The Walking Dead on AMC. Sweet.
I was turned on to the comic (or graphic novel, I guess… I’m never sure) around a year or so ago. I loved it right away.
The combination of the brilliant story written by Robert Kirkman, and the striking illustrations by Tony Moore, just really does it for me. Both the story and the drawings in The Walking Dead are direct and efficient, without ever appearing to be anything less than Kirkman’s and Moore’s very best effort… on every page and every panel.
Maybe it was foolish of me, but I was a caught off-guard when Frank Darabont’s TV version chose to use a different opening sequence than the one from the comic. I guess the opening sequence in the book worked so well for me that I couldn’t imagine anyone feeling the need to rewrite it in any way. I mean the screenplay AND the storyboard/shotlist were all right there… why wouldn’t you just USE them?
But once I got over my surprise – and reset my expectations – I was able to thoroughly enjoy watching the show.
I mean, when was the last time any of us had the opportunity to watch a TV series about Zombies? And this series is going to based on some top-notch source material… it would be a real waste not to enjoy the ride.
Here’s another Zombie drawing, in honor of the Walking Dead on AMC. DVR – RecordSeries – Check.
Remember… always kill the head.
Wow – it’s been a busy summer/fall for me in my non-artistic life! I’ve only recently started doing some drawing again… and it’s been a reinvigorating experience. Creative expression really does help my state of mind.
I’ve picked up on the Zombie project idea again, and started designing some of the non-Zombie characters who are going to have to survive in the world of the living dead.
So, here are a couple of pics of * THE Z-TEAM *… work in progress.
1ST DRAFT w/storyline & dialog ideas overlayed
CAST OF CHARACTERS + a bit more definition
BACKSTORY w/WORKING NAMES:
college student… was on a canoe trip when the Zombie outbreak swept through the cities, towns, and well… campuses. He got back to the dorm… had a look around… and decided to head for the hills… literally;
art-school dropout & vagabond… was crashing at an acquaintance’s hunting cabin when the dead came to town… and that’s right where he was when Marcus found him;
biker/mechanic… stays on the move riding with his motorcycle club and kicking Zombie asses along the way… “Live to Ride, Ride to Live” has taken on new meaning… while running for their lives from a pack of TEETH, the boys are saved when Hoops and Co. happen on the scene… suffering a broken ankle in the scrum, Hoops decides to stay with the boys for a bit while he heals;
USMC Combat Rifle Company squad-leader whose team was eviscerated when a call to “quell a riot” in Trenton NJ put them in the path of several-hundred Zombies tearing through the city… after barely escaping across the river, Val comes looking for provisions at the mall.
That’s it for now… look for more… sooner or later.
And remember – Kill the Head!
When business gets messy… they call in the Heavy Hand…
Somebody is not going to be happy to see this face tonight…
My buddy Craig has a really big head.
Presumably that would mean he’s got a really big brain too – wouldn’t it? Maybe that’s why he writes so many damn blogs. His big ol’ brain just keeps churning out idea after idea… and blogging gives him a place to dump them all.
Lately he’s been siezed by a fit of Beatle-Mania which <sarcasm>surprisingly</sarcasm> has resulted in several more blogs.
His latest one is a response to some folks who questioned whether or not it’s productive for someone in his business (the DJ business) to spend time writing blogs about the Beatles.
The blog answers that question, by posing another question (a nice Socratic approach)…
Craig goes on to argue that music is a DJ’s stock & trade… you want your DJ to be knowledgeable about music… and researching and writing about one of the greatest music groups of all time is therefore consistent with what a DJ OUGHT to be thinking about.
He sent me a draft of his blog… asked for my opinion on it… and then asked if I would be willing to provide another illustration [see Octopus].
But, he said he didn’t know what kind of picture would make sense…
So I whipped off this little doodle here…
The sketch above is the one I sent Craig for his blog.
I had cranked that one out real quickly right before running out the door… so I didn’t spend too much time staring at it (which I usually DO)… so when I looked at it again later that night, it was kind of “new” to me.
I really liked it… and I couldn’t stop looking at it.
Turns out… I wanted to play with it some more.
So I re-opened the file and started resizing… adding backgrounds… throwing on filters and effects…
Eventually I tuned in on this “poster” treatment… which makes me laugh… which is good.
Make sure you click it to see the full-size version (and press ‘F11’ to go to fullscreen view)
If there’s one thing I just can’t stand about Zombies it’s gotta be how damned inconsiderate they are…
Ya know – it doesn’t make one bit of a difference to a Zombie what plans YOU may have had for the day, oh no…
The ZOMBIE wants to rip your arms off… the ZOMBIE wants to tear open your skull-bucket and devour your brains… It’s all about the Zombie… ZOMBIE, ZOMBIE, ZOMBIE!!!
To hell with your important business meeting… or your long-awaited vacation… to hell with your lunch date with grandma… to hell with your stupid wedding reception… GAH! See what I mean??? SO friggin selfish!
Seriously… I mean half the time they can’t even be bothered to use DOORS…
“Nevermind… I’m coming through the WALL!“
What a bunch of JERKS…!!!
I think this may be my favorite of all my Zombie sketches so far. It captures the look and the style I was after throughout this exercise. I’m really satisfied with this one.
As a matter of fact… this is the last Zombie sketch I think I’ll be posting…
At least for a while… I’ve got some other doodles that I want to give a little time to.
But you know Zombies… you can’t ever really get rid of ’em… not really.
In a world following a massive-scale Zombie outbreak… lots of things will change… many sights that would surprise you today, will become commonplace…
Traditional law enforcement and military forces will likely be otherwise occupied with securing strategic infrastructure (or protecting the “important” people) or they may even no longer exist… except maybe as uniformed Undead
Bands of citizens will have to organize and pull together for their mutual survival… groups like the one in this sketch won’t be uncommon at all…
These guys look like they’ve survived quite a bit and know what they’re doing… they also look like “good guys”…
Which brings up a good point – even if you’re alone and on the run from flesh-eating Ghouls, a roving gang of armed men isn’t necessarily a good thing to run into… but I think these guys would help you out… if they could…
I decided to combine 2 pix in this one post. Though they’re not exactly related, I think they go well together visually.
Not too much to say about this next one… I think it tells its own story…
You can fill in the details however you want… but one thing is for sure… some shit is about to go down, and it ain’t gonna be pretty…
Zombies are mindless animated corpses, operating strictly on the simple instinct to pursue and devour… no external force affects or influences their behavior… right? Well what if something, or someONE, could? What if some sinister figure had the ability to coordinate–to direct–the legions of the Undead? How would that change the playing field?
So, I’d sketched up some ghoulies, dreamed up a hero and carved out a back-story for her–partially setting the stage for the overall story in a spontaneous fit of creative writing (don’t worry… that doesn’t happen often.) So what next…?
Well, I’m the kind of person who craves balance. So once I’d defined the hero, it became important for me to come up with an Anti-Hero. “Protagonist… meet Antagonist. I’m sure you’ll hit it off famously.”
To be honest, I never did come up with quite as clear of an idea about who the Antagonist was, or where he came from. Maybe I was being lazy, but I decided that he would at least start out as a complete mystery… and I figured I could sort out the rest if it ever became important. And knowing that I was doing this as a creative exercise, and never really planned to actually MAKE a movie out of it… I figured that was good enough.
The Antagonist as far as I did define him was a man… probably incredibly old, but with no appearance of physical decline… grim, but not unattractive… absolutely fearless and intimidating beyond belief. In fact, I modeled the basic idea off of my memory of Stephen King’s ultimate villain Randall Flagg, from one of my very favorite books ‘The Stand.’
Like I mentioned previously… my main goals in this series of drawings were:
1) move quickly – don’t spend too much time on details
2) experiment with framing
3) work on color schemes to convey mood
On that score, I think I did well with this one. Although, I’m not exactly crazy about the face, or the figures in the background (truthfully, I’m not even sure what they were supposed to be… but I’m calling them Zombies now… weird, lumpy Zombies) I do like the framing, the colors and the overall sense I get when looking at this sketch, so… I’ll call it a keeper.