In the dark of night in a creepy old house …
There are sounds that could not come from a mouse.
Zena’s friend Zelda is missing her parts
And Zena must find them before the fun starts …
From the twisted minds of artist Martin Baines, and writers David J Howe and Sam Stone, comes Zena the Zombie – a charming and challenging tale of the hunt for the pieces of a lost friend … and the unlikely characters encountered along the way …
Ideal for reading aloud, colouring in, and spotting all the details, this is a book from Telos Publishing for all ages!
“The original idea for Zena came about because Sam and I were at a ComicCon event, and we realised that the demographic for attendees was slowly changing,” says co-creator David J Howe. “There were more families than ever – Mum or Dad or both and with them their kids, of all ages! And while Telos has a host of great adult books, we had nothing for the younger set.
“Indeed, at one event, some kids even picked up the books we had to look through and replaced them, commenting that there were no pictures!
‘So I had a think and considered that we ought to create something for younger kids, something that they (or their parents) could get which would entertain them. And Zena the Zombie was born.
‘I wanted to do something different, and something which we would own and could do more of. So a SF or Doctor Who or other show wasn’t going to work – it had to be something generic.,” David continues. “I also wanted it to be relatively cheap, so that kids could get it without breaking the budget. And the idea of a black and white picture book formed, with the central idea that the character of Zena was hunting for something in each of the pictures – so it’s a sort of ‘Where’s Wally’ thing where there is something to find each time.
“I always enjoyed those kids books where you had to find the animals hidden in each image, or something else … and so I wanted that idea. I also wanted to roll into it as many tropes as I could. So we would have a vampire, a werewolf, a mummy, mad scientists, aliens, monsters … as much as we could.
“To do the art, I asked Telos’ regular cover artist Martin Baines, as I knew he was very versatile and could turn his hand to just about anything. Martin then conceived the details of each spread from an initial list from me, and managed to pack in as much detail as he could in the spreads.
“So from a simple start, the story of Zena emerged through the imagery. Then, once we had the pictures, I wanted the text to reflect on the idea of the search for the objects, which Martin had decided would be the parts of Zena’s friend, Zelda – a stitched together Frankensteinian creation – but when I penned the first draft, it wasn’t working … it needed something else.
“So to the rescue came Sam Stone. Sam is an accomplished writer, but she is also a poet, and so together we worked out a rhyming narrative for the book which pulled it all together.
“It’s been something of a labour of love for us to work on this, and it’s taken a few years to bring it all together as well. I hope that everyone enjoys Zena’s tale!”
• Zena the Zombie by Martin Baines, David J Howe and Sam Stone | Published by Telos Publishing, July 2018 | ISBN: 978-1-84583-975-8 | 58pp. A4 black and white picture book | Available from: www.telos.co.uk – £8.99
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.