I held off publishing any pictures of us from the Long Beach Zombie Walk, since the newest comic is really what gives the context for our appearance.

Your humble proprietors, branded and tagged.

Your humble proprietors, branded and tagged.

You can’t see it from the photo, but the “bolts” actually did flash. They were made from some battery-powered magnetic raver jewelry that Dawn got hold of, and we attached them to our foreheads through the power of fake skin and spirit gum.

Dawn also gets full credit for molding more fake skin into Z Ranch brands for both of us. We had a great time down there, with a nice big undead turnout that shambled down 4th street at the appointed time and groaned hungrily at passing motorists. Then we went into the Art Theater for a midnight showing of the original Night of the Living Dead. Those of you used to the fast, aggressive specimens of modern zombie movies like 28 Days Later, Zombieland, and the Dawn of the Dead remake might find it easy to discount the threat of Night of the Living Dead’s unfocused shamblers… but here’s the thing a lot of people don’t remember until they watch it again.

Night of the Living Dead’s zombies are tool users.

In one of the very first attacks, a potential victim locks herself in a car, and in between pounding on the windows the zombie is trying the door handles. He even goes around to check the other side of the car. Then he goes and picks up a rock and uses that to smash the windows in.

Think about that versus the Dawn of the Dead remake where the zombies are stopped cold by a thick glass door. Night of the Living Dead’s zombies are almost frighteningly intelligent by comparison.

Anyhow, I could tell that a good chunk of the audience were actually seeing the movie for the very first time. Why? The ending. I won’t spoil it for anyone else who’s never seen it, but here we are over 40 years later and it retains its power to shock.

Speaking of good endings, I’ll switch from pure zombie to pure Western and recommend The Ox-Bow Incident to anyone who likes classic Westerns or just flat out well-written drama. I’d heard a lot of hype about it over the years, but despite that the final few minutes just punched me right in the heart. Great stuff.

See you next week!