The Walking Dead: Zombie School

How cool is this? The latest production video from AMC for The Walking Dead adaptation. I’m really anticipating this new series in filling the hole that Lost left, for me anyway.

I also wonder how close they’ll stick to the comics, I’m kind of hoping they do stray a little otherwise there’ll be no surprises for me. At the same time I hope they’re gutsy enough to kill off the same characters – Too many shows get attached to certain actors then it really drags down the storyline. This is why I like Dexter so much – not only were they prepared to stray from the books they were really ballsy with their Season 4 cliffhanger.

Check out the black guy at the end of the video, he’s totally into it, method acting and all…!

HT: Image Addiction

Bookshelf: The Mammoth Book of Zombie Comics

The Mammoth Book of Zombie ComicsI bought The Mammoth Book of Zombie Comics last month looking for a good chunk of zombie apocalypse escapism. A unique collection of a dozen or so zombie stories, some long, some short, some hit… some miss.

The tales interweave with both widely recognised zombie fiction (Necrotic: Dead Flesh on a Living Body, Black Sabbath, Might of the Living Dead, The Haunted Ship, Pigeons from Hell and Job Satisfaction) and departures from the usual clich├ęd tales (Pariah, In Sickness, The Immortals, Dead Tales, MAZH, Dead Eyes Open, The Corpse, Zombie World: Dead End and Zombies) as well as including one story which has more roots in real life than in fiction (The Zombie).

By far the longest story was ‘Dead Eyes Open’, but I felt it took up a lot of space in the book. Even though it re-spun the zombie tale into a story about zombie rights, I found it a little tedious to read through to the end. On of my favourite stories of the book – also long – was Pigeons from Hell – though more for the captivating artwork and storytelling than the story itself. As I turned the pages I really felt the eeriness and sense of foreboding. It was truly scary for the first part – until the Sheriff showed up. That’s great storytelling – in a comic no less.

Other stories of note were ‘In Sickness’ – but who didn’t see that coming? ‘The Immortals’ – a classic twist. ‘Dead Tales’ – confusing at first but I eventually got the gist as a kind of ‘It’s Wonderful Life’ gone horribly, horribly wrong. ‘The Corpse’ – another classic twist. ‘Zombie World: Dead End’ – one twist I didn’t see coming which was a nice change. ‘Zombies’ – a kind of reflective story on what would happen if you were the only survivor you knew and how you’d cope – a fitting end to the book.

As I said, it’s well worth a read despite some of the less inspiring stories included in the book. There’s definitely some art that you will recognise, even if you’ve only ever stuck to mainstream comics, ‘Necropolis’ should have a familiar feel to it. I wouldn’t say it compares to The Walking Dead, though one Amazon reviewer did so unfavourably. There are definitely some stories in there that are on par with, or even surpass the storytelling of Walking Dead – but unfortunately they are dragged down by the overall mediocre feel of the lesser ones.

Still, there are better short story zombie novels out there, for example Zombie Tales: v. 1 which is available free to read online (I guess I should do a review of that too).

Book Review: World War Z by Max Brooks

World War ZI recently finished reading this book so I thought I’d share my opinion.

Now I must declare my bias, I really like zombie stories, but I tend to go for the movie/graphic novel kind so this was a first to read a zombie story in book format. I also haven’t read the Zombie Survival Guide (the other book by Max Brooks) but it’s had good reviews. That said, I have mixed opinions of this book on the whole so I’ll start with the good.

The fictional story is set sometime in the near future (from what I can tell) after a worldwide apocalyptic war against the undead. There are only hints of how the infection came about, but this is not essential to the plot, which is more a collection of survivors tales than a conventional story.

The survivors accounts are told through a series of interviews by a reporter that travels the world originally on a mission of collecting “facts and figures” from locations across the globe.

I found the whole of the book to be well researched, from the locations down to the weapons, occupations and science. I also found the tales themselves to be fascinating, gut-wrenching and full of imagination.

Some times it felt I was reading a mini-story within a story – some of the tales you could literally see a whole book or movie being extracted from. There are things happening with zombies that have never been tried on film or in any media I’ve read or seen – underwater ghouls, a blind Japanese warrior, astronauts in space. I particularly enjoyed the neo-references to LaMOEs, lobos and quislings. Brooks seems to have thought of things that no-one would have thought of were this a real event.

Now for some tiny annoyances. I felt through a large part of the book that the writing style was the same, for people who would be culturally, linguistically and phonetically miles apart. It got better towards the end of the book but at times it was a bit jarring. Particularly since I like to read accents in my head.

The other thing, minor detail, was that Brooks fell into the typical American trap of misapplying a British turn of phrase. “Taking the piss out” is not some kind of tribal psyching up that Brits do before a battle. It’s something we occasionally do to people who don’t get our humour or customs. Take note!

Other than that, great stories, great read. Well worth picking up if you are into zombies and you want to see a different kind of survival.

Buy World War Z at Amazon.co.uk