First off, sorry for what looks like a case of shameless self promotion! But seriously, I still get a ton of questions about what the hell I do for a professionally -and goddamn!- Google auto fills one of the first results for my name as “chris antista fired.” Well, I still work at Future US, and I’m pretty proud to say that most of what I’ve been working on as of late largely pertains to one of my favorite things happening right now, the Walking Dead (comic, nto the show)
I say “favorite things” because out of all the games, movies, comics and TV I’ve consumed over the last three or four years, I haven’t enjoyed anyTHING as much as I’ve enjoyed Walking Dead. Period. I’m not up on the show, but the comic is easily one of the most engrossing and fulfilling things I enjoy these days. And I’ve been fortunate enough to contribute stuff to a bunch of jawesome videos with Skybound, Image, and Robert Kirkman (which you can just so happen to find over at HyundaiUndead.com!) and that all culminated in a shitload of stuff of Walking Deadery at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.
You may have noticed Walking Dead car ads both on and in Future’s sites and magazines, and that’s all part of it. Hyundai and Walking Dead have some kind of existing partnership, but hey, that’s their business. My job was to come up with a ton of questions and concepts based around Walking Dead and host the ever lovin’ shit out of them! First off, someone had the bright idea to take a brand new 2013 Hyundai Elantra and have Kirkman basically ruin it in order to transform it into the ultimate “Zombie Survival Machine!” The Walking Dead artists drew it up, and we got the vehicular madmen at Design Craft to bring it to life. Better still, I had the honor of helping unveil the beast LIVE on the Comic-Con 2012 showfloor!
This was unbelievably fun. Kirkman is an amazingly funny, not to mention patient (with amateur on camera talent) dude, and he’s awesome to talk to. Seriously, look at him! Does he look or act like a guy currently dominating two mediums?! (Walking Dead is the biggest show on cable currently, and the 100th issue has become the best selling comic of the century!) Oh yeah! You’ve got a chance to win a non-zombie proofed version of the car right here!
Second, I got to take part in a bunch of weirdo/awesome fan interactions involving the car. I wasn’t sure how much people would care, but my heart warmed to see that Walking Dead fans hold anything Kirkman does in immensely high regard, and glory be, many fucks were given!
Perhaps my personal favorite set of videos were the chats I had with Walking Dead artist, Charlie Adlard and TWD Editor, Sin Grace. Both gentlemen were funny, forthcoming, and I think it’s an absolute editing marvel/cryin’ shame that our 30-45 minutes TWD geek outs were trimmed to just south of four minutes. Honestly, I could’ve talked to those those fellas about TWD forever.
Now that you’ve met Sina, you can enjoy this video of a Zombie Costume Contest we hosted knowing full well he’s not truly a dick in real life. Confession: we made the highly professional decision off camera to “go a little Cowell” on the contestants. This was brutal. A ton of people showed up in outrageously phenomenal undead getups, which we then whittled down to five, and then judged even more harshly in order to select three winners. A dozen or so or the “semi-finalists” we made wait around forever had incredible costumes, featuring meticulous detail and elaborate gore makeup that would easily taken home a prize in any normal costume contest. But we had way too many participants, and that cruel decision making process bummed me out so much, I now know that we, as well as every other host of reality show completions, are life’s true monsters.
Okay… would you like to know why Laser Time really had to go with a BEST OF episode this week? Allow me to pull back the curtain, with the next video… which pretty much broke me as a human being. Imagine you’re asked to run a “Zombie Obstacle Course” and you say “Sure thing!” thinking it’s probably a couple of rope ladders and cones and zombie cardboard cutouts in one of Comic-Con’s many empty parking lots about the size of a McDonalds Playland. Then imagine you’re told moments before hand it’s actually an elaborately themed race through Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, and employs several miles, stories, smoke, overturned cars, multiple stories, hundreds of actors in grotesque makeup drenched in blood, and takes around 40 minutes to complete. Now imagine you’re a tragically out-of-shape, heavy smoker and that’s approximately 39.5 minutes more running than you’ve done in the last decade. Ladies and Gentlemen… I give you The Walking Dead Escape!
Seriously, this thing ruined me! I wish I could tell you how cool it was, but I spent the whole time horrified. Not at the incredibly well-executed apocalyptic tableaus, mind you, but the fear of at any moment I was going to fall over vomiting, halt the production, and be gurneyed the hell out of there as I experienced what felt like my lungs filling up with burning diarrhea. I made it through, thank you very much. But regions of my body I’ve never even considered as part my biology ached with tremendous pain for the next couple of days. And that’s why we didn’t put up a new Laser Time: Because it hurt too fucking much, after less than an hour of running, to sit at a computer and edit/upload an mp3. (Note: I’m not joking.)
Lastly we threw a massive party with Hyundai and The Walking Dead at the Petco Park stadium, and it was packed with more celebs than I can ever recall seeing at one time. I’m pretty green at the whole on camera thing, so THANK GOD, The Mighty Veronica Belmont came in to perform pro hosting duties on the Walking Dead Black Carpet !
Vern knows her shit, but I’m happy to say I got to toss a couple of question at numerous cast members of The Walking Dead, True Blood, the guys from Robot Chicken, I believe Havoc from X-Men: First Class, among many others. A personal dorkout moment was watching Robert Kirkman have a smiling conversation with The Wire/Fringe’s Lance Reddick. Felt like a proud, geeky parent… or a regrettably voyeuristic creep? Huh, hindsight…
I hope that clears up what the hell I’ve did at Comic-Con, in addition to shedding a little light on what the hell I do for work nowadays. No, this post is in no way sponsored by anyone, and if you can believe it, I wanted to put it up more than anything to better explain why I was too exhausted to put up anything other than a BEST OF episode of Laser Time this week, which I honestly still feel terrible about (in spite of also being immensely proud of having enough solid content to comprise a “Greatest Hits” show after over 40 episodes!) Whatever… We’ll be back with a new episode next week. OH! And you can still enter to win that car from the unveiling video above, an unadorned 2013 Hyundai Elantra FYI, by entering here before July 30th. Thanks for caring!
CATCH UP ON THE WALKING DEAD: