Thursday, November 20, 2008
David Wellington is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. Wellington hit the scene big with his novel MONSTER ISLAND during the height of the zombie fiction craze a few years ago. There have certainly been better zombie novels (WORLD WAR Z being my favorite) but Wellington hit at just the right time with a surprisingly well-written, well designed book that made it a must-read for zombie fans. Wellington's different take on zombies (He plays with the tropes a little.) brought freshness (heh) to a genre that was burning out fast. But that's not what makes Wellington stand out. The cool thing about him is that he writes his novels in chapters and posts them on the internet before they ever see print. Then, once he's done, he collects the chapters and tweaks them to read better in novel form and releases them.
Wellington followed up MONSTER ISLAND with a sequel and a prequel (MONSTER WORLD AND MONSTER NATION) and has since moved on to a new subject...vampires. I'm currently reading the third of his vampire novels, VAMPIRE ZERO. In the first of his vampire novels, 13 BULLETS and it's first sequel 99 COFFINS, he introduced us to a completely different kind of vampire. No romantic Europeans in dinner jackets and cloaks here. Wellington's vampires are savage, animalistic and incredibly powerful. And completely obsessed with blood. They're hairless, colorless and all teeth and claws. They're scary.
What impresses me most about Wellington is that never takes the easy way out. He throws his characters into crazy, impossible situations and then finds a logical way out. And in the vampire novels, his central protagonist is a lesbian but this fact is never presented in an exploitive way or used to titillate. It's merely a part of her character. And only occasionally is her orientation reacted to by other characters.
Very rarely, Wellington's prose doesn't ring quite true and sometimes the books feel like the serialized chapters they started out as but he is improving with each and every novel and his books are all compulsive page-turners. I'm really looking forward to what he does next. May I suggest werewolves?
With this drawing, I wanted to see what would happen if I just roughed it in in blue and then attacked it with the brush pen. I also wanted to try out my new whiteout pen. Things got a little sloppy around the legs since that's what I was going for, I guess that's okay.
Posted by Matt Wieringo at 4:54 AM