Interview with Kim Krizan, Oscar Nominee & New Comic Writer

Boom! Studios is re-launching Zombie Tales as a monthly ongoing anthology series starting in April. (I enjoyed some of the earlier issues.) It’s 24 pages for $3.99, with two alternate covers, and can be ordered with Diamond code FEB08 3579 or FEB08 3580.

In the first issue, Kim Krizan joins noted comic horror writers Steve Niles and Joe R. Lansdale. Although new to comics, she’s an Academy Award nominee for screenwriting for Before Sunset. At Boom!’s invite, I asked her a few questions about her debut.

What made you decide to try writing comics?

Well, a story is a story, no matter what medium. Ross Richie over at Boom! Studios basically told me flat out I was going write something for them, which I thought was cute. Then he said he wanted me to write about zombies. A long silence ensued. My lower lip quivered and I believe I shed a tear. Do I look like a fourteen year-old boy? Am I interested in zombies? But then he told me I could do anything I wanted. Telling a writer who’s been bound and gagged in the film world that they can do anything they want is like waving a red flag in front of a bull.

Zombie Tales #1 cover

How have you changed your style and/or process for comics?

It felt to me that in writing a comic my process became wild, fast, and sharp — while in a script or book I would be slow, laborious, and careful. The medium did seem to dictate another approach, and it was fun to write. Both film scripts and comic scripts are written for visual media, but I had to consider the importance of things like the turning of a page as an opportunity to add tension. I very easily and naturally put in violent imagery which was rather satisfying. Chip read it and said, “Wow, this gives me the creeps!” and said I was good with horror. Well, I don’t watch horror films. Driving in LA is enough horror for me.

[Chip is Chip Mosher, Boom!’s Marketing & Sales Director and Kim’s husband.]

What can you tell us about your story in Zombie Tales?

I took the assignment to write about zombies as an opportunity to explore some issues that are of great concern to me. The image of the living dead is a great metaphor.

How did you get the slot? Did being married to the company’s marketing guy help? :)

The casting couch routine. All aspiring comic book writers should try it.

You were Academy Award-nominated for your co-writing on the screenplay for Before Sunset, but your only other screenwriting credit is that film’s predecessor. What else have you been working on?

I’ve written a number of scripts and all are optioned. I’m finishing my first book. I’m teaching screenwriting and creative writing at UCLA.

Ross, Mark Waid, and I have discussed doing another comic, but it’s on the QT and very hush-hush.

Did you really play the teacher in Dazed and Confused responsible for speaking my favorite line of the film, the one about celebrating “a bunch of slave-owning aristocratic white males [who] didn’t want to pay their taxes”?

Yes, that was me. It seems like that line is a favorite for a lot of people and it was fun to say. I created a bit of a backstory for the character — she was sort of a little Bolshevik, wasn’t she?

Johanna here. My thanks to Kim for taking the time and to Chip for setting this up. I’m the furthest thing from being a zombie fan, but I’m intrigued to see how Kim’s story turns out and what issues she’s exploring. I appreciate the way she’s bringing experience from other media to comics while considering the unique needs of that medium.

5 Responses to “Interview with Kim Krizan, Oscar Nominee & New Comic Writer”

  1. Blog@Newsarama » Creator Q&A: Kim Krizan Says:

    […] post is mainly for my wife, who loves Kim Krizan’s movies … Johanna Draper Carlson has an interview up with Krizan, who wrote the movies Before Sunset and Before Sunrise. She has a story in […]

  2. Ross Richie Says:

    That’s what Z TALES is really all about, at least to me. Get some vets in there like Niles and Lansdale (some of my favorites, of course) and mix in some new blood that have an intriguing angle and something original to say.

    Ya gotta mix it up!


  3. Jonathan Baylis Says:

    I would love to submit a completed 6-page Zombie comic for this anthology.

    Is there a submission process one can go through?


  4. Johanna Says:

    The contact page at the Boom! site says “we can not accept unsolicited submissions.” So it looks like the answer is unfortunately no.

  5. Jonathan Baylis Says:

    Ah yes, somehow I missed that. Maybe I’ll send a Valentine to Mark Waid then.




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