Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Dead Kennedys

“Kill kill kill kill kill the poor toni-i-i-i-ght”

-Dead Kennedys

Old Joe Kennedy was a miserable old sod. But he, and his numerous kin, always stuck to themselves outside of town. At least they did in the beginning. Old man Kennedy hated the whole lot of them though, except his boys Johann and Rupert. Them he had plans for. His goal was to get Johann elected mayor and Rupert appointed sheriff thereafter. He spent years talking his boys up whenever he came in to town for supplies; rumor has it he even greased quite a few palms. 

But while he was lavishing Johann and Rupert, he was a terror to the rest of the clan. At first it was the usual abuse that bully will dish out to his family—beatings, withholding food, extra hours in the fields, etc. But when Rosemarin reached maturity, things took a darker turn. She was an especially willful child who did not take to Joe’s cruelty and Joe couldn’t abide that. So he began to search for another means to control her. 

After much searching, he found his answer in a musty old tome he found gods-know-where. And it turned out Old Joe had a knack for casting spells; maybe because his heart was already black as night. But after casting that spell, poor Rosemarin lost all control and became fully under the command of her father. Even more unfortunately, old man Kennedy liked the control he now had over his formerly strong-willed child. Soon, more of the relatives came under his control and each for progressively lesser reasons. Eventually, everyone but Joe, Johann, and Rupert had their wills subjugated to Joe.

And that’s when he got the idea to use some of them to campaign for Johann’s mayoral aspirations. He even assigned Gelatine and Stefan to play music and carry a campaign poster all over town. But there was an unforeseen side effect of the spell Joe had used; and it came as the result of Joe not understanding the powers he was invoking—see Joe didn’t just take control of their minds, he turned them into literal zombies!

But Joe was fine with that; he hated them all anyway. Whether it was Joe’s shrewdness and penchant for bribery or the local town’s fear of a man with an army of zombies under his control, Johann squeezed out the victory in the election; although rumors of the dead voting were unsubstantiated. As anticipated, Johann named his brother Rupert sheriff. But that’s where Joe’s plans ran it to trouble. See, now that they were in charge, Johann and Rupert weren’t doing what he told them anymore. And that is when Old Joe Kennedy went back to his spell book… 

The original Citadel C23 Zombies sculpted by Kev Adams are magnificent. Probably my favorite zombies ever. The bulk of these zombies were painted while I painted the Zombies of Karr-Keel. I’d paint two of each along with each batch. This was nice because it allowed me to include a variety of skin tones to break up the uniformity of the unit. Had I sat down and painted a whole unit at once, they would probably not have such variety as I would have painted them in larger groups. In fact, a few of the Zombies of Karr-Keel made it into the unit to flesh out the size a little bigger and to include a musician, which was never sculpted for the original range. Thankfully, the modern line has quite a few musicians to choose from!

The standard bearer was just one of the poses that is reaching out, with his arm twisted and a pole stuck in his hand. It worked out pretty well. For the banner, I used one of the plastic banners from the plastic beastmen set as I felt it was appropriately macabre. I was also inspired by John Blanche’s Margaret Thatcher banner and wanted to give a political statement like that a try. I spent a couple of weeks practicing drawing my intended target. My first attempt looked a lot like Bill Clinton and my second had an uncanny resemblance to the late Jerry Orbach. But eventually, I started cranking out fairly decent zombie portraits of a certain cheeto-faced politician. But then it was time to actually doing the drawing on the banner. And somehow, that came out looking like John F. Kennedy. At first I was quite upset, but then I realized the pun wrote itself and thus was raised the zombie unit of the Dead Kennedys!


  1. nice painting job, and a pleasure to read the story of the band and the making of the banner

  2. Haha, I didn't see this coming! :D Love it!

  3. Wow mate, this is effin brill! Love the story behind this lot and that freehand banner is amazing. I miss my old 80's Citadel zombies...

    1. Thanks! The old Citadel ones are the best zombies ever as far as I'm concerned.

  4. Awesome work! Really love this old school's.

  5. 9 points for the superb paint job.
    1 more point for quoting the Dead Kennedys!