During Phoenix Comicon, our team had a chance to talk with the amazing people at the Arizona Hive of the Umbrella Corporation. For those of you who don’t know what that is, in the world of Resident Evil, the Umbrella Corps are the “Bad Guys.” The AZ Hive is the Cosplay Fan Club, and this group gets together and cosplays for a fantastic cause: an animal shelter
Their leaders include: Donald Pease – Founder/Commander, Paul Sirak – 2nd in Command, Chris Zunnino – Master of Social Media and Director of Public Relations.
Paul came into Umbrella Corps through loving the game and being a gamer at heart. Starting initially with a background in the arts, Paul is one of those who assist in making every rotting body and everything subsequent look legitimate and truly terrifying. As he spent time learning and developing the effects, props, prosthetics, practical effects and statues involved with representing the virus and the subsequent zombies, Paul is the person who made a huge portion of the weaponry, colorings, makeups, plastics, rubber moldings, and other amazing toys in the Arizona Hive toybox. Paul walked me through the props in the booth talking about what he learned from the crafting of various implements. He really had a very real artistic attachment to the development of the group and the development of the props and costumes decorating the booth.
Unlike many groups that have intermediary build nights or scheduled gatherings as their meetings or refreshers, the Events in most cases , at least for the Arizona Hive, are the meetings. This allows each person to be as detailed or to focus on their builds rather than being forced to hold off until later. This enhanced belief that every member is ultimately in control of their own artistic work allows each person’s passion and practice to really pay off.
While we were there, two static mannequin canine zombies were available for show. One of them had been given one rotted ocular cavity and a human eye rolled into the other socket. The other had a skull bisected vertically in a straight line so that the snouts and subsequent bisected jaws were able to bite using horizontal teeth.
While I commented that such a mannequin appeared odd and maltreated for an organization so vastly charitable to a dog shelter (Arizona Animal Welfare League), Paul assured me that it was faithfulness to the creepiness of Umbrella and that if a plastic dog helps raise money to save actual animals, everyone was okay with that. I had to agree with his sentiment.
Chris, who loves dressing up like Umbrella prodigy Wesker, is the Master of social media for the Umbrella’s Arizona Hive. Chris let slip in his interview that he is currently working on a weekly series of posts and some show ideas. We can’t wait to see that get put together and designed for the benefit of helping animals.
Joining the group is as easy as contacting them on Facebook, joining the group, relating the appropriate contact information, and agreeing to the responsive Code of Conduct.
Editor’s note: This year the AZ Hive raised $4,000 for the AAWL Animal Shelter!