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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Limited Edition Tarman Shirts

It's a good thing you can only read what I am writing and not the curse words spewing out of my mouth right now...

Fright Rags has on sale beginning today a limited edition Tarman T-Shirt and signed and numbered print. The bad news? As of this writing, the print is sold out and only women's size shirts and size small are left. No, I didn't get on this in time either.

Because misery loves company, I thought I'd share with you the gem we missed out on:

Here's the tale of this image's creation from Fright Rags:

Very few individual zombie characters stand out as much as Tarman from Return of the Living Dead, released in 1985. Perhaps it was the gooey, dripping make-up, or Alan Trautman’s skeletal figure and creepy performance, or even the fact that he uttered the now infamous line synonymous with all zombies “BRAAAIIINNS!”. No matter what, Tarman is truly an icon of zombie cinema.

And he wouldn’t be that way if it weren’t for the brilliant visual style of William Stout, who helmed the production design for the film. Already a renowned artist having worked on other features such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Conan the Barbarian, and First Blood, this was his first job as production designer, making him the youngest one in film history. Working with director Dan O’Bannon, Stout drew his inspiration from the Mummies of Guanajuato, EC Comics, and actual corpse photos to make his zombies look as real as possible. Among the select few “principal corpses” used in the film, Tarman quickly stole the show the second he appeared on screen.

Since Return of the Living Dead is one of my personal favorite movies, I have always wanted to do a Tarman shirt. And while I’ve seen other Tarman shirts on the market, I never felt they captured the spirit and essence of the character. Over a year ago, I finally started the design...but it never seemed to look right. I had other artists try their hand at the type of look I was going for, but nothing evr seemed quite right. However, when discussing this idea with Diane O’Bannon (the wife of the late director Dan O’Bannon), she suggested I talk to William Stout. In all honesty, that thought had never crossed my mind. So based on her suggestion, I contact him.

To my surprise, William was not only interested in working together, he asked if he could do a completely original drawing for this design...and who better to visualize the infamous Tarman but the creator of the character himself! The result is a truly unique and original look for the iconic zombie. All of the hallmarks of the character are there – the bug-eyes, skeletal structure, goopy drips – and all presented in a highly-stylized illustration, referencing the EC Comics-style Stout used as inspiration for his original design. For the colors, I chose the talented Ray Frenden to bring Stout's drawing to life in full vivid color. Never before has Tarman looked so striking…

And as a part of our artist series, we are also selling this design as a limited edition print, signed and numbered by William Stout himself!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. FRACK! You have GOT to be kidding me! That would have been a piece of GOLD! William. Freaking. Stout!?? I now understand why you were cursing while writing!

    Dammit, dammit, dammit, dammit!

  3. Wow it is a fantastic design, looks perfect for a profile picture.


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