This is another design that was originally intended for a “The Stiff” T-shirt. I’ve talked about this before, but I have to say I much prefer really rotten zombies to fresh, lifelike ones. Seeing perfectly ordinary-looking people running around mindlessly attacking each other is an interesting and disturbing image in its own way, but too often, particularly in movies where makeup budgets are limited, it gets silly: actors with a little shadow under their eyes moaning and shambling, or making unconvincing snarls. The best thing about the deeply flawed movie “World War Z” is that (until the stupid final 1/4) it never slows down enough to let us see any of the zombies face-to-face: they’re always a mindless rushing mob, so we never have to consider that just maaaaaybe they look pretty stupid when they’re slowed down enough to really inspect them. Having the zombies look completely weird and gross (like in “Nightmare City”) or skeletal & rotten (like in, say, “Tombs of the Blind Dead”) gets around this: looking into the literal face of death, or an embodiment of alienness, deformity & disease, rather than just an actor trying really hard.

Speaking of zombies, I’m afraid it will be a few more weeks till “The Stiff” resumes, but until then here’s a 35-minute zombie sketch comic I did using the solo rules of my game “Mangaka”: The Horror of Red Rock Island! This is what my art looks like when I don’t take any time drawing anything. The title is a reference to a certain apocalyptic zombie splatterpunk novel (no, not “The Horror at Red Hook”).

If you’re in the San Francisco area this weekend, please come by the Cartoon Art Museum on Sunday from 12 (noon) to 3pm and check out a free Mangaka playtest/demo! Organized as part of the SF Comics Fest, this demo is gonna be just awesome, I hope you can make it!

NEXT UPDATE: Next Wednesday!