It’s not really much of a surprise by now, but many of the living are a little in love with the living dead.
I’ve posted about S.L.U.G. Zombies figures, 3A’s Boiler Zomb action figure, zombie video games, and of course, great zombie TV shows. Zombies themselves are eternally collectible and are featured on a never-ending slew of collectibles. When it comes to collecting, their collectors are nearly as single-minded as the brain-eating monsters they adore. We have a few in our own Collectors Quest community, like member jeremy slawsky from Louisville, KY. Click on his name to check out his incredible collection!
With a sizable collection of Return of the Living Dead collectibles, Jeremy’s got a serious collection going. In the spirit of Halloween, we dug into Jeremy’s brains to see why the living dead make him come alive.
Jeremy Slawsky: I have always been a fan of the film, especially growing up in Louisville, where the film takes place (even though it was shot out west), but it wasn’t until I bought my first Bill Stout piece that started me on the path of having to have everything Return of the Living Dead. I have collected all my life, mostly [original] comic book art but collecting Return stuff feels rewarding. I aspire to eventually one day have the largest collection of Return items.
CQ: What made you choose this film over any of the other “Living Dead” films?
JS: Honestly, the punk rock feel of it all. I have always been a big punk fan especially bands like the Misfits (Danzig era), so the mixture of punk and horror really drew me in. This film, while not winning any academy awards, has done its part to further zombies in pop culture. This film is what started “Brains!!!!” and the fast-moving zombies.
CQ: There are some excellent items in your collection, but most notably the screen-used boots of one Linnea Quigley. How did you obtain those?
JS: I actually got those directly from Linnea. Take that anyone who doubts there authenticity! Just kidding. For me the reason I’ve been fortunate enough to have all this stuff is that I cast a wide net. I reach out to everyone I can to hunt down these items, so one day I just wrote Linnea inquiring and she got back to me with these boots. It seems like most fans regardless the movie are always on the hunt for anything “screen used” so these boots make it to the top of my favorites list.
CQ: Is that William Stout artwork an original? It seems to be a centerpiece of your collection!
JS: Yes, both my Bill Stout pieces are original. However by far the coolest is the original “Tarman” design he did. This is the artwork that the F/X guys used to transform Allan Trautman into the greatest cinematic zombie of all time! That piece of art actually predates the movie by a year. It was done with inks and paint and is about 15 x 20 inches. Really amazing in person and for sure the crown of my collection.
CQ: When it comes to collecting, what do you take into consideration when pursuing items released in foreign countries?
JS: I guess that would depend. Mainly, was it an “official release” or is it some sort of knockoff? Really, it just comes down to if you think it’s neat or what it means to you. A lot of times the outside/foreign items are some of the more unique so I try to acquire as much of that stuff as I can.
CQ: What’s the coolest ROTLD collectible you’ve ever seen, and what’s your holy grail?
JS: As far as promotional items it would definitely be the “barf bag” given out by theaters in the unfortunate event that the film is so intense it actually makes you vomit. I often wonder how many of those actually got used for that very reason. So if anyone has one please write me! Other than that, really anything screen used. If you’re reading this Brian Peck, break open the vault!
CQ: Is there a particular strategy you use when hunting down new items?
JS: I don’t really have a strategy however I do have six different eBays in six different countries bookmarked on my computer. That’s not crazy right? Also making as many contacts as I can and letting people know that I’m a fan and collecting, which basically means writing a bunch of emails that never get replies, but you gotta try!
And don’t forget to check out jeremy slawsky‘s excellent collection in our Community!