Supreme).

Hulk: Monosyllabic large monster who smashes things, written by Jeph Loeb.

Smash: Monosyllabic large monster who smashes things, written by Jeph Loeb.

Amazing Spider-Man featuring President Barack Obama sells record numbers, mentioned in ‘real’ news.

Rob’s Response:

I’ll be honest with you, I sort of admire that about him. It’s like he has the eyes of Roger Corman in his head. He looks at the trends of the day and tries to extrapolate his own twist on them, which is no different to what David Bowie’s been doing since, oh, forever. The problem is, he’s always chasing the pack rather than leading it, and if he’s got Corman’s eyes, he’s got Ed Wood’s prowess. I just (and I’m sure I’m setting myself up here) can’t imagine how he looks at a comic page he’s drawn and be vaguely happy sending it off to be sold on the same shelves as the likes of John Romita Jr, Alan Davies, J.H. Williams, J.G. Jones, Frazier Irving or Cameron Stewart.  I mean, given how much light boxing there is going on in his work, you’d figure it’d be hard to still cock it up: yet he does so spectacularly. He denied the swiping on Twitter a few times. I once called him out on this on and he actually responded ’30 Million sold, Baby!’. I didn’t think it was worth explaining the nature of speculators to him, really…


So, I was thrown a bit by Zombie Jesus, because it didn’t seem to be openly inspired by anything I could think of, except the current zombie trend until a little wander through Google found the answer for me…

Zombie Jesus 2010

The universe’s response, only two years earlier:

JESUS HATES ZOMBIES by Stephen Lindsay (2008). It’s not exactly like Zombie Jesus. For one, it’s well drawn and funny.

I don’t know, winding the Christians up seems so easy in 2010. It strikes me at this point if you really wanted to be radical and put noses out of joint, you’d do something like…

DracuAllah!

I think you get the general concept from the title…

If anyone wants to write this with Rob on art, the idea’s all yours. All you need to do is promise to pledge all the profits to The Hero Initiative.

Much thanks to the good people at Heromachine.com for research for this column.

See you in the funny pages.

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