The zombies are invading Derry, hi...

(0110SL01) Photo: Stephen Latimer
(0110SL01) Photo: Stephen Latimer

A flesh eating horde of the undead have been spotted in Guildhall Square - The Sunday Journal’s Andrew Quinn went to find out more

The 1994 track ‘Zombie’ by the Cranberries blares out over the airwaves but is surprisingly interrupted halfway through by Radio Foyle presenter Gerry Anderson.

Gerry informs his listeners that a virus outbreak has hit Derry and warns them to remain indoors if they start to feel sick.

What Gerry doesn’t know is that the virus causes any of the infected in Derry to turn into a blood thirsty zombie intent on sinking his or her teeth into the freshest piece of human flesh he or she can get their hands on.

The last few paragraphs are a condensed version of the opening few scenes of Derry comic ‘Zombies Hi’.

‘Zombies Hi’ is by Derry trio Kevin ‘Gio’ Logue (artist), John Campbell (inker/artist) and Daniel McLaughlin (writer). The first issue was released in June of this year.

“Everything’s going really well,” says 25 year-old Engineer Kevin. “I suppose you could say that this all really happened by accident but it’s our ambition to turn ‘Zombies Hi’ into something bigger - we’d love to do this full time.”

Kevin and Daniel are lifelong friends and John became friends with Kevin when they did an art course together at the North West Regional College almost ten years ago.

Twenty-six year-old John works for Greater Shantallow Community Arts while 27 year-old Daniel works in a local bookmakers. All three work on the comic in their spare time.

“My earliest memories of comics is stealing them from a petrol station,” laughs Kevin. “I was always interested in art but school wasn’t for me and I left St. Columb’s College to study art at North West Regional College,”

Kevin and Daniel spent their teenage years reading Alan Moore’s ‘Watchmen’ and Len Wein and Berni Wrightson’s ‘Swamp Thing’. They always hoped that one day they’d create, write and design their own.

“I’ve read ‘I AM LEGEND’ about six or seven times,” says Kevin. “The first comic I read was ‘Watchmen’ - after that I was totally hooked. A friend of mine would always go to Dublin every once in a while and I would always give him money to buy me a few back issues in Forbidden Planet (comic book shop in Dublin).”

Kevin and Daniel went their separate ways after the course at NWRC and didn’t meet up until years later at comic design course at the Nerve Centre.

“I was working at a local call centre at the time,” says John. “A friend of mine said that he’d heard that the Nerve Centre were offering courses in comic book and graphic design.

“A friend said he would come along with me but he dropped our at the last minute but I decided to go along and give it a go.

“I’m really glad I did because the first face I saw was Kevin’s and we just got chatting again.”

As part of the Nerve Centre course the three friends created a comic called ‘Walled City Dreams’.

“It was great fun working on the comic and we were really proud of how it turned out,” says Daniel.

“We had a chat after the course finished and said that we wanted to do something of our own so that’s essentially how ‘Zombies Hi’ was born.

“We’ve had some great feedback and since we launched the comic in June the sales have been going well.”

‘Zombies Hi’ is the first comic to produced by the trio’s label, ‘Uproar Comics’.

“We decided that we wanted to call our publishing house label Uproar Comics because of our intention to address some controversial issues.

“Although the comic is centred around a zombie invasion of Derry we wanted to look at some of the issues affecting the city in real life.”

The protagonist of ‘Zombies Hi’ is Catholic police officer Paddy Gallagher. Paddy’s father disowns him when he informs him of his decision to join the PSNI and when the zombies invade Derry, Paddy is left with a tough choice to make.

“Obviously we don’t want to give too much away,” smiles Kevin. “The third issue of ‘Zombies Hi’ was released last week and feedback and sales have been very positive. Obviously with all of us working full-time it can be hard to find time to put out the comic but so far so good. Hopefully issue four will be available to buy just before Christmas.”

‘Zombies Hi’ is available to buy from Comics and Collectables, Eason, Shipquay Books and News. The comic will also be available in Waterstones in Coleraine soon.

For more information Uproar Comics or email mailto:wemakecomics@gmail.com