Interview: 'World War Z' Creator Max Brooks Talks Vampires vs. Zombies In 'Extinction Parade'

ExtinctionParade01pg02_03 copy

"World War Z" isn't the only major project coming from writer Max Brooks this summer. The man responsible for "The Zombie Survival Guide" has a sprawling, 250-page epic "Extinction Parade" coming from Avatar Press on June 19. Featuring an apocalypse where the zombies have not only taken over but cut into the food source of our vampire overlords, Brooks imagines humanity trapped between a hungry rock and an also hungry hard place.

With the June release of the first issue of "Extinction Parade" just around the corner, we got to ask Brooks five questions--about the eternal struggle between the living and undead, his thoughts on the zombie movie glut, and who would win in a cage match between the Loch Ness Monster and a mummy.

MTV Geek: What was the genesis of "Extinction Parade?"

Max Brooks: Several years ago, I wrote “The Extinction Parade” as a short story. I thought I was done. Then I went on the episode of “Deadliest Warrior” that put zombies vs vampires. The discussions I had on that show, both on and off camera, made me realize how much deeper I could delve into the subject. I left the show having more questions than answers and just like many of my works, I wanted those questions answered. Vastly expanding the short story of “The Extinction Parade” into a comic book series seemed like the most logical way to go.

MTV Geek: Could you tell us a little about the human cast of characters caught in the middle if all of this?

Brooks: There aren’t many. The humans are almost as much of a backdrop as the zombies, and that’s mostly the fault of the vampires. In my story, vampires rarely mix with humans. And why should they? Humans are the weaker species, the inferior species. What could vampires possibly gain from intimate contact with humans, especially when self-interest is at a vampire’s core? The only humans who regularly deal with vampires are their caretakers, their servant class. I devote an entire issue to one called Willem who has dedicated his life to our two vampire protagonists. He, and others like him, are the reason the so-called "superior" race are able to enjoy their privileged existence. Unfortunately his masters don’t appreciate how dependent they are on him until it’s too late.

ExtinctionParade01pg19 copy

MTV Geek: A constant thread to your work has been zombies and the apocalypse. Why do you continue to return to this theme?

Brooks: I have a lot of other subjects I want to write about, a lot of other stories I want to tell, but you never know when the undead are going to rise in my head.

MTV Geek: With "World War Z" being one of the bigger budget zombie pics to date, do you feel like we're reaching the zombie movie event horizon (and what monster would you love see get the spotlight next)?

Brooks: I’ve been asked that same question for years and I wish I had an answer. I really have no idea what’s going to be hot or not from one year to the next. If I did I probably wouldn’t have written “The Zombie Survival Guide” way back when.


Geek: Finally, lightning round: pick the winners in these monster matchups:

A - 60 Mummies versus Loch Ness monster?

Brooks: Depends. Is the Loch Ness monster being forced to fight in the Egyptian desert or are the Mummies having to fight at the bottom of Loch Ness?

Geek: B - Wereshark versus werebear?

Brooks: Again, where are they fighting? Forest? Ocean? Swimming pool?

Geek: C - Fast zombies versus elderly vampires?

Brooks: Never happen. Fast zombies only live in the movies.