I was first introduced to the wonderful world of Jim Hillin's Zombie Bunnies at this year's WonderCon. That fluffy face with those dead eyes (the bunny's, not Jim's) really told that me that there was something special about these toys. I had to know more about them and the mastermind behind their creation. Fast-forward to San Diego Comic Con and I had the good fortune of being re-introduced to Jim and his plush army. After shooting a few messages back and forth, I was lucky enough to gain an interview with the King of the Zombie Bunnies.
This is that interview. Hit the jump to read on!
How did you get started with making the Zombie Bunny plushes?
Well, it was a long road that finally pointed at having to get the guys made. First, I am a visual effects artist in Los Angeles. Yes, the guys with the smoke and mirrors. I've worked on a bunch of things your readers have probably watched: Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Interview with the Vampire, True Lies, Disney's Dinosaur, Spider-Man 2, Ghost Rider, I Am Legend, Speed Racer, 2012 and Priest.
I am also screenplay writer, and have been doing that for almost as long. In around 2005, I got really frustrated with not being able to get any of my projects going (I'd had two optioned, but nothing made), and after reading Jennie Breeden's "Devil's Panties" comic and laughing my butt off, I suddenly realized I could do one, too. I figured I would keep my comic simple and create its humor from the sleep-deprived world that I lived in and make it about people who create Visual Effects.
After the second year, one of the characters started seeing Zombie Bunnies in her nightmares, but realized the nightmares were really fun little adventures she had with the dream critters. The Bunnies storyline began to take over and before long about one out of three comics had bunnies in them.
I had started attending Comic-Con as an exhibitor during my first year as a comic artist. Yes, lucky, I know, but by the fourth year, we had zombie bunnie books and t-shirts and they sold like hot cakes. Oooo, the public was telling me something. We LIKE these guys. So, my business partner (and spouse) started thinking, we should make plushes to bring to Comic-Con!
Where are you located?
I am in Los Angeles, but originally from Texas. I was born and raised in Corpus Christi, and went to school at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Came to California to be a studio musician originally.
How long have you been in the business of toy-making?
Just over one year. Before that, books, buttons and t-shirts.
What makes Zombie Bunnies special?
Well, I think they have just the right balance of dark and light. They're really cute little fluffy, soft guys, but their characters are inherently mischievous; they're just comically bad at it.
What can we expect in the future from you?
Now that we have made it through two Comic-Con cycles and our success is growing, we're thinking of bringing out some props and costumes for the bunnies next Comic-Con. My partner (spouse) is a costume designer, and she has some ideas.
Where can we purchase one of your Zombie Bunnies?
The answer until this week was you had to find me somewhere, like at Comic-Con, but now, for the first time, we have an online store we just opened today! It's still in Beta (bugs to work out), but everything works. You can actually buy a Zombie Bunnie and have it shipped to you. Yeh! You can find it at: http://www.freewebstore.org/zombie-bunnies. With any luck, I will have a shorter URL soon.
Is there any message you wish to leave with our readers?
1.) I would love to hear what they think about our bunnies, and of course, any suggestions about what we should be thinking about in our future.
2.) Don't look under the bed or in the back of your closet late at night. It's dark in there.
Thank you, Jim, for the opportunity to do this interview! You can buy a Zombie Bunny for yourself from Jim's store here.
From other sites around the web