Sunday, June 12, 2011

If you want to be a popular Zombie, you need a bit or a schtick.

So, I posted a quick bit on the Zombie March in Chicago yesterday.  I'm hoping to finish on the subject in two posts tonight, but wow... there were a lot of pictures.

NOTE to the regular readers who are used to cute, fluffy squirrels and happy little song birds...  These zombie posts contain exactly what you'd think of when you hear "zombie".  A lot of stage make-up gray faces and latex flesh wounds and currant-juice fake blood.  If this is not what you signed on for, please feel free to look away now.  Personally, I found it all to be a lot of "Hey look someone in make up", but some people on the street were legitimately startled by some of the participants. Personally (and really, this is something I'll go into in the next post, not this one) the only thing I found creepy were some of the contact jobs.  Even under all the grease paint, latex and Rice Krispies (more on that in the next post too) I still expect people's eyes to look like, you know, normal eyes.

I promise that my next event will be far more family-friendly. :)

Anyway, I mentioned yesterday that about 2000 zombies and 100 photographers showed up for this 'flash mob' style event.

With that many subjects all wanting to be photographed, it was a bit of a challenge to decide who to shoot, where, how and then once I got the pictures back on the computer, thinning them down to a representative sample was a real challenge.

To any zombies who remember being photographed by a short girl in jeans and a gray/black/white flannel who aren't being shown here: my deepest apologies. I've had to reject a lot of really fun pictures just for lack of something to say other than, "Hey look, yet another zombie."  If you're reasonably sure that I got some shots of you and you'd like me to email them to you, please feel free to contact me.  You can leave a comment here or email kymberleericke at gmail [dot] com.

So here's a trick for next year:  Have a bit.  Have a theme or a skit or a schtick or something that makes you more than "and here's yet another zombie in jeans and a torn up t-shirt with fake blood all over."

Mad as a Hatter and Twice as Dead
Like this pair.  First off I love the gender-switch of the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts.  Second of all, the contacts I mentioned earlier?  Check out Miss Hatter's eyes closer.  Not only does she have creepy contacts, she has eyelashes longer than some dog leashes I've seen!

Black Swan, Red Blood
As if the Black Swan wasn't demented enough in the movie.  Now she's demented and dead.

Silence of the [Undead] Lambs

For some, being a zombie was a family affair.  There's something charmingly Radar O'Reilly about a little zombie that carries a cute stuffed lamb.

Movie characters were being undead all over the place.  Here Ginny Weasely and Dorothy were helping to do make up on a few people who weren't undead enough.

Old School Undead
Okay, so there was something very old-school about her outfit.  Very "Little Red Riding Hood" meets Abby Sciuto meets Night of the Living Dead.

A Little Hip Action
And if your costume is not the sort that stands out in 2000 zombies, get a schtick.  I mean, really, who can't help but watch a hoola-hooping zombie?

On my honor, I will die...

Okay, I think she takes my "all time favorite zombie" award for the year.  And yeah, that's probably not an expression I ever expected to use, but her details are just impeccable.  (Is it just me or is Blogspot washing out my photos today?)  If you can blow up the shot and see her patches, the top one is a brilliant re-creation of the normal patch a Junior or Senior scout would wear, but it says "Hurl Scouts" instead of "Girl Scouts" and her troop number is 666.  And to top it off, the irony of ironies is that she's wearing an ANKH!  If you aren't familiar with the ankh, it's an Ancient Egyptian symbol for... life! A zombie wearing a life symbol.  I love it.

From A to Z (Adorable to Zombies)
Of course, you don't have to stretch your zombie imagination too hard when you start with such cute little girls.  Cute little zombies score points any day.  What was absolutely adorable was when I asked to take their picture, the little one with the syringe in her head started to smile and the other one elbowed her and said, "Don't *smile*.  We're *zombies*!"  But then she couldn't keep her face straight.  Also, Zombies in little pink flower sneakers?  Sweet!

Starbucks: even animates the undead

Normally I'm a zombie until I've had my coffee.  Apparently she's a zombie even with it.

In either case, my brother's still safe.
 Also in the schtick department: funny signs.  I always wondered what would happen to undead vegetarians.

 There were a couple of zombie-brides (and a few real ones - see the last post), but this was the only one who came equipped with attendants.  It was a blast staging them in "real wedding" poses with the city behind them.  It confused a few tourists as there was, at the same time, a real wedding doing similar posings about fifteen or twenty feet down the railing from us.

Okay, hopefully I can get everything else in the next post.  A little about zombifying folks, a little on moving 2000 people through Chicago, a little on photographing 2000 zombies on the move...

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