I am always impressed with a little indie project with legs. My Gal the Zombie has that and plenty of it.
The brainchild of writer/artist Dan Conner, My Gal the Zombie has been an ongoing webcomic over at crazygoodcomics.com. In 2014, courtesy of a Kickstarter campaign in December of the prior year, the webcomic and various other goodies were reprinted in a 126-page B&W trade paperpack published by Lamp Post Publications. The Kickstarter gimmicks were some of the best I’ve seen, with a host of products including a soundtrack CD to read it to, a branded hot sauce and even a zombie makeup kit! I opted for the graphic novel and the CD, which is a collection of indy horror-themed fun. I should note that Conner himself is also a musician (yes, he’s one of those annoying triple threat guys), and I count his B-movie themed acoustic CD The Last Dan on Earth as among my all-time favorite listens. I had no doubt that his musical taste would shine through in the CD and it has. But I digress.
Onto the comics. This is no Walking Dead, let’s be clear, so the blood and gore fans are apt to be disappointed – their loss. My Gal the Zombie is a light-hearted strip with an Archie-esque delivery to it. The main character, Chelsea, is indeed a green skinned walking corpse. Conner does not waste our time with an origin story – we are simply introduced to Chelsea’s “life” (as it were) and a series of innocent misadventures with her friends. She’s a good-hearted and spunky, optimistic but opinionated and strong. The whole comic, in a nutshell, carries a genuine feel-good vibe. About halfway through the trade, we get a number of pinups (by Conner and a host of other talented artists), covers, games and other comics printed by Conner over the years.
Now, like I said, it’s cool when a project gets legs, and it would have been fine if My Gal the Zombie ended there. But Conner is an aggressive little buggar.
As an artist, one the coolest things you can hope for is that someone at a comic con dresses up as your character. Enter the delightful Justine McKinney, who painted herself green and dressed as Chelsea in support of the original Kickstarter. She and Conner met at the Horror House Fest in 2013, and she clearly not only looks the part but captures the spirit of Chelsea flawlessly.
In fact, she plays the part so well that the two partnered to produce a Christmas special, filmed on location at the famous Mile High Comics in Denver. In character with full makeup and wardrobe as Chelsea, McKinney hosts a number of cartoons and lovably atrocious clips from various sci-fi holiday B-movies, in the vein of the Cryptkeeper or Elvira. The special wraps up with a reading from the comics (to which McKinney lends her voiceover talents to the multiple characters), and an original song by Conner. The clips are disturbingly odd, and if you’re like me you’ll find yourself drawn to them like a rubbernecker on the highway passing a car accident. You just can’t not look! But the highlight of this special is by far McKinney, whose magnetic personality shines through. She carries herself very convincingly.
In a time when comics seem to be pushing toward the dark, it’s nice to see some people who remember that they are, first and foremost, funnybooks.
Products are available for a steal at: crazygoodcomics.storenvy.com/
Like the Facebook page at facebook.com/mygalthezombie
And hey, check out the trailer at youtube
Then go spend some money!!!!