who doesn’t love ZOMBIES!

Admit it. You love zombies. How can you not? I mean – Night of the Living Dead. Do we have to go on? Yes. We do. It doesn’t mater if they’re darkly gothic and horrifying – The original, classic Night – or modern and stylish (28 days later). It doesn’t matter if it’s horrifyingly serious, […]

Admit it. You love zombies. How can you not?

I mean – Night of the Living Dead. Do we have to go on?

Yes. We do.

It doesn’t mater if they’re darkly gothic and horrifying – The original, classic Night – or modern and stylish (28 days later). It doesn’t matter if it’s horrifyingly serious, or vaguely campy (Night of the Living Dead, with it’s surreal shopping mall), satiric Evil Dead 2, or outright zany (Shaun of the Dead, Return of the Living Dead).

One of my great addictions – my only real video game addiction – is to the Resident Evil game series. Alone, only the most minimal weapons, and shambling, moaning monsters coming to get you from all sides. How can you not love this?

So I was absolutely thrilled when I got a packet last night with a recent graphic novel find, Robert Kirkman‘s The Walking Dead.

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Now, these came out a while ago. They were published in comic form in starting in 2003, and the first graphic novel was published in late ’05. And I vaguely recall seeing mention of them on BoingBoing. But I finally got around to picking up the first couple collections, Days Gone Bye and Miles Behind Us.

They’re fantastic – beautifully drawn by Tony Moore. This is a graphic novel version of the way Resident Evil feels, while also getting into the heads of the people who’ve survived this un-named zombie holocaust and have to deal with living in a world where they’re prey. The first issue is absolutely harrowing, starting with the protagonist, Rick Grimes, waking from a coma to find himself in the middle of a zombie movie.

They owe a vast amount to George Romero’s films, as well as to many other classic zombie films (and I think to the survival horror game genre, I keep seeing things that look like Resident Evil 2 and Silent Hill); Kirkman isn’t trying to break new ground here. What he’s doing is trying to tell the ongoing story of the survivors, not in two hours, but, as Kirkman says in his intro, but the whole story, what happens to these people after the first night. How they live with this day after day.

It’s grim. It’s scary – which really isn’t easy in a graphic novel. The end of the first volume left me almost gasping. These characters live in a world where violence erupts from nothing, absolutely without warning. And what might be scariest is watching what it does to the people who live through it.

I’m only a little way in so far. And I just had to go order the whole rest of the series (1-6 are out, 7 is due later this year). If it stays this good – wow.

Zombies. You just can’t say no.

11 thoughts on “who doesn’t love ZOMBIES!”

  1. “Dawn of the Dead” was the one with the shopping mall, but I get your point.

    Zombies rule, man. “28 Weeks Later” is also quite excellent, although it suffers from some all-too-frenetic hand-held camera during many of the action scenes, and one insanely difficult to accept plot development that made me think of “Jaws: The Revenge.” Still, worth a viewing, and chock full of satirical comments on current events.

  2. DN, I own Bubba Ho-Tep. Some blog reader (Doxy, I think) gave it to me for xmas a couple years back. I’m a huge Bruce Campbell fan, I’ll watch anything with him in it! There was some suggestion that he play me in the film of my life meme a while back.

    Greggggggg, yeah, Dawn is the one I meant. Campy wasn’t the right word, but there was a vague sense of pup-culture satire, with the shambling undead in teh mall. I loved that movie.

    Can’t wait to see 28WL. 28d may be the best zombie flick EVER.

  3. I’m actually not a big zombie fan, but I do like creepy, which is why I liked 28 Days and would like to see 28 Weeks Later. 28 Days was low on the gore factor and high on the creepy, which makes it aces in my book.

    I like Dawn of the Dead – I mean, Matt Frewer! I know he was barely in it, but I lovelovelove Matt Frewer. The movie itself was fun to watch, and, again, not a lot of gore (though I seem to recall a fair amount of blood).

    I know I should be shunned for this, but I’ve not yet seen the Evil Dead movies. I mean, Bruce Campbell rocks by anyone’s reckoning. I know this. And yet…

    Please don’t hate me.

  4. FYI to Carol Elaine: 28 Weeks Later is WAY higher on the gore meter than 28 Days Later. Just a heads-up.

    And as good as the Zack Snyder’s “Dawn of the Dead” remake was (and it was very, very good) it doesn’t hold a candle to Romero’s original in terms of satirical content. That’s actually one of the reasons I LOVE “Shaun of the Dead” so much — it took the satirical content of Romero’s DotD (the zombies stumbling around the mall, Muzak blaring in the background, looking not all that different from typical numbed-out suburban shopping droids…) and expanded it to a comment on an entire social environment of mindless, dissociated and bored consumption. Beyond brilliant, and funny as hell to boot!

    And you NEED to see Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn. Brilliantly inventive, hysterically funny splat-stick humor of the highest order. Yes, it’s bloody as anything, but it’s so insanely over-the-top the gore hardly even registers. And there’s not a lot in there that would be considered really frightening or scary — it’s all so silly you can’t really take it seriously.

  5. I first saw Evil Dead 2 with someone who didn’t get that it was a send-up when I put it on. Watching him go from this movie’s horrible to wait, it’s kinda funny to the sudden lightbulb moment, oh, it’s SUPPOSED to be like this! was almost as great as the movie itself.

    Even better, though, is watching it with the commentary. It may be the greatest director commentary track ever. Cambell and Raimi riffing on how they came up with things like the classic toolshed bit and how Raimi was telling Campbell now scream like a little girl!; it’s completely fabulous.

  6. I love zombies. Always have, always will. I’ll have to check out the commentary on Evil Dead 2; I love those movies. Probably rent it this weekend.
    I’ve wanted for a while to write about the differences between the original Romeros and the remakes. I think there’s probably some interesting stuff to say there.

  7. She takes the taxi to the good hotel
    Bon marché as far as she can tell
    She drinks the zombie from the coco shell
    She feels alright, she get it on tonight
    Mister driver
    Take me where the music play

    Y’know, X, I could go for that kinda zombie, but only in the appropriately tropical location.

    But not for this kinda zombie.

  8. The Walking Dead was the first GN I bought myself the first time I visited a comic shop. Spooky. I liked it.

  9. Hello there, my Precious!

    The one issue I’m having with Walking Dead is that it seems there’s no ending in sight. It just keeps going, and people keep dying. Oh, it’s great, sure, but eventually, a story arc needs an ending. There’s not yet any feeling that this thing will end (and we’re like 50 issues in).

    It’s very, very good though; one of the grimmest comics ever.

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