first annual Zombie Ball, and my assignment was -- wait, let me describe it in steps:
- Start with the picture from "I Love Lucy" of Lucy, Ethel, Ricky and Fred driving in the car.
- Replace Lucy, Ethel, Ricky and Fred with four members of the Imperial Court.
- Make them zombies.
I started out by sketching the original picture, just to get the characters in place. Then, without zombifying them, I tried caricaturing the Imperial Court, beginning with "Ethel," since I was sent two pictures of her, and she bore some slight resemblance to Vivian Vance. "Ricky" was next, since he's in front; I was told he'd be clean-shaven for the event. The one photo I had of him is almost ten years old if the imprinted date is correct.
I found several pictures of "Fred" among the Court's Facebook photos -- which helped a lot. With "Lucy," on the other hand, I only had this one photo to work from, and it was the lowest-resolution photo of the bunch. (There were some photos of a woman who might have been the same person, but I just couldn't be sure.) That made her very difficult to draw, and I decided that nothing about this drawing would work at all unless I gave her Lucy's hair -- particularly since she and "Ricky" bear little or no resemblance to Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. I suppose I should have done the same with Ethel, since the guy who's going to be Ethel is no doubt rustling up a Vivian Vance wig for the party.
The last step was to add zombie features. In the case of Ricky, that involved giving him a totally different facial expression than Desi Arnaz in the photo, in which the four appear to be singing. I beat up the hats, blackened eyes, tore off ears, and broke Lucy's neck. (Sorry, dear.) Jeff, who had signed me on to the project, had suggested turning the picture into a car accident, but then there would have been no element of the original picture left.
In the end, does it work? I'm not sure it does. I might have liked to choose a different picture to start from -- say, Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory. I can see severed heads going by them on the assembly line as they top the exposed brains with whipped cream and cherries; Fred could be messing with the line's speed dial, and Ricky... um, I don't know. Bandleading, or reacting to the mess, or something.
Or don't you think these four would be ideal as zombie Mary Ann, Ginger, Skipper and Gilligan?