I’ve been a fan of Jeff Rice’s hardbitten, wiseass reporter “Carl Kolchak,” since I was a kid, staying up to catch Darren McGavin play the character in reruns of Kolchak the Night Stalker on the CBS Late Movie. I have also long-believed that the two Kolchak television movies written by Richard Matheson are genuine horror classics.
When Moonstone started to publish new adventures of the hard luck ghost hunter, I was thrilled, and bought several of their books – never guessing that someday I would be invited to add to the Kolchak canon. Nonetheless, when the call came, I rose to the challenge.
I was asked to come up with a Kolchak “event,” and the title “Night Stalker… of The Living Dead” popped into my head, along with the perhaps obvious notion of dropping the intrepid newshawk into a small midwestern town overrun with George Romero-styled undead. They liked it, so then I had to write it. That was the hard part.
I tried very hard to be faithful to Jeff Rice’s creation and incorporate the best elements of the Richard Matheson teleplays into my story. I also took great pains to try and capture Darren McGavin’s “voice” in the dialogue and narration. I’m not sure how well I accomplished that, but I gave it my best shot.
When Carl Kolchak is assigned to cover a celebrity puff-piece in Georges Corners, Nebraska, he allows himself to believe that the story will be boring. But even before he gets to town, a horrifying event occurs, turning ordinary townspeople into the living dead. With the help of a strong-willed lady sheriff, Kolchak tries to unravel the mystery… but it may be too late for anything but survival.
The amazing Tim Hamilton (The Trouble With Girls, Cthulu Tales: the Rising, PopGun, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451) was assigned to illustrate the 3-issue, full-color miniseries, and did a phenomenal job. Colors were by Ian Sokolowiski. Master zombie artist David Aikens provided the appropriately ghoulish cover paintings.
The original miniseries was published by Moonstone Books in 2008, and then collected in the Kolchak Tales: Monsters Among Us trade paperback in 2010. The trade also includes the Kolchak Tales: Frankenstein Agenda miniseries by David Michelinie and Don Hudson.
Praise for Kolchak Tales: Night Stalker of the Living Dead:
“Mills never falters in his mimicry of Darren McGavin’s delivery, and Hamilton and Sokoliwski draw curtains of darkness and spray a judicious amount of gore to make The Living Dead an impressive Kolchak mini-series.”
– Ray Tate
“Mills does a great job writing Kolchak and the various locals who cross the reporter’s path. Artist Tim Hamilton delivers solid storytelling and visuals. This series is ghoulishly good fun and earns an impressive four Tonys.”
– Tony Isabella
Comics Buyers Guide
“…the best Kolchak story since the original TV show. Christopher Mills gets Carl Kolchak like no writer since creator Jeff Rice or screenwriter Richard Matheson. His “Night Stalker of the Living Dead” is exciting, modern, and deeply scary. Fun, too.”
– John Platt
Author: Die Laughing