Zombies are the New Vampire (?)

I paraphrase a panel from Polaris 24.

I didn’t actually attend this one but I kind of wish I had. (There is always too much going on and one has to pick and choose.)

But seriously, zombies are everywhere.

I didn’t think I would write another Zombie blog but here I go again.

I watched the Dead Set marathon on Sunday. Thank you very much Space- I couldn’t sleep afterwards and was completely useless at work yesterday. I know one person who watched the marathon and we haven’t been able to speak intelligently about the series yet (topic for yet another Zombie blog perhaps). All we could do was shiver, shake our heads and confess to the lack of sleep. I would cross myself but I am not a Christian. (Note: It turns out we were talking about two different shows, Dead Set for me, The Walking Dead for him- yes, we are that dumb.)

There is only one gossip site I go to for a regular fix and today a guest writer wrote a newbies guide to zombies on TV. A new series started on Halloween (appropriately), The Walking Dead, based on the comic books series of the same name by Robert Kirkman. I checked out the extended review of the pilot, “Days Gone By” and they pretty much had me at Andrew Lincoln.

Lincoln played the skeptical academic foil to Lesley Sharp’s psychic on Afterlife– an amazing British series that I absolutely adored. As much as I love Medium with Patricia Arquette, (my affection for all things British, Scottish, Irish etc. aside) this was a far superior series and it had a lot to do with the two leads and the writing. Or maybe I was just attracted to the more sombre ton of the series. Unfortunately only two seasons were made- despite the critical acclaim and its popular reception.

But I digress.

I just finished watching the first episode over lunch and I am sunk. I would bet my right arm The Walking Dead will feature prominently in panel discussions at the next convention. I just hope the quality evident in the pilot continues through the next five episodes.

But as far as zombies being the new vampire, I don’t know.

Can a rotting, mindless (and therefore amoral) corpse consumed by the desire to ingest (mainly) human flesh compete with sparkly (hahaha) vampires capable of compassion, love, hate, jealousy, desire… all the things that also make us human and fallible?

The very scope of what can be done is different. Where does one begin?

Is there a genesis story for the zombie? Is there accepted canon? Should there be? Should someone come up with something new? Should we even care?

Can zombie tales be anything other than apocalyptic? Shaun of the Dead aside? How does one snuggle with a zombie without becoming one? But who would want to?

And why did Night of the Comet just pop into my head?

I will stop now before your eyes start to bleed.

It will be very interesting to hear what published writers on the panels will have to say about the appeal of the zombie. I can’t wait until the next convention in July but I am even more anxious to see how The Walking Dead plays out….

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~ by angryegg on November 2, 2010.

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