By Dean Haspiel
Pitched as a full-length graphic-novel, Blood + Brains takes the “vampires vs. zombies” premise, and pushes it to a whole new, adrenaline-infused, level, where the ubiquitous zombie horde is but the first wave of monsters our protagonists must survive as they head out on a death-race, cattle-drive. For a peek inside our pitch process, keep reading below, and check out our full-page summary of the story.
Haney Edgefield is a black vampire in post-apocalyptic, zombie America. She can’t remember the last time she was this hungry. For each human that becomes a zombie, she not only gains an adversary and competitor, but she also loses a food source. Meanwhile, the entire East Coast seems to be infected by the zombie plague. She doesn’t understand how it could have happened so fast. She tried to bite a zombie early on, but it made her sick as a dog, and, hell, she hasn’t been sick since she was a young woman traveling along the Underground Railroad, escaping North to the free states, and a Conductor turned her into a vampire. Now she’s trying to get to that Conductor, one Dr. Bernice Garrett, an old friend and dear ally who is now a medical researcher and scientist residing in Bethesda, MD. She’ll know what to do.
Dr. Garrett has allied with a sizable group of humans living in a gated community. She gains the occasional taste of fresh, human blood, and they gain the protection and knowledge of a powerful vampire. Amongst these humans resides Aaron Huser, Special Forces. Huser lost an arm, leg and a chunk of his face to an IED in Afghanistan. Because of the advanced science and engineering of Dr. Garrett and her team, Huser is becoming as much machine as man, robotic limbs replacing his missing ones. Huser is a powerful, lumbering expert on weaponry, explosives and crowd control, and even though posttraumatic stress syndrome has affected his psyche, he has a plan. He’s been executing missions, rounding up special vehicles for travel across the zombie-infested East Coast, heading west to the barren landscapes of the Grand Canyon, to Mormon country, where they hope to find refuge in Colorado City with an elder vampire.
What Huser doesn’t know is that the zombie plague is Dr. Garrett’s fault. In an attempt to cure breast cancer with vampire blood, she instead created Patient X, a hulking, cancerous monster with a vampire’s speed, and a bite that transforms people into the mindless undead. This thing has been zipping through the East Coast, biting every human in its path trying to satiate an insatiable hunger, and spreading the zombie plague. Once assembled, Haney, Huser, Dr. Garrett and their human allies barrel across the country in a motley squadron of tanks, big rigs, SUVs, motorcycles and super cars. And what sort of sick and twisted relationship is emerging between the bloodsucker Haney and the man-monster Huser?
As the group races across the countryside, they will be attacked by zombie hordes, werewolf motorcycle gangs, chupacabra truckers and rival vampire racers, all trying to get at their most valuable resource: the herd of humans Haney and the gang are driving west to Colorado City. As Haney, Huser, and co. progress, they will face off with Patient X, as Dr. Garrett works to synthesize a cure for the zombie apocalypse along the way. Blood + Brains is a vicious, thrill-ride adventure of violence, sex and madness, i.e., True Blood meets Walking Dead by way of The Road Warrior.
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