The Origins of The Dead Walk

TDAnewNearly 7 years ago, I had the “brilliant” idea to create a horror film news & review website with the help of some complete strangers. It started with a Craig’s List ad in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was looking for fresh, young voices who wanted to do this for fun, had the passion for the genre and were willing to give me the benefit of the doubt and join me on this “from scratch” start-up company.

Needless to say, I failed them miserably.

It wasn’t for a lack of concerted effort or passion on my end…life shit got in the way. From a surprise lay-off at work to a fledgling marriage and impending divorce, I couldn’t break myself from the chains that bound me to reality. I met a plethora of wonderful writers and passionate film fans and a few are even some of my very good friends and associates to this day.

Untitled design (15)

We started as The Dead Associates, a play on Richard Rubinstein’s production company Dawn Associates (famous for their only title, Dawn of the Dead – 1979). It fit in the scheme of things and my obvious passion for Romero Zombies was on display and unwavering. Ultimately we ended up going with The Dead Walk (featured on the newspaper in the beginning of Romero’s Day of the Dead – 1985) and the website was modeled after a newspaper with writer columns on the left and a bloody newspaper background featuring a zombie on it.

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Opening scene from George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead (1985).

I worked night and day on the site and I loved it. However, it wasn’t fit for the type of content we were trying to parlay into the net. It wasn’t user friendly and the web client was so buggy hyperlinks would end up in random places as did any images I placed on the front page. This was one of the bigger blows to the endeavor and got the ball rolling on a tumble into failure-dom. Mix in the aforementioned life shit above and you have a pretty sordid shit shake that I forcibly had to consume.

Art by Lou Rusconi

Despite the bugginess of the site, I had already put in play a themed month for October. Given our site name’s history and the overall penchant for zombies at an all-time high (The Walking Dead was getting ready for its première season), I went with something nearly every horror fan could related to: My Favorite Zombie.

It was easy, write about your favorite zombie moment, character, movie, video game, etc.… I planned on doing one a day for thirty-one days but then thought that’d be unfair given that each writer wouldn’t be given their fair due and would be deduced to just a number. So using my extreme ninja-like mathematical skills (I suck at math), I was able to split 18 articles over 4 weeks.

It obviously didn’t end up that way and the end of the month was rushed (cue shit shake blender), but ultimately it was a success as I received articles from some truly awesome people. From actors, directors, and authors who’s work I’ve followed to fellow cohorts from the horror media pantheon, everyone had a zombie story to tell. I was marveled at the support of writers and readers alike.

The Dead Walk website then took a break after My Favorite Zombie month, went on for a few more months into 2011, before falling into a digital grave and having the dirt thrown over it’s still writhing carcass. It stands as a monument to a bleak moment in my life. It’s hard to gaze upon its petulant, fragmented remains.

TheDeadWalkMain

The My Favorite Zombie blog is still up although for how long I’m not sure. But it’d be a disservice if I was not able to somehow document/archive those stories for the future. The artwork that adorns the blog was done by none other than the mighty Lou Rusconi who actually surprised me with it. In a sense this was his contribution to My Favorite Zombie. Lou is one of my good friends and his artwork has been kept in the dark for far too long. This too would be a disservice to Lou and his work if I were to not somehow archive his endeavors as well.

This is where TheDeadWalk.org comes into play. Not only am I archiving those stories here but I will be re-releasing them this upcoming October (2017) and giving them a “new life” on the internet. This will also be a resurrection of sorts as I will work towards carrying this themed month into Halloween 2018 and beyond (pending any shit shake resurrections).

I hope you find these stories enjoyable and have fun taking the journey with the people who wrote them. Thank you for reading. If you would like to contribute to future My Favorite Zombie Month endeavors, please hit the CONTACT button above and shoot me a message. I would be honored to add you into the archives.

A.R. Marquez
Editor-In-Chief
Autumn 2017

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