This is Stant Litore, reporting in from Denver Comic Con, where it turns out that superheroes and supervillains alike are getting in on The Zombie Bible…
The books bring up many, many riddles from our past.
Not least of them: the riddle of how we ever managed to survive the living,
let alone the ravenous dead.
These definitely are the books you’re looking for.
Tinkerbell looks gleeful!
Who can blame her? I look this way every time I open the first page of a new story.
Except for the wings.
I don’t have wings.
Though I would like to have wings. I would like that very much.
This friendly carnivore has taken The Zombie Bible to heart!
Maleficent and Ursula attempted to burn my book to a crisp.
But I forgive them, because they did it with style.
Even X-Men stopped for a moment to check out the stories.
Zatanna thought them magical.
The Doctor: “Ah yes, I’ve seen this before…I know I have.
There is this library in the 51st century that you would not believe.
I know I read it there. Would you like a jelly baby?”
Completely caught up in it…
Batgirl was very excited!
The Tenth Doctor can get a grim edge to him, sometimes.
We love him for it.
And he is taking the novel quite seriously.
I suspect it’s given him a hint to an extraterrestrial plot in the first century,
likely one the author himself is unaware of.
A quick hop in the TARDIS ought to take care of it.
No Lasting Burial is a haunting novel.
But don’t worry.
The Ghostbusters are on it.
These two stylish Disney villains decided to enchant the book.
Given the kind of book that it is, this meant that hordes of the ravenous dead
began leaping from the pages, and we mere mortals had to run for our lives!
Hermione, after careful study of the issue, took a quick hop back 24 hours to fix it.
This fellow has refined tastes.
I am extremely glad to have caught Stark’s interest!
Lord Business gravely took a copy of the book,
and then invited me to Taco Tuesday.
I like tacos. I should go…
Meg’s smirk reveals her suspicion that Greek women
would have handled the crisis in the story much better.
I can’t tell you how relieved I am that Iron Man, Wolverine, and The Doctor have been made aware of the recurring and still looming threat of the lurching dead. Our ancestors in centuries past — the rugged and desperate characters of The Zombie Bible — may not have had the resources to adequately confront the zombie menace, but we have David Tennant.
Thank you to all the wonderful and talented cosplayers who took part in my photography project! I enjoyed chatting with all of you! You are the heart of Denver Comic Con, and you made my day. Some of you took books home, and I hope the stories thrill you and move you.
What a great day at the Denver Comic Con! It is the kind of event where people come to celebrate things they really enjoy, things they are really passionate about, and there is so much joy and excitement and wonder. I wish all 365 days of the year were like that — though I’m afraid Chris Angel and Bruce Macintosh and the rest of the team who have created this massive event would faint away from exhaustion.
Day Two (Saturday) was a long day, and very exciting. I sat on three panels, led an activity based on The Zombie Bible, and met many excited readers.
Here you see me at panel on the evolution of zombie film and literature,
with two professors (Dr. Kyle Bishop on the left, Dr. Rob Weiner on the right)
who make a living studying zombies. I’m in the middle.
I also spent much of the day with Vincent Gonzales, assistant director
of The Walking Dead, and his crew and zombie actors. Our booths
were next to each other, and we quickly hit it off. His crew are the
most absolutely wonderful people, the zombie actors didn’t try to eat me (much),
and Vincent himself is a remarkably humble, deep-hearted, and imaginative man.
I also, of course, introduced many new heroes and villains to The Zombie Bible:
I met young Master Potter here on the light rail, on the way in that morning.
And if you’ve seen “The Day of the Doctor,” you will know exactly who this is.
The Doctor: “Zombies in 2nd-century Rome? What? What!! WHAT!!”
Rose Tyler: “Oh God, you must be joking.”
Captain Jack Harkness: “Actually, that one looks kind of cute.”
Stant Litore: “That’s actually Father Polycarp on the frontispiece. Not one of the dead.”
Captain Jack Harkness: “Really? Is he single?”
The Doctor: “Jack, not now.”
The Joker’s reaction to the series was priceless.
Though I have to admit I found the high-pitched laughter chilling!
Loki: “I have a spear.”
Stant Litore: “We have 10,000 zombies.”
Leia calmly suggested that if any of the ravenous dead
come for her, she’ll fashion her slave chain into a weapon
and survive anyway. Considering what happened to the most
powerful and wealthy mobster in the galaxy, I believe her.
Rorshach, whose views tend to be a bit fixed, was incensed
by the series. He quietly informed me that he was not locked in
this convention center with us crazies, we were locked in with him.
I beat a hasty retreat.
As a fact, I had a number of close calls on Day Two.
Here I am using my novel as a last desperate shield against
the advanced weaponry of this raging, genocidal Dalek.
In the late afternoon, my heart was warmed to see villains and heroes
united by their newfound love for The Zombie Bible.
She is a hero, too.
Batman had a copy, but he played it cool.
A fan I met at last year’s Denver Comic Con snapped this photograph
on Day Two this year, capturing me in it. In the tradition of “Where’s Waldo,”
can you find Stant Litore?
In a state of considerable exhaustion, I returned home to find a bottle of excellent wine, a very loving wife, and the surprise that she had framed a zombie portrait I acquired on Day One. The artist, Sierra, does fan art for The Walking Dead and I would love to commission her work. This portrait captures the type of emotion and evocative mood that I work with in The Zombie Bible. You can see that Vincent Gonzales signed the portrait, too, which was very kind of him.
My wife Jessica, my bride and my heart, is herself an incredible photographer … and very shy of being in front of the camera. When I returned home from Day Two of Denver Comic Con, she reminded just how blessed I am. She makes me feel like a superhero.
Day Three was quieter. I signed many, many books, met many interesting people, and retreated into the back a few times for coffee and a comfortable couch. I fought to stay awake. But I had a wonderful time.
Before the convention opened, I took a moment and met Edward James Olmos,
who I’ve always admired. I grew up loving his film Stand and Deliver,
about a math teacher fighting the good fight for inner-city children.
Later I discovered him in Bladerunner, Selena, and of course Battlestar Galactica.
He is a very kind man, and one of those rare actors — and rare people —
who have a gravitas that commands your instant respect.
And, of course, I also met more fascinating cosplayers on Day Three:
Silent Bob’s reaction to The Zombie Bible, while not exactly noisy,
was precisely the reaction I expected.
Captain Jack Sparrow got completely lost in the story.
He wasn’t even frightened, just entertained.
But then, he has dealt with the wakeful dead before.
These two Disney princesses loved the book so much
they simply couldn’t Let It Go.
Captain America was so on edge with suspense that he took a moment’s pause
under his shield in the midst of battle to check what would happen on the next page.
I believe it was the series’ moments of horror and zombie mayhem
and splattered blood that got Bane’s adrenaline pumping.
For the Fly, it was the plenitude of rotting corpses. The Fly found those delicious.
Shepherd Book found it both troubling and intriguing. Once into it,
the novel’s passionate wrestling with stories that he cared about, too,
won him over. He also liked hearing that my daughters’ names
are River and Inara.
V was drawn in by the book’s deconstructionist and anarchic leanings.
I’m actually wondering if I will regret presenting the Wicked Queen
with a copy. Her murmured response as she turned the pages was,
“What good ideas. What very good ideas…”
Thranduil of the Wood Elves was skeptical.
After all, the book was written by a human.
Batgirl and Supergirl found the series riveting.
They’ve always liked strong female characters.
Black Widow and Bucky Barnes appeared to consider the series
as a potentially hazardous object. But actually, is that a ghost
of a smile I see on Natasha’s face? It’s entirely possible that for
Black Widow, drawing her firearm is how she says “Hello.”
At least with people (and novels) that she respects.
As for He-Man, well … he has the power!
Toward the end of the day, things got dangerous again.
And still more dangerous! I blinked…
As I was leaving the Con, I was accosted by one final person: an eager and enthusiastic fan who hurried toward me, calling out, “Stant Litore! Stant Litore!” He caught me and quickly told me how much he loved my novels and how excited he was to meet me. He gave me his name and I plucked a book from my suitcase and signed it for him. He looked nervous and I am sure he worried that he was imposing on me, but the truth is that I was delighted. He reminded me of myself — both shy and eager in approaching people whose work I enjoy — and to be approached by a fan at a full run across a convention floor made me smile. It made me feel very good. It meant that, in at least one sense, I, and my novels, had “arrived.”
So, Adam, if you’re reading this, thank you. Thank you for reading my stories and for enjoying them, and for taking a moment in a very busy place to come tell me so. That really did mean a lot to me. Thank you.
I hope that all of you have enjoyed this photo-journal of my time at Denver Comic Con, and I hope to see you there next year! If you’re new to my fiction, I hope you’ll check out The Zombie Bible. And if you’re not into zombies, try The Ansible Saga. You will love these stories.
Stant Litore is a novelist. He writes about gladiators on tyrannosaurback, Old Testament prophets battling the hungry dead, geneticists growing biological starships, time-traveling hijabi bisexual defenders of humanity from the future. Explore his fiction here. And here is one of his toolkits for writers, and here’s another book where he nerds out about ancient languages and biblical (mis)translation. Enjoy!