This weekend I got to meet two of my all-time zombie heroes, the legendary James Karen and Allan Trautman! If you read this blog, you’ve seen that I consider their performances in Return of the Living Dead to be the finest acting in any zombie film, ever.
James was super-cool and joked with me. (I hope I’m as quick and funny when I’m 89.) I totally gushed and tried– in just a few seconds– to tell him what his body of creative work had meant to me as someone who also works in the genere of humorous horror and zombies. His wife was with him– they were both totally sweet people– and when they found out I was a writer, she walked me around the convention floor trying to introduce me to some other journalists there. (I was thinking: “James Karen’s wife is trying to introduce me to people. Holy heck this is amazing!”)
Then I spoke briefly with Allan Trautman, who was likewise totally humble and very awesome. I told him how important and iconic I thought the Tarman Zombie was, and how his physical incarnation and zombie-movement had influenced the entire genre, be it movies/TV, comics, or novels. He was gracious and super-cool.
This really meant a lot to me, since Return of the Living Dead has been such a central influence on my own creative work. And, moreover, is just a kickass zombie movie!
Anyhow, here are some more photos of me and Mr. Karen: