Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tucson Zombie Walk 2011: Steampunk Zombies!

Photo courtesy of Brittany Ann Barber, from the Tucson Zombie Walk Facebook page.
I am back from Tucson and pleased that it is not ninety-plus degrees during the day, although I could use balmy evenings. Elaine and I had tons of fun dressing up as steampunk zombies; it was a thrill to see all my costume components come together so nicely! Since the walk took place after dark, we got some shots before the walk began, at a convenient castle across the street from Elaine's apartment complex. Yes, I said castle. Apparently the guy across the street just wanted a castle, and so he built himself one. It made for a very atmospheric shoot.

I supplied Elaine's hat and guns. Everything else was hers.

Don't mess with me. I'm a zombie with guns. And a d20 to determine your fate.

You shall not pass! Also, I wasn't kidding about the castle. It has a front gate and everything.

We were so pleased with ourselves that it was hard to stop grinning. Even if it wasn't very zombie-like.
My very first zombie walk was over a year ago and I was just a kid grown woman in a paint-splattered, haphazardly torn t-shirt, marveling at the attention to detail exhibited by other zombies. I remember being floored by how awesome some costumes were and shyly asking if I could take pictures. Well, this time it was my turn to be approached for pictures, and gosh it was gratifying! Maybe I'm just a shallow, easily-flattered egoist, but honestly, that was my favorite part. There were definitely other awesome costumes there that night, including but not limited to a zombie Arthur Dent and bowl of petunias, a zombie Dr. Who group, and a steampunk zombie hunter with an impressive home-made light-up jetpack. My favorite part, though, was the families who went zombie together. There's nothing quite like tiny zombie Darth Vader or tiny zombie brides.

The costume components held up remarkably well, considering. My skirt was hemmed with flats in mind, so I was able to wear my comfortable flat boots. At the last minute, I added a purchased pocket watch necklace (can it still be called a pocket watch if it's not in my pocket?) from Forever 21 and my tiny gold D&D dice-in-a-vial necklace (attached to my belt...so it's a beltlace?).

The goggles I ended up balancing on my head, exactly how I tell my students they shouldn't wear their chem lab goggles. To attach the straps in the back, I ended up punching a couple of holes in the leather and inserting eyelets, then tying it all together with a scrap of ribbon that matched my skirt. Unfortunately, I realized the downside to loading up already-heavy goggles with a bunch of plumbing fixtures, gears, and brass -- by the end of the night I had a serious indentation right at my hairline from the weight of the goggles! Three days later, I still have a faint bruise, but nothing my hair won't hide. I think it's time to glue a strip of felt to the plastic...

To get the zombie look, we used a combination of gray cream make-up, zombie dirt, fake wounds, and congealed dirt from the Halloween store, and peacock-green eyeshadow and black powder eyeliner from Walgreens. This was a vast improvement on last year's fake-skin product, which had weird fibers in it and was a beast to mold. Also, it eventually started peeling. The fake latex fake wounds were like stickers that you peel off and stick to your (clean) skin; it sticks so well that getting it off afterward was like trying to detach a painfully stubborn band-aid. The congealed blood, which came in a tiny plastic lip-balm-looking container, worked much better than the "normal" fake liquid blood in a tube, both in that it didn't drip everywhere and in that it "clotted" on our fake wounds, making them look less obviously like stickers.

Look at how gloppy that blood is! Also, if you look carefully you can tell I'm checking my iPhone. Photo courtesy of Joel Smith, again, from the Facebook page.

Even though the walk itself was kind of long and through some fairly deserted lots in downtown Tucson, it was still extremely fun to be dressed up and shambling through the streets shocking passers-by. There were definitely a lot of people who knew what steampunk was, and a lot of people commented on the gun and goggles. The best compliment of the night, though, was definitely the kid who goggled at my goggles (sorry, couldn't resist) and said "You're like Mrs. Dr. Horrible!" I hope one day my kid is that awesome.

Photo courtesy of Joel Smith, from the Facebook page.


  1. Looks like you gals had a great time! I LOVE your costumes! They are very impressive! Oh, and I'm so happy you made your d20 necklace!

  2. Truly geektastic!! Or is "zombietastic" more appropriate?? Either way, fabulous work! I love the details you added (especially the D&D dice)!

  3. Really a very nice dress and both are looking a real Zombie.


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