Sunday, 8 January 2012

Birology: The ZombiPied Piper of Hamlin (a work in progress)

Like Life and runaway golf carts, conversations can take odd turns. This happened to me on Facebook the other day, as a conversation with a friend about how truly awful Celebrity Big Brother is quickly took a left turn into zombie rats (yes, it is one of the weirder conversations I've had this week). And then from zombie rats we moved on to how you'd get rid of them. With a Zombified Pied Piper ('ZombiPied Piper' for short) of course! Before too long I'd blundered into creating a story...

Think about it: our fear of vermin, coupled with our morbid fascination with zombies, and Black Death parallels aplenty. Zombie rats take over Hamlin, biting folk and spreading their necrosis, until a mysterious undead figure shambles into town and promises to get rid of them...for a price.

I'm sure you can imagine what might happen next. If you can then stop! Don't ruin the ending for yourself - I haven't even thought it up yet.

So on the back of this great idea is an idea-sketch in Biro, and it's actually done on the front of a blank envelope (hey, sometimes you gotta work with what you've got. My time in the Combined Cadet Force taught me that. Or maybe it was MacGyver...)
The Piper bears close resemblance to the Ghost of Writing Future (featured last month - and last year if you're really being pedantic, seeing as it was 2011), not because all I can draw is hooded skeletons, but rather because this is just a sketch; a placeholder. I had the idea that the Piper should be Grim Reaper-like in appearance, and this was just the first (admittedly cliche) image that sprang to mind. He'll likely change as I give it more thought. What I want to keep though is the idea of he and the rats being inseparable: of them melding and spawning from his black cloak and of the uncertainty where the Piper ends and the vermin begin. I think it's a pretty cool idea for an image.

I also like the way Biro sketching looks: it makes pictures look like rough wood carvings - just the sort of period feel I'm going for.

No doubt I'll be plaguing you with more of this kind of stuff as I think more about it. Don't worry if you're not a fan of rats or undead flautists though. There'll be all sorts of other stuff coming. No idea what sort of stuff yet. It all depends on the kind of conversations I have.