Simpsons cartoonist captures emotion of The Walking Dead

Eric Keyes. The Walking Dead.
Eric Keyes. The Walking Dead. /

Simpsons cartoonist, Eric Keyes, challenges himself to do tribute pieces for The Walking Dead and his work captures the emotion of the show.

Even though The Walking Dead came from a comic book, the idea of The Walking Dead as a cartoon is a little different. Eric Keyes, a character designer on the Simpsons, makes it work in the most adorable way.

Eric has used The Walking Dead as challenge art for himself in the last few years. He has created “mini” characters and tribute art for episodes as well as his own comic creations based on his humor and themes or scenes from some of the episodes. (Spoilers from season 7 ahead.)

His newest pieces have been able to capture the sadness of the episodes while using the cuteness of the mini characters. His work has taken on a new texture with the brutality and sadness of the scenes he has chosen from the episodes.

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It’s amazing to me how these cartoons combined with our connection and knowledge of the show can evoke such strong emotion. It’s a fantastic gift that Eric has given

The Walking Dead

fans and even the actors on the show.

Xander Berkeley and Justin Kucsulain were thrilled to see their characters given the Monkey (his twitter handle is @monkeyes) treatment for Gregory and Ethan at the Hilltop.

The line-up shows all of our people with frightened and sad faces. We feel their pain and terror, but most of all in this cartoon, we feel the defeat. Their slumped postures and drooped faces next to Abraham’s resolve and upright posture. Negan looks so pleased with himself it makes the sadness of the headlight-haloed kneelers even more disheartening.

Eric Keyes. The Walking Dead.
Eric Keyes. The Walking Dead. /

Eric’s latest piece has added an entirely new level to his tributes in my eyes. With the deaths of Abraham and Glenn, Eric has depicted the two holding onto their loves from the beyond. In a show that is about the dead coming back to life, this has such beautiful meaning.

Eric Keyes.
Eric Keyes. /

Both Glenn and Abraham were spared from coming back as walkers. Now they have hopefully come back to life in the next, next world and are able to care for their loved ones without the pressure of survival in the first next world that Sasha and Maggie must continue to endure.

Related Story: Day of the Dead art and zombies

Abraham and Glenn are depicted in color because their world is happier than the dark world in which Maggie and Sasha still reside. They are not bright colors because Sasha and Maggie still have a pull on them. It’s the obvious opposite of life and death in the normal depiction–closer to the Mexican Day of the Dead art with its bright happy skeletons.

Next: Check out more of Eric Keyes tribute art!

I look forward to Eric’s tribute art for the rest of season 7. I can’t wait to see his mini version of King Ezekiel and Shiva, the tiger!

Follow Eric on Twitter to keep up with his work. Undead Walking also tweets his work!