Well, another Halloween, another zombie. I know everyone’s tired of it by now so I figured this would be the perfect time for me to jump on the bandwagon with one of my own. Oh, yeah -I quit The Walking Dead, too. Sheesh, this is the worst intro ever…
Halloween, Zombies, and Why I Dropped The Walking Dead
So as this Halloween rolled around, I’ve been doing what I usually do, lurking on the art forums and checking out other people as they create art instead of doing it myself. I felt inspired by what some of these young whipper-snappers were doing, so I picked up my trusty Wacom-stylus-thingy and got to work making this zombie using a combination of my favorite 3D programs Daz Studio and Blender and finished it up in Photoshop.
Rendering this darn thing really overtaxed my computer. I was forced to leave it to run for 21 hours straight to get it halfway to the level of quality I wanted (I gotta get a new computer -I’m killing this one).
Blender is now using a semi-new rendering engine called Cycles. Usually in Blender and Daz when you hit the render button it starts at the top and creates the image line by line until it’s finally finished. In Cycles the whole image fills in, except it’s really, really grainy. As time goes on and it takes more and more samples, the picture becomes clearer. You set the number of samples you want and let fly with it. You can always stop when you think it’s clear enough, and save the image. Very cool.
Well, almost cool. The problems were not only was it taking a long time, but as the picture rendered it got clearer and clearer and this chick got uglier and uglier. I suspect this is what it’s like for many of my friends who drink and end up waking up next to some diseased wildebeest the next morning instead of the hot hunk/honey they thought they took home. But back to me, I couldn’t take it anymore because that eye was looking deep into my soul, so I decided it was time to post this thing up so it could look straight into YOUR souls.
If I were you guys I wouldn’t look directly at it, I would just kind of come in from the side and take a quick look, then cover your eyes because if you can’t see it, it can’t see you.
You know, I don’t get invited to very many Halloween parties, or really any parties at all. I’m not sure how but I think word got out one time from a party I went to back in the early 2002 down in Milwaukee.
I wasn’t very creative with my costume so I just had on a Jason Voorhies Friday the 13th type of thing and left it at that. Well everyone was taking off their masks and such, so I took mine off. I wasn’t prepared for this at all but when I took mine off people took one look at me and there was this collective scream. Holy shit, what happened?! I ran to the mirror and looked to see if my eye fell out or something, but it turned out I was just ugly. Geeesh. What’s wrong with people? Never seen an ugly person before or something…
Man, I hate Halloween. Everywhere I go people telling me “Dude, awesome mask!” trying to hi-five me and everything. I’m like “Get away from me! I’m not wearing a mask, you asshole!” But no one ever listened. Aw, shucks. It ain’t easy being JG. I know it looks like I’m ballin’ hard with these comics and Joomla and such but I tell you it’s not the case.
One time I was coming home on Halloween -not from a party, but I had just went to McDonalds so that was my big night out. So I see this group of kids running through the yards and I’m thinking “what’s going on here?” They don’t even let the kids trick or treat at night anymore so what’s the deal?
As they were coming out from behind the bushes I jumped in front of them and yelled out “ALRIGHT WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE!!?” Or that’s what I wanted to say but I had a mouthful of fries at the time so it was more like “ARTTYHJ JHOPO MRGHPPHH FHHRTH!!” and fries spitting out of my mouth spraying them in the face. Back in my day, some old guy jumping up and down screaming “OOGA BOOGA” with fries spewing from his mouth wasn’t enough to scare me, but kids these days are obviously a bunch of cowardly punks or something. One look at me was enough to send these little brats shrieking in the other direction. So at this point I figure they must have something really good in those bags so I started chasing them for like 2 blocks but they went into a house and got away. Damn damn damn…
SEXY HALLOWEEN HEAUX
Everyone is calling out women for dressing slutty on Halloween. Not me. What are we, Puritans? I say go for it, it’s only one night and we gotta have some fun. More importantly, I gotta get my kicks somehow. If you scroll back up and see the part where I write about Blender Cycles rendering for 21 hours, you’ll realize that THAT is my idea of excitement. You gotta give me something, man come on.
Thank God for Twitter. This way I can see all the sexy costumes that my friends and stalk-ees are wearing without the former pre-requisite of having been invited to hang out with them.
Well, at least I used to be able to. For some reason HootSuite is acting up these days and the image previews don’t work. All it says is “Image cannot be previewed at this time. Try again later.” Try again later? Hell no. I’ll just switch to something else. Actually no, I won’t I’m too lazy for that. I just stopped looking at pictures, that solved the problem. Somebody will fix it eventually.
I know what you’re thinking…I could just click the darn link and view the image right on Twitter/Twitgoo/Yfrog or wherever, but my answer to that is…did we lose a war or something?? Come on, man! I gotta load another page? Where does it end?? Someone has to make a stand – or more accurately someone has to sit on their lazy ass and do nothing, and that someone is ME.
It’s a shame, because I was not averse to complimenting a girl on her photo, but now I just keep all my compliments to myself. And by that I mean I really do compliment myself every day for doing mundane normal stuff that everyone does. I figure if I don’t compliment me then who will?
Apparently, no one, but oh well…
STUPID, STUPID ZOMBIES
Ok, enough about me, but now we’ll talk about the current Zombie craze which has been going on for the past 10 years almost.
Everyone knows the zombie lore, but it reinvented itself for me when I read The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks (The son of Legendary Mel Brooks). I saw it on the new bookshelf at a Barnes and Noble and snatched it up right away. Even though it was written in a very matter of fact tone (it really is a manual), it cracked me up.
I picked up his follow up, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, which was actually a complete 180 in tone. This one was written as journalistic accounts from different survivors taken immediately after the world had started to recover from a massive zombie outbreak.
Very cool. I even bought the audio recording of this one, it was well produced and you could really feel the horror they had all just went through.
(The above links are my affiliate links, but as usual I will defeat my own affiliate marketing potential and say you can probably get these cheaper at a Half-Price books or other second-hand bookstore)
Shortly after that, the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead came out. Man I LOVED that movie. I was so excited I went out to see it even though I was half-dead myself at the time. As I lumbered into the theater, moaning and groaning with a hoarse, barely audible voice “ONE for Dawn of the Dead. OOoOOOOhhhhhhhhh.” The girl at the counter gave me a flat-eyed stare like “man, that shit wasn’t funny.” Ehhhh, I’m used to women not laughing at my jokes. They only laugh when I’m being serious and asking them out.
The thing about this movie was that the zombies actually RAN after you. A lot of people were upset because they felt this tarnished the whole zombie genre, but not me.
I know the whole “the slow moving zombies represent the inevitable, unstoppable comme-uppance of mankind” or something. The only problem with that is that it’s a load of crap.
No slow-ass lumbering, shuffling, pop-locking zombie is gonna catch me. It’s just not gonna happen. They may catch YOU, but not the kid. Not me, when I see one, I’m GONE.
In the movies with the slow zombies they always have to go out of their way and really push the plot contrivances to work people into a situation where they just can’t get away.
If I’m out there in the streets just sauntering scavenging for cat food and there’s one behind me I’ll just kick my walk up to the “brisk” setting, then if he’s still coming I’ll get my gangsta-stroll on. At some point you’ll have to stop and tie your shoe or you’ll drop something, but if that happens to me and the thing catches up to me then I’ll just unleash the wrath and administer a quick monkey-ass-whoopin’ and then be on my way.
What they don’t tell you in the movies and tv and such is that the zombies aren’t really that stupid. When they see one of their boys taking a monkey-ass-whoopin’ they’re all like “Oh, SHIT!! Did you see that sh…” That’s why there’s always some people who the zombies don’t run up on because they don’t want to deal with those fists of fury.
This is all true, by they way. In real life sometimes people tell me they can’t tell when I’m joking or not but I promise you this is all true, man. Or that’s what I heard, anyway…
THE WALKING DEAD
Oh, boy. I don’t think there’s any doubt that The Walking Dead is the premiere name is Zombie-dom these days. You know what I’m talking about. Check this out:
I don’t watch this show any more, though. I actually started out with the comic and never missed an issue. Until issue 100. Comic fans know exactly what I’m talking about. Issue 100 went off the rails, and not in a good way, at least not to me.
When I closed the cover on that comic, I did what I had done to many comics before, but NEVER to an issue of The Walking Dead:
I tossed that mofo over my shoulder onto the floor with the rest of the refuse in my apartment that I should probably clean up but I’m not going to because that’s how I roll.
Man, it was a load of crap. But even worse, it made me see the whole blueprint for any zombie series ever. It’s like this:
People are BAD.
There, I just blew the whole thing for you. Sorry. It’s like “what kind of sick depraved crap can I come up with just to show how awful human beings are because I don’t know if you knew this but people are AWFUL!!1!!”
The stories will just keep on going like this forever. And some of the dialogue in the issue, it’s like the author was talking directly to the reader saying things like “you thought you knew how everything was gonna go down?? well, you’re WRONG!” nah, it’s pretty much telegraphed by now.
It reminds me of Battlestar Galactica. There was really no point to saving any of those humans, they were all pieces of crap floating out in space. Every episode just beating you over the head with how bad people are. Damn.
My friend who also manages the comic shop I go to was a bit shocked when I told him not to pull the comic for me any more (when a comic is “pulled” that’s a guaranteed sale for that comic because I enter an agreement with the retailer that I will definitely buy that book when it comes in). He told me “you’ll definitely want to read the next issue because you’ll change your mind”. Well, I didn’t, issue 101 is now slowly decomposing in the rat-pile along with number 100.
So that’s that. Now, on to the show.
Talk about SLOW. I don’t really like character pieces all that much. Make something happen, man. But last season was pretty boring. I know there was a lot of trouble with the whole Mad Men situation and them losing some of their budget, but I couldn’t deal with that much concentrated boredom at once. Although the last episode blood-bath was cool, it wasn’t enough.
Especially when I saw the slogan of “Fight the Dead, Fear the Living!” UUUGH. Here we go.
I’ll say this for the show, at least they mix it up from the comic. You really don’t know what’s gonna happen, so that much is cool. Unlike Game of Thrones which I stopped watching because it was too faithful to the original material and I found myself becoming bored just watching the story play out as I knew it would.
Oh, and I do realize that The Walking Dead wouldn’t be very interesting if everywhere they went everyone was nice to them and helped them and they all shared ice cream. Still I’m not feeling it anymore so I’m out. I might watch it the same way I watch True Blood, though -namely wait for all the episodes, then watch them with my finger on the fast-forward button to cut out any useless jaw-jackin’ that takes place.
Although I don’t have much to do with The Walking Dead anymore, I still like the game.
Oh, I don’t PLAY the game, I just watch. As I’ve said before I like to watch others play the games I have absolutely no intention of ever buying. Besides, hearing the voice commentary as they play the game adds another layer of entertainment to it:
The developers portray it like the game is really open-ended although it actually isn’t. Despite the choices you make in the game you’ll all end up in the same spot. A clever twist is that they keep track of your choices and tally them up with all the other players so you can see how many people made the same choices you did.
The final dog of The Walking Dead is the whole “we may never know what happened to cause this blah blah blah”. That whole schtick just is not good enough for me. I loved X-Files back in the day but the whole “weird shit happens and it’s never explained” gets OLD.
With The Walking Dead the writer feels that it’s not important and the story is with the people and all that, but I just don’t like it.
I suspect that without my viewership the entire series will tank and be cancelled this season so I’ll just apologize in advance to all of you who still enjoy it.
BACK TO THE MATTE
Hey guess, what? That ugly zombie piece is actually for sale!
Well, to be honest I can’t imagine that too many people will hang this in their living room but I guess I can dream.
Oh yeah, I’ll also sabotage these sales by giving away a 1600px wide version of this thing. That’s not really that big but it’s big enough for some folks that they wouldn’t bother buying the print. (click the picture to pop up the 1600px version)
Man, I’m really terrible at sales.
Here’s another version without so much blood. I’m not sure which one is better/worse/scarier. Click the image to get the 1600px wide one. I was gonna make it my desktop image but I didn’t want this ugly ass thing looking at me with the stink-eye as I scour Twitter for good looking women who’s pictures I can actually see.
Just for good measure, here’s a zombie face I made way back in the day, maybe 2009 or so. I made it in Illustrator and I planned to sell it as a stock image, but it was rejected for being too violent. I forgot if it was iStock or VectorStock or something. Either way it did not pan out.
It made me mad because I followed all their stupid vector rules instead of doing things the normal, efficient way that I normally work, but you know how it goes, if you can’t beat ’em…just be defeated then and shut up about it.
THE WRAP UP
So that’s all for me on this Halloween of 2012. This is more of a rant that I usually do so if you managed to actually read all of this then I salute you.
Let me know in the comments if you agree or disagree with my Walking Dead comments or my choice of favorite zombie movie. I know it’s a matter of intense debate for some.
Either way I hope those of you that are celebrating Halloween or going out to a great party have a great time (without me).
‘Til next time!