Here we go again in the way-back machine, back to summer 2010 when I interviewed Mitch O’Connell about his then-upcoming collection of brand new Zombie temporary tattoos, published by Chronicle Books. Here’s the layout I made for the unpublished first print issue of Voodoo Tattoo Magazine, with placeholder text where the interview would have gone. Mitch had originally been inspired to create sets of tattoo flash when more and more fans began sending him photos of his drawings permanently inked on their skin, and this book of temporary tattoos offered a chance for fans too broke or wimpy for real tattoos to sport some Mitch O’Connell designs!
Voodoo Tattoo Magazine: What led you to devote a whole set of flash to the topic of zombies and zombie interests? Was there a demand? Had you done any/many zombies illustrations before this?
Mitch O’Connell: This isn’t an answer filled with artistic vision, but more of a ‘making a living’ response! Chronicle picked the topic and the rough ideas for each design. I just drew ’em as best I could! And yes, I’ve drawn plenty of zombies before then, it’s loads of fun illustrating decaying folks whose insides are falling out! Rule of thumb — ALWAYS have one eye dangling from the socket!
VTM: What are some of your favorite zombie movies? Did any of them influence your zombie artwork in specific ways?
Mitch O’Connell: After my ex, zombies are just about the most frightening monsters there are (Oh, Snap!)! I love a well-done zombie flick (if “love” means cringing and screaming like a little girl). Favorites include: Night of the Living Dead (of course), Dawn of the Dead, Rec and Rec2, Shaun of the Dead, Zombie 2, I Walked with a Zombie, Return of the Living Dead, Demons and, I’m sure, many, many more that I’m forgetting!
…and there was more to the interview, but the rest was pretty dated by now. So I checked in with Mitch’s blog and of course his website, the hub of all things Mitch O’Connell, to see what he’s been up to lately. It’s impossible not to get sucked into to his zany and hilarious world of wry observations, sad-eyed characters and wasp-waisted hotties. I’ve been a huge fan of Mitch’s work since the early days when he filled time between big-name commercial clients with illustrations for slightly less reputable publications — liked him way more because of that! — but even if you’ve never heard of him before, you just might come away from a visit to his website agreeing that he’s “The World’s Best Artist”, if he does say so himself!
Don’t forget to check out his original art and prints for sale, more tattoo flash and books, and the cheeky party game I can’t wait to get my hands on: Pin the Mr. on the Man!
— Miss Psychobilly Bass