Is it Garcia this time? I suppose you’ll have to wait until the next comic to find out!
I just want to mention a couple of things off the bat:
First off, prints are now available for individual purchase! Yes, most of the comics now have a “Buy a Print” button located underneath the navigation arrows. Click this button to go to the purchasing system through PayPal. You do not need to be a PayPal member to purchase a print, you can simply use a credit or debit card.
*Note: Not all comics are available for print. Some, such as special strips or others that have been previously released in limited edition format are not available, however, feel free to scroll through the site and find which one you want to see if it’s available. If there’s not a “Buy a Print” button underneath the comic, the print is not available for purchase for that comic. FPO AP shipping is available, just make sure you select the “US” button.
You can quickly find the comic you’re looking for by using the search box on the left. If you have any questions or troubles please email me by clicking the “Contact” tab at the top of the screen.
Secondly, the Necropocalypse contest is still going! Check out the official rules here. Entries must be submitted in the thread on the forum. If you absolutely can’t post on the forum for whatever reason, you can email it to me, but I’ll need your actual name to consider it an entry. We’ve already got a few great entries, but we definitely need more!
In line with my outbreak of zombie themed happenings, I’d like to use this special edition Necropocalypse segment to talk to you about zombie films. Each update I will bring up a new zombie film, perhaps it will be worth seeing, or perhaps not. Since the Necropocalypse series obviously doesn’t pertain to anything important going on in the Marine Corps, I may as well talk about something related.
Today I’m going to talk about the father (or grandfather, really) of zombie films:
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
This film has often been regarded as being one of the most important horror films of all time–and rightly so. George Romero’s first full length feature film, and the first of the “Dead” series, Night of the Living Dead was also the first film to feature what is now known as the “classic” zombie. Ironically, they aren’t ever actually referred to as “zombies” in this film, and instead opt for the term “ghouls”.
The film begins with Barbara (Judith O’Dea) and her brother at a cemetary, visiting their father’s gravesite. While there, they run into a meandering member of the undead, who kills her brother. Barbara runs for her life, tripping over herself many times (as most dumb white women do in distress), and finds herself in an abandoned farm house. While there, she runs around some more and eventually runs into Ben (Duane Jones), a tall black guy that doesn’t have time to take shit, and takes charge. While the film starts with Barbara, Ben is the actual protagonist here. Along the way, the two discover a few others hiding in the basement and have to fight and survive their way through the Necropocalypse.
There’s only one correct way to watch this movie: in its original black and white glory. If the version you’re watching is in color, it’s either the 1968 version re-mastered and colored, or it is the 1990 remake version directed by Tom Savini. Still can’t tell? Does it feel like nine-inch cocks are trying to penetrate your eyes and skull-fuck you? If so, you’re probably watching the 1990 remake, as this is the sensation that commonly accompanies the viewing of it.
Back to the original masterpiece: why black and white? Because that’s how it was intended to be watched. Color film was more than available in 1968, I mean Snow White and the Seven Dwarves was filmed in color and it was created in 1937. The use of black and white in this film is to serve it, not to detriment it as the remake would have you believe. The stark contrast of the environment and the darkened shadows all serve to enhance the atmosphere of the film; looming shadows and total blackness keep you on your toes in ways that color just can’t provide.
Aside from the modernization of zombies, Romero’s film was also an important time-piece on the subject of racism in the country. Released at the height of the civil rights movement, as well as the same year that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, the film’s eerie ending struck a cord on a much deeper note–which I will not spoil for you here. However, it is important to note that Night was also one of the first films to actually feature a lead black male as the protagonist in a positive portrayal. In fact, during the course of the horrific movie, not once is his race even brought up, despite the racial overtones of the film. We’re not meant to identify Ben as black–as you would expect in a movie from the 1960’s–we’re not meant to identify Ben as anything other than what he is: the protagonist of a zombie outbreak. This racial blindness serves the film well, as the ending comes off as subtle rather than preachy.
As far as the nitty-gritty goes though, Night shocked audiences in 1968 with its grotesque violence (for the time) and frightening imagery. By today’s standards, the film is a relic, but a good one. While not nearly as violent as Romero’s later films like Dawn or Day of the Dead, the movie is still pleasing for those that are into the whole violence thing. After all… no one does zombies eating people like Romero, who seems to bask in the horrific glory of it all, often dedicating lengthy shots that serve no purpose of story to the grotesque feasting.
Anyway, if you’re looking for a good zombie film this week–perhaps you’re stuck on standby or you’ve got some time between post, pick up this classic (it’s extremely cheap these days, and probably really easy to find online) and give it a shot. Take it with a grain of salt–it is an old movie–and enjoy it!
On an unrelated note, I would like to say that I read all of the fan mail I receive–from crazy stories to photos–I just have a really hard time responding to it. Why? Because I have the short-term memory of a goldfish. This is how it usually goes: I receive the mail on my phone, I read it, then I think to myself, “Oh I’ll respond when I get to my computer so I don’t have to type on this tiny screen”, then, by the time I get to my computer, I get distracted with about ten other things and forget that I was supposed to respond.
Don’t take it personally, I’m just awful like that.
Lastly, come by the forum! There’s always some interesting discussions going on, check it out next time you get the chance.