In our domain, many a hobbyist has found their creative outlet to remove themselves from their work a day world in this vast internet of comic virtue. For most it is all that is required and certainly all that can be handled, but there are a precious few who have found that not only can they handle their Web Comic, but the comic itself is not outlet enough for them.
Nate Peikos, is such an individual. Most of us know him as the founder of Blambot.com, where he creates premium quality comic fonts, but our dear Mr. Peikos has found a way to be much more. In addition to his font creations, Nate has developed an accomplished and high quality logo design service, a weekly web comic of growing popularity (Atland), and even an ongoing choose-your-own adventure novel about Zombies in a town called Dead Ends. On top of all of this, Nate still finds a way to give away many of his quality fonts for free. The crowning achievement I wish to discuss in detail in this post is his novel “Dead End”?. Never before have I seen an online comic artist flexing their writing muscles in the ancient time tested art of Pure Text for the purposes of a fictional ongoing story. Thus this work caught my eye.
In his book, Mr. Peikos describes a small New England town (Dead Ends) and one of its native inhabitants, Eddie Beams. Eddie is a delivery boy who works the closing shift. After his last delivery of the night a dunk driver runs Eddie off of the road during a meteor shower. After making sure he was uninjured Eddie makes his way to the truck of the oncoming driver where he discovers the drunkard dead. A policeman stops to check on the wreckage. When inspecting the truck, it’s seemingly dead occupant springs into action gnawing at the officer’s face. The action of the story continues to follow Eddie and the cadre of friends and enemies he makes along the way in this desolate apocalyptic winter in Dead Ends, Massachusets. Certainly none of the key story-points reeks of originality, but the choose-your-own adventure aspect certainly adds an angle of difference. In the choose your own adventure feature, one clicks on a link to their choice of action. That link can serve as a wise choice for the character to make, but sometimes when that same choice is made and that same link is clicked, it could spell disaster, and almost always, certain death for the protagonist.
Another feature of the story that I particularly enjoy is a protagonist I can relate to. He is my age and general description and he often finds himself stuck in comical positions of great debilitating horror and hopelessness. The key aspect of this story that I enjoy more than any other would be the [omni]presence of zombies. Let it be known that the great and powerful -PookeyG- freaking LOVES zombies. Why? You might ask. What’s not to love? They are as bloody and gory and diseased as any (almost) animate object can be, but yet still they come. Their only lethal weapon is their teeth thus leaving a tactical advantage to any gunslinger (which our hero turns out to be). Lastly, there is never a pang of guilt at blowing each of these things away. In addition to sparing us none the bloody details about these creatures, Mr. Peikos has also added the zombies’ ability to burrow through the ground with great speed and efficiency, thus conveniently explaining the sudden up-rise from relatively fresh graves.
Currently the project is awaiting its 7th chapter that was due this passed June. When asked about the lapse in the schedule, Mr. Peikos had this to say: “Working on it, dude. I can’t finish it up if I don’t have a house to keep my computer in.” I suggest this story to anyone looking for a nice escape; whether they are at their cubicle job, in class, or at home looking to kill a little time. Chances are, by the time anyone finishes the current 6 chapters, the 7th will be up and running.