On this edition of Nerd Relics, we look at a Dawn of The Dead collectible signed by the late legendary director George A. Romero, acquired from the 2014 Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo.
NERD RELICS – Putting the spotlight on geeky collectibles and the stories behind them!
First things first – I’m still sad that George A. Romero passed away earlier this year. He was, in my opinion, the best horror filmmaker of all time. He created the modern day zombie genre (Walking Dead fans are forever in his debt, whether Romero liked that show or not — and he certainly did not). It also sounds like Romero will be receiving his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this October 25, 2017 at 6604 Hollywood Blvd. at 11:30 a.m. PT. This ceremony is open to the public, or you can watch the live stream at walkoffame.com. Edgar Wright, Greg Nicotero and Tom Savini will all be speaking at the ceremony while Romero’s widow Suzanne Desrocher-Romero will accept the honour on the late icon’s behalf. Apparently Romero had heard he was to receive the Star before his passing as well, which is nice.
Dawn of The Dead is Romero’s most famous zombie film, (arguably more-so than Night of The Living Dead), and die-hards will say Day of The Dead is his finest work (hard to argue with them on that), but I’ll always love Dawn the most. So when Romero was finally able to make the trip to the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo three years ago (he was supposed to come earlier but suffered an injury and couldn’t fly), I brought my own officially licensed poster for Dawn of The Dead (thanks Ebay) so I could get it signed by the master of horror himself in person (he was charging $40 a pop per signature). Romero was tall as hell – you don’t know how tall he was until you met the man in person, but he towered over my ass – even while he was sitting – the dude looked like he was seven feet high (I don’t believe he was), and I loved that he wore his signature vest with those amazing big-ass black-rimmed glasses. He was George A. Romero – he was everything I had hoped for and one of the nicest and most kind celebrities I’d ever met. Even when he was making fun of The Walking Dead for being a soap opera in his retrospective panel, he was still delightful. I love The Walking Dead. Hell – Robert Kirkman who created The Walking Dead loves George A. Romero (he’s admitted several times that his series doesn’t exist without Romero’s work).
When I met him, to sign my Dawn of The Dead poster, I chatted with him about his Marvel Comic series Empire of The Dead for almost 10 minutes (which blew my mind, because celebs who are signing a ton of shit in a line-up are usually in a hurry to keep it rolling). He was extremely creative for his entire career, even working on developing an Empire of The Dead TV series and when he died, I was truly saddened. I’m happy that I was able to meet the man before he left us and I’ll always cherish this poster on my office wall.