With Robert Kirkman’s very popular Image comic book, The Walking Dead, getting ready for another season on AMC, and George Romero’s seminal zombie film series, always popular (not only with new films but remakes of the original versions), it is no wonder that there are still more zombie tales to tell, and that is just what the creators behind Elevator Pitch Press, and distributed through Panda Dog Press comics are doing — spinning untold zombie tales throughout history.
Great Zombies in Historyis an Indie comicbook series (now three issues in), that is an anthology comic book relating various historic events as if they were fueled by zombie attacks. Now while you might be justified in wondering how many different zombie stories can be told, the response we have is to try out this very entertaining comic. For whatever reason, the presence of zombies coming to eat our brains has taken over the collective pop culture consciousness and now they are fair game for everybody’s imagination, and creative pen.
Needless to say, and for whatever reason, Great Zombies in History is a fun read and as the creators spin their yarns from ancient Greece, to early America, to the edge of space, the comic tells the secret history of those lovable undead creatures from the dank, dark, dead places of our collective minds! Writers George O’Connor, Dan Rivera, Joe Sergi, and others have managed to craft a series of stories that not only perfectly capture the zeitgeist of the mindless, shuffling hoards, but have managed to stitch in some very compelling explanations of some historical situations as well (think Roanoke Virginia and Jack the Ripper, the ancient Spartans vs. the Persian Army), plus tell of encounters of historical figures with the undead (Teddy Roosevelt, Major Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin, and others).
According to Andrea Wood, a graduate fellow at Georgia Tech who not only teaches a course on zombies — entitled Apocalyptic Nightmares of the Living Dead but is also writing a book on the topic, about zombies in popular culture. “The zombie doesn’t have the long literary tradition of the vampire or a number of other monsters,” Wood says, which “allows artists a degree of autonomy to conceptualize the zombie any way they see fit.” Given this blank canvas for zombies, she feels, has helped propel them into the cultural touchstone that they have become, due to their very nature, the literally use of zombies can be spun into something more analogous of the human condition.
Or they can simply be reduced to a putrefied mindless hoard of attackers that you can blow apart with automatic small arms fire. Needless to say, this is up to both the creator to posit, and the intended audience to enjoy. Still, for whatever reason, zombies are still extremely popular and will — for the foreseeable future — continue to remain in the public eye. On TV, online, in books, in film, and, yes, even in comicbooks like Great Zombies in History.