It's Been Four Years
Four years ago today, George A. Romero passed away. If you are reading this, explaining who he was or his legacy isn't necessary. It speaks for itself. A couple of weeks ago, I was honored to be a part of Living Dead Weekend in the Monroeville Mall in Monroeville, PA, a stone's throw from Pittsburgh.
It was the first convention I'd attended since COVID stole a year from us. It felt great to be back in Pennsylvania celebrating George's legacy and seeing so many of my extended "family" members. The word "family" gets thrown around a lot when referring to people you work with, know from years ago or have much more than a passing friendship with. It's a word that is overused and has lost much of its meaning. But there in that mall, it was evident that a family reunion was taking place. So many people who knew each other because of George celebrated his legacy together as a family. Some of these folks worked with George on his films, some were fans. Whatever their connection to each other was, George was the catalyst.
As I sat on the stage in the mall discussing George's films with many of the cast members from various films, I posed the same questions to each of them: After more than 50 years now, why is it we are here celebrating one man's films? Films about zombies. Not the great American Oscar winning films that are supposedly so revered, but one man's zombie films? What is it about these films that we hold so dear?
There was no right or wrong answer. BUT, I have to say most everyone who answered referred back to the man who created them. They spoke of his prophetic wisdom and his ability make us look at ourselves.
We discussed how George explained the pandemic to us years before it happened in his Dead films and his film, The Crazies. It was like he had a crystal ball.
One more thing kept coming up as we discussed the films and their creator. The sense of "family" he put into the people of Pittsburgh as they came together to create these films. There is that word again. As many of you know, before he passed, George helped us start this company, with our first issue being an "Official" George A. Romero issue. As we celebrate the man and his legacy today, here's a cool look back to the first sketch and mock-up I did for that issue.
Thanks for everything, George. We promise to "Stay Scared!"