This is a comic of my best friend Pat "Pathetic" Herrmann and me as zombies. Pat died this year (October 10th 2007) after a valiant fight with cancer. Not only was he was a giant influence in my life, but he also without a doubt inspired me as an artist and he helped me grow as a person. We met in Fall of 2003, in our first quarter at college; helped me transition from moving out of my parent’s home and being on my own, making it less painful, while teaching me a few things about life along the way. He was the definition of a best friend, he loved and cared about me so much and I loved and cared about him greatly as well. He told everybody about me and always had great things to say. Sometimes when I met acquaintances of Pat’s, they already knew all about me from everything he had told them; admittedly, not what I would have necessarily highlighted about myself, but it was always true. At times he understood me better then I understood myself. I miss him greatly, and I assure that this will be far from the last time you read his name or see his zombified visage.
Pat was obsessed with zombies and horror films and nothing would have made him happier then to be a zombie. So, I drew us as a pair of zombies! This concept is based off of his always saying that if he was a zombie, he would bite me first. I finished this piece sometime in early 2006, and I think it was one of the first pieces I completed with with my Wacom tablet. I think I started this piece some time in 2005. (Yeah some times these things take a while, but the Mona Lisa took 7 years, so get off my back.)
the rough stuff
This is the first sketch that I have (or can remember); I think this idea like many others started as a sketch in my notebook at school. My favorite time to draw is when I’m supposed to be doing something else. I think I drew this soon after Pat had told me he had been diagnosed with cancer. The way I drew Pat is reminiscent of a sketch I did for his friend Jason (see below) who asked me to draw Pat as a zombie for a tattoo.
sketch done for Jason.
(this drawing may come up again in later blogs i recently rediscovered that i was reworking it in photo shop)
As you can tell from sketch one to sketch two that some time has passed, my hair has grown out, and Pat’s gone bald (this was after Pat had started chemo). I also changed it so that he was less decayed. I figured if I was the first one to be bitten he would have done it quickly and not had much time to decay. I also changed the dialogue here because it didn't get the laugh I wanted with the last set. If you were wondering, yes, that is a Lance Armstrong Live Strong cancer bracelet that Pat is wearing. I also sported one at the time but it's on the hand out of frame. On a side note, I always draw Pat with a black T-shirt that had the word “Fuck” scrawled across it. It was his favorite word, and matched his larger than life persona to a t. Or, a t-shirt, in this case. It’s a design both Pat and I got a laugh out of, and considered having made into a real shirt.
Here it is with color I also added more of Pat's tattoos after visiting him and getting some reference pictures. I’m lucky I drew this when I did and at the angle I did otherwise I would have to have drawn way more little tattoos. Though I did take the easy way out having traced a few.
I decided to post this piece mainly because it made Pat look like the Fantastic 4’s Silver Surfer, which I thought was hilarious. I shaded this picture this way because I wanted to create a cartoon tone value as well a multi tone. I colored all the tones that I wanted for the picture on a separate layer in grey tones and then I messed with the different modes for the layers. Pat's shade layer mode is “Vivid Light” and mine is “Overlay”, which gave me the fine tone values.
Here is the final version. I was very happy with how it came out. Pat thought it was "rad". He printed it on some iron on paper and put it on the back of a sweatshirt that he wore pretty often.
So now he can be a zombie forever.