Hey 3.5 Cowpokes.
Way, way back in January, I decided to give Zombie Western a go. I wanted to write something fun and mindless. Cowboys live a cowboy life in a cowboy town. Zombie outbreak ensues. They fight for survival.
The it got complicated. The Legion Corporation came into play. Vampire Blythe became the villain. He had werewolf henchmen. Oh and there are good werewolves that help the hero too.
And there’s a romantic subplot where the hero can’t decide which woman he wants and the villain will eventually use this against him.
Oh but don’t worry. There are zombies. The villain is trying to transport a whore army of them across the Mississippi River on the way to attack the East coast and conquer the US.
He spread his zombifying blood with the help of Doc as an unwitting dupe, who was tricked into selling a Miracle Cure All that contains the blood in it.
So it has all become very confusing, hasn’t it?
SHOULD I PERFORM AN OVERHAUL?
Part of me wonders if I shouldn’t just go back to the beginning, cut out the vampires, the werewolves, and just write a simpler story about cowboys fighting for survival in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.
SHOULD I KEEP GOING AS IS?
Some of you have said you like the vampires and werewolves so I don’t know.
I’d like to tell you about my sequel ideas and maybe that can help the discussion.
FIRST SEQUEL (OR ZOMBIE WESTERN 2?) – UNDEAD MAN’S HAND
Part prequel. Part sequel.
The prequel part…
1876. Deadwood. Dakota Territory. North and South Dakota have yet to become states.
Gold is discovered and a makeshift mining camp town “Deadwood” is started. Some of the West’s most legendary characters descend in search of fortune. They swear a lot according to the HBO show about it. (It was good by the way I recommend it.)
Wild Bill Hickok is the best gunfighter in the West. But in secret, he is also a formidable vampire hunter.
As history buffs might be aware, Hickok was shot in the back by Jack McCall over a gambling dispute. It has been said that the poker hand Hickok had upon his death was “Aces over Eights” which becomes known as the “Dead Man’s Hand.”
As it turns out, Lady Blackwood (makes an appearance in How the West Was Zombed, her name needs to be changed because her name can’t be Blackwood if she visits Deadwood) glamoured McCall into shooting Hickok to bring his anti-vampire crusade to a halt.
And the Dead Man’s Hand? It wasn’t aces over eights. It was eight ace cards with the faces of the the Legion Corporation’s Board of Directors printed on them.
Immediately prior to his death, he was in the process of explaining his vampire hunting secrets to his best friends, Martha “Calamity Jane” Cannary and Charlie Utter.
After Bill’s death, Jane and Charlie seek to warn everyone of the Legion Corp’s evil ways but are laughed off by everyone.
To make matters worse, they visit Bill’s grave to find his body missing. Meanwhile, rumors spread across the country of a blonde woman matching Lady Blackwood’s description committing atrocities across the country with a lumbering zombie like creature in tow (that bears a striking resemblance to Wild Bill).
Because uh…I don’t know. She snuck a drop of her blood into Bill’s drink at some point before he died I guess.
The sequel part – Years later, after the events of How the West Was Zombed, the countryside is crawling with zombies and everyone who laughed at Jane and Charlie are now ready to help them.
Then I don’t know. They fight Lady B-whatever her name will be and put Zombie Hickok to rest.
THOUGHTS – I had this idea for a sequel early on and it is what made me decide to go with the Legion Corporation angle in Zombed. If you all think it is a good idea, I suppose that is a vote for keeping Legion and not going with a general zombie survival story. Then again, there could always be a sequel featuring Jane in her own zombie survival story.
SECOND SEQUEL IDEA – (OR ZOMBIE WESTERN #3)
Have you ever seen Tombstone with Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp? Or have you ever, in general, read the story of Wyatt Earp?
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Wyatt Earp was the West’s most legendary lawman. Eventually, he got tired of it and he and his brothers moved to Tombstone, Arizona, a boomtown set up around a silver mine. There, the Earp family believed they’d find happiness and contentment as business men. They’d mine for silver and operate businesses catering to other silver miners.
Then they got there and realized the whole town was at the mercy of a gang of a-holes including Curly Bill Brocious, Johnny Ringo, the Clantons, etc.
So insufferably douche-tastic was this gang that Wyatt put on a star once more and took them all on.
Wyatt is aided by Doc Holliday, lifelong tuberculosis sufferer…too smart for his own good wisecracker and loyal friend.
HOW IT WILL BE ZOMBIFIED: After the West is Zombed in How the West Was Zombed, Wyatt and brothers did their best to keep Dodge City from becoming overrun by zombies but alas, it has been zombified. With their wives, they head out to Tombstone, in the hopes there won’t be any damn zombies there. They can quit the zombie hunting game altogether and settle down.
Alas, their hopes are dashed. Curly Bill and Johnny Ringo are damn vampires loyal to the Legion Corporation. The Clantons and the rest of the gang are werewolf henchmen.
They refuse to allow anyone to mine the discovered silver because…well, you know what silver does to vampires and werewolves.
The gang becomes so unbearable that Wyatt and brothers become zombie hunters again and they win the day.
Wyatt is assisted by loyal friend Doc Holliday, who has long told everyone that he suffers from tuberculosis but in fact, suffers from a slow acting form of zombie-ism. His blood may be the key to a zombie antidote.
THOUGHTS – I guess this requires the Legion Corp to exist? Then again – Wyatt could fight the gang amidst a zombie outbreak?
SEQUEL IDEA #3 (OR ZOMBIE WESTERN 4)
Prior to the West becoming Zombed, a lovable Robin Hood-esque bank/train robber traveled through the west, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor, with the help of his merry men gang.
They took only what they needed to live then gave the rest away. They were in it for the adventure and thrill.
In the midst of their last heist, they left one of their gang to be captured. He was a douche that did bad things. He has since sworn vengeance.
Also, a noble lawman got the one and only black mark on his career when the unnamed Robin Hood character heisted something under his watch.
Post zombified West, money is worthless and the gang is depressed. There is not much adventure left to be had…except…they realize they can put their skills to work fighting zombies.
And then I assume they go after some vampire with the legion corp.
Except their old gang member is after them.
And the law man they bested will have to hold his nose and help them.
THOUGHTS: This probably could work with or without the Legion. Arguably, it might work better without it.
FINAL QUESTION – Now that I’ve shared what I see as sequels, do you think I should keep the Legion (vamps and wolves and zombies) or just focus on the zombies?