Zombie AFOL Interview: Greg (Yatkuu!)
BricksoftheDead: Greg. Let’s take a step back here before we get into this magnificent achievement you’ve made. You’re a part of a small but interesting group of hobbyists who are called AFOL’s. Could you tell us what AFOL’s are and how you became one?
Greg (Yatkuu) AFOL stands for Adult Fan Of LEGO®. We all have in common a passion for this wonderful toy! Most of us got the virus when we were kids and fell back into the hobby after a period in our life where we put aside our bricks in favor of other non-LEGO® pursuits (we call that period the Dark Age!). As a kid I was really hooked on LEGO®, I stopped playing with it around thirteen years old and had a Dark Age of twenty years. About two years ago I came to realize that a huge community of AFOL was present online, and that’s how I got back into my old addiction!
You found your way here to BricksOfTheDead.com because you won a contest. Was that the first zombie MOC you have ever done?
Absolutely! I am a fan of the zombie genre but it never occurred to me to build anything in that theme before I seeing what Dave has accomplished here!
Now here we are and a creation you made called The Winchester has gained some attention. Why did you make it and how long did it take you?
Shaun of the Dead is an all time favorite for me, so when I started thinking of giving it the LEGO® treatment the Winchester was an obvious choice; the fact that it had never been done before was also a good reason to give it a try! For the first version of the “Win”, from initial thoughts to Photoshop polishing, I’d say the whole thing took me about a month to complete.When the story started picking up steam online went back to the drawing board and gave it a better finish that part took me longer because I wanted it to be up to the LEGO® standards with modular floors and detailed interior.
Tell us a little bit about what the reaction has been and give us the basics of what CUUSOO is.
CUUSOO is a LEGO® sponsored initiative where fans can submit their creations, the members of the community can then vote for the ideas they like best and if a project gets 10,000 supporters LEGO® will consider making it a real set. I had been considering for a while to submit a project there but I did not want to just post a picture and be done with it, I wanted to give this project every chance to succeed because I knew upfront that it would be very difficult to reach the 10,000.
When I started thinking about making a LEGO® version of the Winchester in November last year I had no idea that this build was going to be featured all over the net and go as far as reaching Edgar Wright or Simon Pegg. I just wanted to make a cool model. The unexpected notoriety of the build gave me the idea to submit it as a CUUSOO project because I knew it would not rely on a single fan base as it appealed both to LEGO® & Shaun of the Dead fans, and that would be it’s greatest asset.
What was it like seeing Simon mentioning you and your creation on The Conan O’Brien show? That had to have been an amazing moment in your life!
This was truly epic! But this entire story has been a succession of moments like this, I still cannot believe it. I initially built this as a tribute to a great movie, getting the recognition from its creators is the greatest gift of all.
What do your friends and family think of all of this?
I’m sure you know as well as I do that this hobby is not always easy to explain. LEGO® is a child’s toy and some people have a hard time understanding what an adult will find in it. So, at first, I did got a few skeptical looks, but then my creations started getting a bit of attention and they came around. The best example is probably my father – two years ago when I came out of my dark age he really did not get it. I think he was genuinely worried about me! He nevertheless came around progressively. I think the Conan O’Brien show really blew him away, and he is now as excited as me to see what is going to happen next. He sometimes watches this type of TV show, so it’s pretty much as if my world had suddenly entered his; today he asked me what my next projects are (and helped me take that picture!)!
And lastly Greg. Are Zombies Evil?
Ah, your signature question!
Of course it depends on the zombie type! My favorite one is the mindless shambling corpse, so I’ll take that one as reference to answer. Nothing is less evil than a zombie. A zombie does not care if you are white or black, gay or straight. He does not care for religion or politics; he will never pretend to like you and stab you in the back a moment later. So yeah, zombies are pretty much the opposite of evil.
Greg I can safely speak for everyone here when I say we’re all proud of you and you have our full support on this!