Zombie Ware

Posted by Mongo Monday, October 5, 2009

The zombie genre of entertainment is a huge playing field full of games and other memorabilia. Because of this, I decided to dedicate an entire section of my shop just to zombies. Why? I love them because they provide a great commentary on society. Commercialism, Politics, War, etc. You can take any genre of fiction and plop in zombies and you have a sort of Greek chorus that symbolizes a message about the issue. I fear them because out of all the things that could happen in this world, whether it be nuclear war, economic meltdown, or any other host of threats, zombies are a substantial equalizer. If the possibility were there, they would be a huge threat. Not to mention the idea of your loved ones turning into a zombie and attacking you puts you in a huge pickle. I truly believe there could be a viral outbreak much like 28 Days Later, turning people into raging killers. However, I don’t believe that it will be like the Romero films with flesh eating reanimated corpses.

Currently, I have 12 designs, four of which all play off the same theme.

This is a parody of the nutritional Food Pyramid you see on places like MyPyramid.Gov. Instead of breaking down the different food groups by type, zombies will most likely just see YOU as the entire pyramid.

This is a parody of the “How are you feeling today” posters and such. Of course, in the case of zombies, they don’t exactly show a lot of emotion…so, well, you get the idea. If anything else, it was the perfect chance to use the word ennui in a design. I also did a similar one for Alien Moods.
This one came about during the Presidential Race of 2008. I noticed a lot of people using, what is now called, the “Obamacized” or “Obamanized” image for just about everything. It’s the way of inking a picture with red, white (beige), and blue shades inspired by the Shepard Fairey print of Barack Obama Hope Poster. I thought I would jump on that bandwagon with a zombie design and took created my own image with the word BRAINS instead of HOPE. It’s sold as a poster last month.

Parody of Abbey Road with three zombies lurching after the leader (John Lennon.) This was in the works from the beginning of Zombie Ware but took a while to perfect. Each limb that crossed over a vertical stripe didn’t look right as a silhouetted design. They all got lost in the background. I ultimately decided to make the vertical stripes white. Then, I had trouble figuring out the best way to do the inverted color for dark shirts. Unfortunately, I didn’t do this entirely in layers and ended up having to zoom into the image to etch the outline of each leg. I learned to do each element as a layer from then on, especially when silhouetting images.

Please forgive the imagery and parody of religion depicted here. I was inspired by a line from Futurama where Professor Farnsworth cries “Sweet Zombie Jesus!” on occasion.

Christianity and Zombies go hand in hand. After all, if you take a look at Jesus Christ, he lived, was killed, and then rose from the dead. He is the original zombie, patient zero if you will. The trick of this design was depicting Jesus as a darkened figure while still maintaining the realistic look of him in most images. I simply took the brightness down to where it held the symbolic look of Jesus with a crown of thorns but gave it that darkened appearance that kind of lurked in the shadows. Then I stamped it with a stenciled font of the words Patient Zero.
It’s simple. No frills. No need for explanation. It also doubles as an excuse for someone who appears to be stupid. The Content Usage Police actually pulled this one because they felt my design could be confused with the trademark for Neuromart. I just don’t see it. The design is not using the same font nor context in consideration for the study of neurology or actual brain related novelties. I’m talking about eating brains….or lacking them in the case of someone stupid. In any case, it’s back up and I’ve had no troubles with it.

Zombie Task Force
I recently did a post on the University of Florida’s website linking to an exercise for zombie attack preparedness. This was actually the fourth design in the series of Task Force ones starting with the Boston Police Department. This all stemmed from the Twitter feed earlier this year where an officer was reported being bitten by a suspect. A follower tweeted back, “If that was a zombie bite, would you tell us?” The response from the BPD was, “Yes, absolutely.” Thus cementing my theory that Boston is the place to live if you want to be made aware of a zombie outbreak before it’s too late. The Boston version has sold modestly over the last few months which spawned the NYPD version and, of course the Evans City version for all the fans of the original Night of the Living Dead followed by the UF one. I mimicked the style of various city Police Department shirts with mock ups of the badges or patches and the abbreviations in block lettering which is actually a college or university name style font and gave all the designs that aged look for effect.
This is a recreation of the WGON-TV logo for the television station seen in the beginning of the original Dawn of the Dead. Nothing out of the ordinary with the designs. I simply made a series of concentric circles on different layers. The top layer then served as the text which was rendered by using the magic wand/lasso and rectangle select tools to cut out everything that wasn’t a part of the text.
Playing on the Swine Flu outbr….do we call it a pandemic, yet? In any case the designation for Swine Flu being H1N1 gave rise to popular culture calling a viral zombie outbreak H1Z1 which led to the nickname Zombie Flu, which led to this design.

Like I said before, if there ever were to be an outbreak of zombisim or as the UF exercise called it , Zombie Behavior Spectrum Disorder, it would most likely be a virus. The original Night of the Living Dead never directly cites the reason but speculates that radiation from a space probe that exploded in Earth’s atmosphere caused the incident which is then transferred to others through infection or whenever someone dies and still retains enough brain to reanimate, as in the case of Barbara’s brother, Johnny. Max Brooks’ novels cite the outbreak as being caused by a virus called Solanum in which the dead do not rise from the grave, but people die from infection and reanimate.
Keep an eye out for more designs. With it being close to Halloween zombies are definitely on the brain....
bad joke.


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