Maximum PC Editor Jimmy Thang talks about his experience walking the show floor as a zombie
I've been to many costume-friendly conventions like FanimeCon and Pax Prime, but have never cosplayed before. I don't have anything against dressing up, but I simply never felt compelled to do it. I was always the guy on the other end of the camera…until this past weekend.
Because our Comic Con booth was Walking Dead-themed, we were fortunate enough to have a "zombification booth" where makeup artists would turn ordinary civilians into the undead. Considering the makeover was free and professionally done, I figured I would give it a go on the last day of the convention. …The results were far more shocking than I could have ever expected.
The amazing Liza Macawili Ramos was my makeup artist and spent time making me look as ugly and scary as possible – which was about 30 minutes...
As I sat in the makeup chair in front of our booth on the convention show floor, people would walk by and drop their jaws during the transformation process. Visitors began taking pictures of me as Liza began applying all manner of plaster and blood to my rotting face. Considering there were no mirrors, I had no idea how it was shaping up. I would ask onlookers, "Is it looking good?" And people would just stare at me with eyes wide open and nod their heads.
With the makeup process completed, Liza took a picture of me with her phone (the image seen above) and showed it to me. "Holy hell," I thought to myself. "This is amazing!"
I quickly ran to the restroom to get a look at it in the mirror and couldn't believe my eyes. It blew away my expectations.
Zombie selfie: Look at the gashes on my face and neck. No, LOOK AT THEM.
Now I knew it was time to roam the show floor.
Let the fun begin!
Everywhere I walked, people were either telling me there was something wrong with my face or asking for pictures (To see some of these pictures, scroll to the gallery at the bottom of the page). Those that didn't want to take a picture with me would jeer, "Whoa…that's one messed up face." I used my newfound hideousness to harmlessly scare women and children. It was a blast!
It wasn't all fun and games, however, as I still had some articles to finish and ultimately a plane to catch later that day. As I finished writing my stories on my laptop with zombie makeup still intact, I headed to the convention center's restroom to wash my face (I didn't want to get patted down by airport security because of my looks). However, as I headed off to the bathroom, a young bright-eyed kid approached me and said in the cutest voice ever, "He mister! Your face looks awesome!" I thanked the kid and said to myself, "You know what? I'm just going to wash off my face when I get back to the hotel!" This, as it turns out, may not have been the greatest idea…
Walt and Jessie from Breaking Bad tell me that I'm infected.
My original plan was to get to the airport at least an hour early to catch my flight, but I totally underestimated how long it would take to get out of the crowded convention center. A process that I thought would take 15 minutes ended up taking over an hour (it was super crowded!). This meant that I would have to rush to the airport and forego washing my face.
As I got back to my hotel, I quickly grabbed my bags and boarded the shuttle to the airport. People on the shuttle exclaimed, "I don't think security is going to let you on the plane looking like that." I started to panic, thinking that I would miss my flight. The shuttle arrived at the airport just 20 minutes before my plane was supposed to take off. I printed out my boarding pass and waited anxiously in the baggage-check line. People started taking pictures of me and I nervously laughed for them. I started to think about how all the other flights back into San Francisco would be booked because of Comic Con and that I would be stranded in San Diego. At that moment, I was the most worried-looking zombie in the world.
As I made my way through to the security line, I knew that I had to remove the zombie makeup lest I run the risk of getting pat down and missing my flight. I quickly ran to the airport bathroom and shimmied my way to the sink. Considering I was wearing tons of make-up, the plan was to turn the faucet on full blast and wash it all away, but it was the worst.sink.ever. The sinks were sensor-activated and would sprinkle for three seconds before shutting off. To make matters worse, the sinks all had horrible sensors! So there I was trying to scrub off a bucket load of paint and plaster off my face with the equivalent of a little kid's water pistol. It also didn't help that the ink was dang near permanent and the sticky plaster was in love with my face.
In the end, I scrubbed it all off to the best of my ability and ended up boarding the plane just as it was about to take off. It was certainly a dramatic affair, but one that was all worth it in the end.
Jimmy Thang is Maximum PC's Online Managing Editor and often hears his face looks scary (with or without zombie makeup).