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The Animation Pimp: You Don't Kick a Zombie When it’s Down, You Shoot it in the Head

Zombies attack the world of animation! The Animation Pimp seems to think there coming from ASIFA chapters all over the globe.

Zom-BIE: (Zombe) n. also ZOM-BIES pl. 1. An animated corpse that feeds on living human flesh.

Max Brooks, The Zombie Survival Guide

Illustration by Andreas Hykade. Courtesy of Chris Robinson.

That the dead walk among us is no big surprise. We didnt need George Romero to tell us that. Every moment of every day we encounter somnambulists. Most days, they are contrary to popular theories quite harmless. Their lumbering sigh of non-existence usually passes before us without notice. The zombies tend to prefer certain locations: shopping malls (as we know), financial districts, civil service buildings, churches and sporting venues.

The animation world, like many cultural areas, has been pretty much free of these potentially life-sucking predators. Every so often, one creeps into the mix every four years or so, and there have been numerous zombie sightings along the west coast of North America, but most of the time animation (and art) remains a zombie-free zone.

However, zombie sightings and attacks in the animation world have increased dramatically since the mid-1990s. What is most disturbing about these reports is that there are a few familiar patterns. The reported attacks are often about three years apart and all take place near locations where the group called ASIFA (a.k.a. the International Animators Association) is known to meet.

Recorded Zombie Attacks: 1997 A.D. Annecy, France

The first clues of a zombie presence in animation were reported in 1997 near the small town of Annecy, France. While strolling through the old town, two animation festival directors, Herper and Toto (rhymes with Otto) were startled by disturbing sounds emanating from a nearby building. Dey were almoost like what you say groan or scream like people having fuck but not liking, Herper was once heard to say inside a mens latrine near Tallinn. The two men spotted a small window and crept closer to take a peak inside. What they saw so horrified them that to this day they will not speak of what they saw. Toto remains in seclusion near Winterbach, Germany, while Herper spends in days between the Utrect Civic Hospital and the Netherlands art gallery where he repeatedly lunges at Russian paintings.

Rumors have since surfaced about what the two men saw that day. Rickie OConkie, a Brooklyn based zombie spotter, believes that the groans were, a collision of sounds emanating from a mix of about 30 foreigners who were walking and talking aimlessly in a small room. It appears that many were talking at the same time. No one appeared to be listening or responding to the talk. This babbling intersection went on for perhaps two to three hours. This in itself was not unique. What was startling according to OConkie, was that about half of these people were long thought dead: I heard names like Halas, McLaren, Hubley, Kinoshita; people who have been dead for years. Interestingly, all of these people were known to be active ASIFA members in 1960 A.D.

It was also reported that several younger people had entered the meeting. They initially spoke clearly and with great enthusiasm, but by the end of the meeting had become victims of what OConkie labels the ASIFA Zombie.

According to zombie historian, Max Brooks, there may exist, somewhere in the old town of Zagreb, Croatia, a physical record of the meeting with a list of all in attendance. But this document has never been discovered so the accuracy of this 1997 attack remains impossible to confirm.

2000 A.D. Montreal, Quebec

OConkie also speaks of a meeting in Canada where a board member from the Ontario city of Ottawa reportedly suggested that the Canadian chapter of ASIFA should consider having national representation (rather than just people from Montreal) and perhaps even organize events and meetings outside of Montreal, Quebec (just one of 10 provinces and three territories that compose Canada). Mais oui!, said the Montrealers. Certainement! said others. A few days later, though, the Montrealers held a secret meeting to try and oust the member from Ottawa. However, and this is where, OConkie notes, we uncovered the zombie conspiracy in Canada true to zombie form, they did not dispose of the member. Reportedly a vote never took place. Instead, the zombies merely walked around the room screaming obscure Acadian language obscenities littered with references to PQ and Anglofucks, Parizeau and Rocket Richard.

The unknown Ottawa member, though, was never heard from again. There are reports that she/he headed for a small country located in the Baltic region.

2000-2004 A.D. Non-Specific Internet Spread Attacks

There is documented evidence that the ASIFA Zombies have infiltrated the World Wide Web (aka Internet). This is a most alarming development. According to OConkie, if any non-zombie member makes any attempt to push forward any type of activity, the ASIFA Zombies immediately turn their computers off. The silence stops all activity. The danger here is that eventually, the non-zombie becomes frustrated and impatient, and, within a very short time period, takes on the form and characteristics of a zombie.

2004 A.D. Montreal, Quebec

The most recent reported attack once again comes from Montreal, Quebec, located in the Eastern region of Canada (pronounced CAN-A-DA like SAL-A-DA). Thanks to former animator, Ryan Larkin, we were able to uncover a number of new zombies on the ASIFA-Canada board. When none of the board members were able to coherently suggest any candidates for the Norman McLaren Award, the president, Pat Lafontaine (a former all-star curler and non-zombie) proposed that the award be given to Mr. Larkin. Despite their unfamiliarity with Mr. Larkin, the board agreed. But within days, Lafontaine was under attack from many Montreal area zombies who moaned something about McLaren, grave, turning and ice cream machine. Again, these particular zombies were assumed to have been long dead. Lafontaine, clearly unhinged by the situation, did what you all must do when faced with zombie attacks: flee to a higher ground. This decision saved Lafontaines life. It might very well save yours.

Ten Ways to Stop the ASIFA Zombie

There are some reportedly zombie-free ASIFA regions in California (San Francisco and, incredulously, Hollywood), New York and France. There may be others, but why take a chance? Avoid all other ASIFA chapters!

Do not hug anyone under any circumstances.

Stay clear of the Canadian chapter or the so-called central organization, ASIFA-International. These are the two most dangerous regions. The best way to deal with these particular zombies is to cut (blades, notes Brooks, dont need reloading.) or shoot their head off (no blowguns please). When confronted by the Canadian chapter, insist on speaking English. This will cause the zombies head to explode. Failing that, we suggest that you run. Do not drive a car. If you have a car, get out and walk, run or bike.

Do not scream. There is no time.

Dress for survival. If you do find yourself a Canadian or international meeting, wear baggy clothes (preferably t-shirts advertising any recent Pixar or Richard Rich film) that can accommodate shoulder, elbow, shin and kneepads. A hockey or bike helmet is also a necessity.

As a precaution, avoid any and all boards or associations. These zombie-drenched bureaucracies seek to lure naïve and ambitious people (especially the young) and frustrate them with silence, apathy and deafness.

It has been confirmed that ASIFA Zombies attempts to lure recruits through moving images, especially those of a sensitive, intimate, powerful, poetic (a.k.a. touchy feely) or epic nature. The list is by no means complete, but try to avoid any films by Norstein, Purves, Schwizgebel, Pummell, Quay, McLaren, Petrov, Dudok De Wit, Servais, Drouin, Back, Raamat. As we gain more evidence, we will add more names to the list. These films will make you weep and gasp, while destroying all remaining internal humor senses.

If you see a beret, always open fire.

Its true that these individuals cannot be blamed. They are the victims of a larger structural influence, but if you show any weakness, they WILL kill you. Do not shed a tear until you are certain you are safe.

Loudly discuss your fondness for Star Wars, Star Trek, Pixar and Mike Judge.

If you stay aware, youll stay alive.

Chris Robinson is little more than a man. In his spare time he cares for the elderly.

Chris Robinson's picture

A well-known figure in the world of independent animation, writer, author & curator Chris Robinson is the Artistic Director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival.