Posted on August 24, 2012 by Nancy
RIGOR MORTIS is a zombie-focused zine that is part academic, part fanboy/fangirl. Started by the dynamic Davida Gypsy Breier, it’s one of the best resources for information on obscure zombie films, book and more. Nancy O. Greene recently had a chance to talk shop with Davida about the zine.
FLAMES RISING: You started RIGOR MORTIS while going through a very tough time. Can you talk a bit about that?
DAVIDA GYPSY BREIER: In 2007, my partner was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was only 31 and began a tough regiment of chemo and an antibody treatment. Our son was just a year old. One of my zine friends, Dread Sockett, understood personally and professionally what we were both going through and I found myself calling and emailing him semi-regularly. When you are living with cancer, often the last thing you want to talk about is cancer. So we talked about what we were reading and watching. I was drawn to zombie and end of the world literature – it was soothing in an odd way. My world was being threatened on a daily basis, so the world ending was somehow fitting. My friend was dealing with panic attacks, as was I as we entered the fifth month of treatment, and we’d have these rambling calls and emails.
So we threw out the idea of collaborating on a zine together, which was really an attempt to capture the conversations we were having about all things zombie. He and I had both been publishing since the mid-‘90s, but we had never collaborated with anyone before. It was obvious from the start he would do the art and I would handle editing and layout. The first issue was mostly review-based, but then we started getting heavier into article content and the art in the last issue especially was amazing.
FR: Why a zine?
DGB: I’ve been publishing zines since 1995. I work in book publishing professionally, but something about zines appealed to me when I was 23, and they still appeal to me today. They are accessible, better suited to subcultures, and I think we had a sense that we wanted to do something that touched on the long history of fanzines, but was still a zine. Eventually, we would also invite Grim Pickens, my partner, and Colin Cthulhu, a comic book store owner in Chicago, to contribute. Both of them have also been long-time zinesters.
FR: It seems to me that RM is part scholarly and part pop culture. Is this intentional, or just a natural outcome of the passion for the subject matter, or both?
DBG: I think it is a natural outcome of the passion, and is also indicative of the four contributors. We tend to talk a lot of shit, but know that we better back it up, so you see the blend of snarky commentary mixed in with academic-type research.
FR: You’ve talked about expanding RM beyond the zombie realm. What other subjects are you interested in exploring?
DGB: We’ve looked at doing more with apocalyptic themes. Dread Sockett is a huge fan of classic horror and wants to school fans who dismiss old films. We are also working on a zombie/apocalypse graphic novel.
FR: Where do you see RM going in the future? Is World Domination on the menu?
DGB: It started out as a fun distraction during a very rough time. It still needs to be fun for us and as long as it is we’ll keep producing issues. The main reason RM#5 didn’t come out is that we focused on the graphic novel. We are trying to produce work that will stand beyond the idea of zombies as a fad. That is also one of the reasons we have dug deeper (e.g. Nazi zombies and Voodoo zombies) and tried to look at the genre before and after Romero.
Interview by Nancy O. Greene
Rigor Mortis Blog: http://livingdeadzine.blogspot.com/
Rigor Mortis Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rigor-Mortis/147940238569508
Rigor Mortis Art Gallery http://leekinginc.com/rigormortis/rmart.htm
Tags | zombies