Thursday, August 5, 2010

Don't Say The Zed Word!

Have you ever noticed that in virtually every zombie movie ever made, the writers go out of their way to never actually mention the "Z" word? It seems to be an unwritten law in Hollywood. George Romero's Dead movies always call them "those things." They do say it in Shaun Of The Dead, but they make a joke about how they shouldn't say it.

Why this is, I have no idea. If you make a zombie movie, why not call them what they are?

Anyway, here's a vector drawing of a zombie, er... I mean one of "those things."

Drawn in Indesign. Including the engraved-look brain.

By the way, I've been drawing in vector a lot lately, and I always use InDesign. Even though it's made for page layout, it's got most of the same drawing tools that Illustrator has, and I'm more familiar with it.

I recently decided that I should probably learn to draw in the more conventional Illustrator program, so I fired it up and started fiddling around, and was appalled to find out that there's no "Paste Into" function. You have to create masks for objects that you want to appear inside other objects, which can quickly become needlessy complicated.

What a crock! InDesign's "Paste Into" function is easy to use and elegant in its simplicity. Why can it, a page layout program, so effortlessly do something that Illustrator, a drawing program, can't? Adobe, I demand an explanation.

So I guess I'll continue to use InDesign from now on for vector drawings.

Here's the original version of the zombie, in an odd and static pose. I didn't think this was working, so I scrapped everything but his head and shirt and started over. That's today's art lesson, kids. Don't fall in love with your art. It can always be improved upon.

Originally I had the zombie against a blood red background, but I started playing around with colors and decided I liked the green better. Here's the red background for comparison.

8 comments:

  1. It's more common in horror comedies than in straight horror films. I think when you acknowledge zombies by name you tip your hat to the meta commentary of zombies. If people name the creatures as zombies, they should know the zombie rules. And if the common rules don't fit your movie, but you call your monsters zombies, you have to explain why they're different. It's easier not to use the zed word and let audiences bring their understanding.

    Awesome art, BTW.

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  2. Well, in "Zombieland" they're called zombies... maybe cause is a parody movie, who knows.
    InDesign looks interesting, is the best soft for vectors or you recommend me other one?. Nice character btw ;-)

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  3. Zedworld: I guess that makes sense. It's not just zombies either-- "Near Dark" was obviously about vampires, but they never said the V word anywhere in the entire movie.

    Jaun Bauty: You're right, "Zombieland" does use the Z word. Right at the beginning, Columbus says, "Welcome to Zombieland."

    As for drawing vectors, Illustrator is the program of choice, but because I use InDesign constantly at work, I'm much more comfortable with it.

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  4. He's Zombielicious!! I love the green background. It really makes the pool of blood under his foot pop right off the page!! Awesome work!!

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  5. Illustrator CS5 finally has a feature similar to Paste Inside, and there's also paste behind which is handy too.

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  6. He's great!

    I like ZedWord's Z-theory. I think another reason they don't say the Z word is because they want to make a serious and believable zombie movie, and it's difficult for them to take that 1st awkward plunge with the word. If they don't do it right it can be corny or even laughable. It reminds the viewer they are watching a movie, and that brings them out of the movie. I think for that reason the writers choose to use the Porky Pig method of just saying another easier word.

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  7. George Coghill:

    That's good to know about Illustrator CS5. Unfortunately I'm still on CS2. :^(

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