Sheila the Zombie Cheerleader

You're probably wondering how this whole zombie cheerleader thing began ...

Sheila came to life when I painted a horrible picture of a zombie that readers of my old blog really liked, which might have had something to do with her personality (a little sarcastic, with many threats to eat people's brains). I got lots of encouragement from my wonderful online friends, so I kept working with Sheila. I was having a ton of fun, plus, her personality and attitude came to me fully formed. Later I realized that this was because Sheila is the older, zombie version of Kitty, my favorite stuffed animal when I was little. There are differences between Sheila and Kitty. For instance, Sheila is afraid of chickens, Kitty is not (Kitty pretends she isn't afraid of anything). Also, Sheila threatens to eat everyones brains. Kitty just gives everyone the side eye.

I never imagined that my childhood friend would grow up to be a zombie cheerleader. That's Sheila in the picture (she's afraid of chickens).

girl with green skin and yellow hair, wearing cheerleading uniform and carrying pom poms, with dark circles under her eyes, says, "Eep!" and "GULP!" There are four chickens standing in front of her. red cat standing in front of hollow tree (there are red whiskers peeking out of the hollow tree)

Then I took a two week intensive comics class at SVA (School of Visual Arts) with Matt Madden and Jessica Abel because I wanted to learn how to make comics and graphic novels. We had two weeks to write, sketch, ink, and produce a mini comic. It was an immersive class that was intense and intensely fun! My mini comic, starring Sheila the Zombie Cheerleader, debuted at the MoCCA Arts Festival (I sold a few and traded a few and had a blast). Here's the cover:

sheila mini comic cover "Sheila the zombie cheerleader in: Chickens! by Stephanie Ruble" with a small picture of Sheila in the center. The back of the cover shows four chickens running through rectangle shapes, and the background is filled with "cluck" written all over

Here are three images from the mini comic:

2 panels: left: sheila from back talking to another cheerleader. Sheila: "Keep going. I'll catch up to you." Other girl: "Okay." right: Sheila in background looking down and thinking, "got it" chicken in foreground thinking, "Here's our chance."

2 panels - left: Sheila looking scared thinks, "Do you ever feel like you're being watched?" chickens hiding in bushes in the background right: bushes "rustle rustle rustle" Sheila walking and looking worried thinks, "What was that?"

one big panel: Sheila running, screaming, "AAAHHHHHHHHHH" chickens running after her saying, "Sheila, wait!"

I'm always thinking up new ideas for Sheila. She might be in a mini comic or web comic, or even have an advice column some day (she gave advice on my blog once - she wasn't super helpful and kept telling everyone to eat brains, which for some reason people liked).

I even wrote a book with entries from Sheila's Diary, which was full of information on the world of zombies, love and crushes, a little bit of gossip, and football, because zombies love football. Sheila is a zombie cheerleader with strong opinions that she's not afraid to share!

Before that novel, Sheila was a secondary character in a zombie romance novel. Unfortunately, being the secondary character didn't allow her to be her usual zombie self.