Tucson hungers for brains.
And Showtime Cards is ready to serve them .
The local card store celebrates “The Walking Dead” midseason premiere, which creeps its way back on AMC on Sunday.
The festivities will include a viewing party of the premiere, as well as face-rotting giveaways and activities for zombie lovers of all ages.
“I think it is going to be a full house,” said Showtime Cards owner George Mares. “I think it is really going to be overwhelming.”
Mares, an avid fan of “The Walking Dead,” certainly has reason to believe that.
During its season premiere in October, “The Walking Dead” received a record breaking 16.1 million viewers according to The New York Times.
“We know ‘Walking Dead’ is popular,” said Showtime Cards employee Diego Rivera, the viewing party’s coordinator. “I know I like ‘Walking Dead’. I know (Mares) likes ‘Walking Dead’. I didn’t know all of Tucson likes ‘Walking Dead’. ”
With the recent local zombie events — such as the annual Tucson Zombie Walk, the zombie theme in the 2013 Tucson Terror Fest and the Slaughter House zombie-slaying event known as Apocalypse — the Old Pueblo seems to be infected by this new pandemic for the living dead.
“Tucson is definitely a huge community for comics, pop culture, ‘Walking Dead’ and zombies,” said Mares. “We’ve put out a limited amount of fliers and we’re getting calls already.”
“The Walking Dead,” first published in 2003 by Image Comics, has grown from a monthly comic book to a franchise consisting of novels, a television series, fashion attire, video games, board games and figurines. The undead are devouring all forms of entertainment around the United States.
“Tucson definitely loves this stuff, and it’s growing,” said Mares.
He said that he wants to create an event where “Walking Dead” fans and animated-corpse aficionados can come together and share their passion.
“We want people to come in as their favorite character. If you had an itch to dress up as Rick or the Governor in Tucson, now is your time,” said Rivera, referring to the primary protagonist (Rick) and antagonist (the Governor) in the series.
The most bone-shattering costume will win a $50 Showtime Cards gift certificate by the end of the night.
The event will include an exhibit of works by Tucson comic book artists Eric Schock, owner of Evil Robo Productions, Santino Castaneda and Tim Champion.
The artists will demonstrate their skills as they sketch everything from “The Walking Dead” covers to popular superheroes.
Want to become a zombie? Special FX artist (and Tucson native) Logan Tobia will come in from Los Angeles to lead clinics teaching interested souls how to turn someone into a blood-spewing walker. Tucson Zombie and local makeup artists will transform avid fans into limping corpses during the event.
In search of zombie-slaying gear? Cre8ive Metal Designs will display comic-inspired works from Batarangs to Captain America shields. Cre8tive Metal Designs will have an exclusive plate to commemorate the premiere.
The event will wind up with “The Walking Dead” midseason premiere projected on a big screen inside the store.
The event, Rivera said, is tailored-made for Tucsonans.
“I think they are hungry for it,” he said.