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Little Campers

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

This week’s comic was directly inspired by reality. Let me explain.

A few night’s ago, around 12:30 am, Jim and I decided it would be a really great idea to go to this local cemetery I love and do some photography. There is a particular shot I needed of him that conveyed a ‘dig’ theme so we grabbed a shovel and headed out. Don’t worry, we weren’t going to dig anyone up or even remove a drop of soil. It simply seemed to be the best backdrop for what we had in mind.

Because we don’t have fancy battery powered lights and tend to do things ‘ghetto style’, lighting was an issue. We did, however, have a car and cars have headlights so it quickly became a non-issue. The lighting was so cool against the tombs, headstones and grass that we were completely enthralled and after we shot the potential website images we started shooting everything else. The car headlights proved to be an interesting light source. Even the blades of grass were fascinating lit in this fashion, particularly if you laid down and shot them in micro. Anyway, we had a blast and before we knew it, quite a lot of time had passed…like 2 hours or so. You see where this is heading, don’t you?

We packed up the car, piled in and turned the ignition key. Of course it wouldn’t engage seeing how we had just drained the battery of all life. The absurdity of having your car die in a cemetery wasn’t lost on us, nor was the potential fun of being stranded over night among the dead. I was seriously tickled and luckily Jim’s motto is ‘anything for adventure’ so we laughed and had a wonderful night ‘graveyard camping’.

It was only a little bit spooky tip toeing among headstones in search of a place to pee that wasn’t disrespectful of the decomposing folk resting there. It was just so dark and your eyes naturally wanted to play tricks on you. I definitely had a few brief moments of the heebie jeebies, but for the most part, my quickening heart rate was due to other events. 😉

The view from the car window, lying back was of black sky and stars framed by Spanish moss lined branches. Really lovely. I remember thinking that if I were the sort of person to be freaked out by this situation, focusing on that sky would be the way to go. So that’s how this week’s comic was born.

As for zombies, have you noticed how popular they are? Are zombies the new black? Maybe it’s more like they are the new vampire. Vampires will always be popular, of course, but for a number of years they were all the rage. I credit Anne Rice’s books and films for making making the general public vampire obsessed. People like me were born that way. Seriously, every Halloween I wanted to be Dracula. My brother would make fun of me because Dracula was a man, but I didn’t give a damn, I just wanted the cape, fangs and fake blood. Anyway, I could go on and on about vampires and how their image has evolved but we were talking about zombies!

Okay, here’s some zombie related news. This week in Myrtle Beach, SC there was a zombie walk fundraiser to benefit the American Cancer Society. A number of cities in the US and UK have done this in the past and I think it’s great. What a totally fun way to raise money not to mention a totally achievable act for us slackers. I mean who can’t manage to slowly shuffle along undead style? It beats running in my book.

Here’s a great photo of the zombie walk:

Zombie Walk
If you are looking to waste some more time, you can always shoot zombies or learn your secret vampire name.

Mine came back as:

The Great Archives determine you to have gone by the identity:
Sultana of The Night
Known in some parts of the world as:
Nemesis of Gypsies
The Great Archives Record:
A traveller of travellers, of good humour but dangerous.

Thanks, as always, for stopping by. I look forward to your haikus and / or comments.

<3 calan

25 Responses to “Little Campers”

  1. Withershins Says:

    Great installment, calan! So much awesome detail, and the middle panel tickles me greatly. Plus I’m a zombie fan…well, a zombie LORE fan anyway. I love the vampires even more, though I learned that ‘vampire’ means something altogether different in SL…!! :O

    Pushing up daisies,
    It is springtime for the dead.
    We deliver, too.

  2. Seraphine Says:

    pushing through the soil
    her zombie arms encircle
    the mound awakens

  3. Seraphine Says:

    I love this comic, Calan,
    and starry nights.

  4. SleepingOrange Says:

    Feasting on corpses,
    The loam darkly enriches;
    Death back unto life.


    The vamp name link’s broke.
    You probably should fix it.
    My breath is bated.

  5. SleepingOrange Says:

    Shoot, that was supposed to be ‘unto’ not ‘to’. Curse you, shoddy proofreading!

  6. calan Says:

    Withershins – thanks 🙂 i guess it’s been a while since i’ve gotten out and about in SL because vampires in SL were people who role played as vampires …some stricter than others, for some it was more of a fashion statement. i’m scared to ask what else vampire implies in SL nowadays. if it’s too disgusting to post here, pop me an im in world. kaia Ennui. I’m damn curious now. :O

    Sera – thanks 🙂

    SleepingOrange – I fixed the broken link. I hope you haven’t dropped dead yet from oxygen deprivation. While I was in there, I fixed your haiku typo too. 😀

  7. matthew Says:

    Aaahhh its good to be back. Got caught up on your comic. Missed some good stuff but i won’t miss anymore. Love this one. I’m a big zombie fan. Vampires always seemed too stuck on themselves for me to care about them but zombies are just a blast. Can’t wait for the next installment. It would have been funny if you two got spotted by a cop or something. That would have been an amusing conversation. Glad it turned out to be a good night after all but i am curious about how you got the car going again. 🙂

  8. calan Says:

    hey matthew, welcome back! jim actually had AAA which was pretty amusing as well. it took forever to get through the dispatcher where we were, and we anticipated a long wait or no one showing up at all, but like 5 mins later this dude comes running up with a portable battery charger thingy and says he happens to also hang out in this cemetery. he said he takes naps there. lulz! he also pointed out where two bald eagles are nesting. he was very cool and told us next time not to wait all night to call cuz he could’ve had someone there at 3 am no problem.

  9. Seraphine Says:

    I don’t think I could sleep at a cemetary.
    It’s too spooky. My imagination gets the
    better of me, and once the bugs start
    crawling- there are bugs everywhere…

  10. DMC_Run Says:

    Totally off-topic, but for some of us, the Halloween season feels as though it’s just around the corner, so…
    …I was wondering if anyone cares to share links, art, etc., that are Halloween-based? For example, I can use origami to make any of the following:

    Witches, bats, a wonderful profile of a black cat, masks that look like skulls, devils, Pan (the whole man/goat combo also works as a Satan-substitute).

    I can post a URL for anyone who wishes to order a DVD of origami instructions for folding your own “Happy Good Luck Bats”.

    Is any of this of any interest? I figure that an early-ish heads-up gives you all enough time to prepare for the season, as much you you may desire.

  11. DMC_Run Says:

    TYPO, sorry…
    “…as much time as you may desire.”

  12. calan Says:

    Hey DMC, do you have pics of your work online somewhere? A flikr acct or website where people can buy them. If so, pop me and email – calanATgingerdeatDOTcom with the link and I can throw a link in an upcoming blog entry. If you just know of a cool origami video, you can post the link here. It’s just that if you have a personal site and have something cool to sell or share, I’m happy to send people your way and a blog post would get more attention than a comment. 🙂

  13. plastic zombies Says:

    plastic zombies peer
    department store casket
    must free my band mates

  14. DMC_Run Says:

    I’ll see what I can do, Calan, but it’s strictly “share” for me, not “sell”, because I’ve no “plastic-or-electronic cash” of any kind. As a result, I’m always a member of the “cash & carry” demographic. I’ve a URL for one friend in Hawaii, who sells his origami instructions (including bats) on DVD’s, but the rest of my info/photos are all free to share.

    On FaceBook, look for “Doug Caine” – my ID-photo is of a pirate holding a “Beanie Baby” parrot on one shoulder, & a green origami parrot in one hand. For those w/o a FaceBook account, I’ll try to provide URL’s that non-members can use – all for free.

    One of my photo albums is a very small sample of my Halloween-SFX make-up work, but most of them describe origami, including step-by-step details on making snowflakes. As my meager skills with a digital camera improve, I’ll be adding more pix-&-albums, I promise.

  15. Seraphine Says:

    I used to fold paper, make little cuts and
    when I unfolded it – voila- a snowflake. I’ve
    forgotten about that. It’s a jarred up memory.
    Maybe because it’s confuzzling springtime atm.

  16. DMC_Run Says:

    Seraphine, I did that too, as a child!
    These snowflakes, however, are made with no cuts at all!
    There are 2 albums, each with a different folding technique…



    These URLs should work, even if you have no account with FaceBook
    …& for Calan, an album of my attempts at Halloween makeup:


    …just to show that I’m not afraid to get laughed-at!

  17. Chance Says:

    So what does “vampire” mean in SL that is different from the norm? o.0

  18. calan Says:

    Chance, 3 years in SL and I’m wondering the same thing. o.O

    Sera – I used to make those cut-out flakes too 🙂

    DMC – awesome pics! The origami is really interesting and you did a great job on the halloween make-up. Maybe I’ll post some of my faves that I’ve done when it gets closer to Halloween time.

  19. Chance Says:

    My 2c about zombies: I think the current popularity of zombies coincides with the shift in public consciousness and the uber drama we see ourselves as part of resulting from the changes in our world since 2001. Zombies are a form of the Man vs. Society narrative. Whether the zombies are representative of terrorists, religious fundamentalists, the government, right wing/ left wing sheep, or Anonymous, the collective unconscious is currently being fed enough enough paranoia about brain/thought appropriation to carry this zombie thing for another decade. 🙂

    Zombie stuff would be written either way, but I think that the resonance of things in pop culture can indicate psychological shifts and fears in the masses; in this particular case it could be viewed as an indicator of a rise in both good (cynicism/loss of innocence) and bad (paranoia) trends.

  20. DMC_Run Says:

    @Calan: TYVM, but that’s just the ‘snowflake’ stuff – I should set up an album just for the Halloween-themed origami!

    As for the make-up, I’m thinking of taking my ‘half-demon’ down to Manhattan’s Halloween parade this year…
    …do you think he’ll fit in?
    Meanwhile, I’m so out-of-it, I’m not even aware of what “SL” means in the context of this discussion.

  21. Seraphine Says:

    DMC, those are the most beautiful
    snowflakes … ever!
    I love how intricate they are
    and that you can do that without
    all the odd angles and misfolds
    I’d make because I don’t have
    your patience. Awesome!

  22. DMC_Run Says:

    @Seraphine, TYVM, but I must disagree.

    You DO have the patience – everyone does.

    Patience, like any physical muscle,
    can be “exercised” with practice,
    & then it’ll become stronger & easier to “flex”.

    I made these “step-by-step” photo-albums so that anyone could teach themselves – at whatever pace works best for them. You need never worry that some teacher will become impatient, or that you might be holding-up the rest of the class. No matter how slow you want to go, or how often you need to look back at a previous step, the photos will patiently wait for you.

  23. DMC_Run Says:

    P.S.: I don’t want to steal any credit…

    …I didn’t fold these particular snowflakes – I was TEACHING an origami-class @the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. One of my students (Art Liem) was snapping pix on his cell-phone as he went along. It was his way of taking notes, to remember this for later. He DID use my hands once-or-twice, but most of the folding you see was his work, under my direction.

    Art e-mailed me the photos a week-or-so later, & I was so impressed that (with his kind permission) I used them to set-up these albums.

    I hope to provide more instruction-albums as time (& skill) permit, but for the next month I’m preparing for a wedding. My niece-in-law has asked me to make paper decorations for her wedding’s reception dinner. She’s getting a MASSIVE DISCOUNT, because she’s “keeping it in the Family”, so to speak.

  24. calan Says:

    DMC I love the Halloween parade in the Village. He’ll be perfect! I’m originally from NY and my best Halloween was going to Tower Records to meet the Cure and then to the parade. 😀

    SL is Second Life. It’s a virtual world that I design fashion in for avatars. Weird, I know and hard to explain. It gets mentioned here now and then because a number of my readers are also SL residents. Check out tomorrow’s comic because I’m posting some photos of clothes i designed for SL that actually uses my comic’s characters and patterns. It will give you a better idea. My store Nocturnal THreads has an entire GingerDead collection and even a GingerDead and Lenoir avatar. 😀 SL is free to join by the way. 😉

  25. maria Says:

    The Great Archives determine you to have gone by the identity:
    Josette Shakespeare

    Known in some parts of the world as:
    Cerridwen of The Vile

    The Great Archives Record:
    Vile, foul, filthy and greedy: this creature knows nothing of light.

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