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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Memento Mori

Todd Jepperson

Recently, Z&T came into possession of a book. At first glance, it seems to be nothing more than a few random scribbles; but, read on and you’ll see that there’s actually a funny story to how this thing came to be. Hang in long enough, and you may even learn a little something.

I was lucky enough to end up with a physical copy of the 34 page paperback and a short conversation with the artist, William Lebeda. During our brief chat, he told me the story behind the illustrations:

“Years ago, I was working with Marvel on The Punisher remake… The art department hadn't started on the film yet, and they needed a design for a new skull logo for the front of his Kevlar body armor. So, I started drawing Punisher-style skulls on everything. At one point during the project, I started to draw really different skulls... probably as a reaction to drawing dozens of versions of the punisher one. I noticed that I was drawing skulls on everything; scraps of paper, napkins, post-its with phone numbers… all over.”

The scattered sketches were eventually collected and sorted through, which took significantly longer than he had planned. The movie was released in 2004 and the book was released in 2010. I would have to agree, that’s a long time spent organizing, digitizing, and getting ready for print; which makes the title very fitting.

Memento Mori is a Latin phrase for ‘remember to die”; or, be mindful that you will die. Artists have been incorporating the idea of eminent death into their work since the time of ancient Rome. The idea is that life is short. What we do here has got to be enough to make sure that we’re remembered long after we’re gone.

So, who wants to help Mr. Lebeda live forever? New in the Zombie Toy Store, you can pick up your very own copy of Memento Mori: a collection of drawings by William Lebeda for the low, low price of $4.99. Also, when you support Z&T, there’s always a good chance you could land some free “thank you” swag. That’s just how we do things around here. Click the link to shuffle over and snag yourself a copy. You’ll be glad you did.

William has also been kind enough to offer a few copies to our readers!  If you would like the chance to win a free copy of Memento Mori, email your name, address, and picture of a skull to  We are going to make this one easy.  To enter, you can submit any picture of a skull that you find interesting.  For a better chance of winning, submit your own skull creation.  William will hand pick his favorites to win a copy of his book!  Winners will be announced at the end of March.  If you purchase a book and are later selected as a contest winner, we will refund your purchase price or send you the additional book. For inspiration, here is a skull I drew:

Memento vivere

1 comment:

  1. The book looks super cute! I had to just go and buy it to make sure that I get it.


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