September 1, 2009

FAN EXPO COVERAGE: Day #2-- Zombie Portraits and Nerd Girl Pinups

NOTE: I have fallen victim to the convention plague as a result of little sleep, lots of handshaking, and many close face to face conversations during Fan Expo 2009. Totally worth it, however. Therefore, I may be slow to update my posts.

Saturday was an incredibly busy day for me. First, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre was packed with fans, turning the convention floor into a breathless knot of people shuffling with shell-shocked looks on their faces and stepping on each other's feet. From pure observation, it is clear from the unavoidable flood of humanity that this year's Fan Expo was even more popular than the last. Second, today was the day that my camera crew from Horror in the Hammer and I set out to do the bulk of our video interviews. Go figure! Predictably, the day was a complete whirlwind of activity.


One of my favorite video interviews (coming soon) was with Rob Sacchetto, illustrator of zombie portraits and the writer of the fantastically funny new book The Zombie Handbook: How to Identify the Living Dead and Survive the Coming Zombie Apocalypse (Ulysses Press). Covering standard topics of zombie preparedness such as zombie-proofing your home and combating zombies, the book also takes a cheeky look at fresh new topics such as zombie dietary habits, zombie politics, and dare I say it -- zombie mating habits (you'll have to read it to find out more)

Rob is one of the best -- if not the best -- zombie illustrator working today. Known for his incredibly popular Know Your Zombies poster, Rob also makes zombie portraits. You can send him a jpeg of yourself, your family, or your pets, and commission Rob to zombify the picture in disgustingly glorious colour and full rotting detail. The man is just gifted. Case in point: he's produced about 500 portraits in two years, makes zombie greeting cards, makes zombie parody movie posters, posts a new zombie image virtually every damn day on Zombie Daily. Now he's produced a fully illustrated book about everything you could possibly want to know (and some things you didn't want to know) about zombies. My review of The Zombie Handbook is forthcoming, but let me say that if you have been searching for a truly unique book about zombies with a wicked sense of humour, go buy Rob Sacchetto's The Zombie Handbook. You will not be disappointed.

It doesn't hurt that you'll be buying from an incredibly nice guy too. He and his wife and agent Andrea Sacchetto were nothing if not gracious to the Zed Word, taking time out of talking to all the new fans they were making at their booth to do an interview with me. Even though they stole my gum (long story), Rob and Andrea were good people. If you're interested in Rob's work, stay tuned to The Zed Word for a special prize giveaway in October. 

Nerd Girl Pinups

Going from the grotesque to the beautiful, I stopped by the booth for Nerd Girl Pinups. Nerd Girl Pinups, which just relaunched its website in beta, is a site dedicated to intelligent, nerdy women! Celebrating women of all shapes and forms with the philosophy that it's cool to be nerdy, Nerd Girl Pinups puts the fun back into the modern pinup photography that I find is usually lacking the energy and personality I like to see accompanying photos of beautiful women.

(L-R: Site creator Nicole R., Less Lee Moore, 
Me, Meryle Trouble, and Katherine Curtis)

None of the women are professional models, but all are nerds -- strong, sexy, smart nerds whose interests and styles are as varied as those in the wider nerd community. From video games to comics to cartoons to science fiction to wrestling, the women of Nerd Girl Pinup are out there representing nerdom strong and proud.

While the site is in beta, you can check out a sampling of their Pinup Galleries, but the website is promising to be more than just photography. With sections for writers, artists, nerd news, and a community forum, Nerd Girl Pinups is shaping up to be a comprehensive celebration of nerdy pursuits and the female fans who love them.

I have to ask, however, where are the Horror nerd girl pinups?