Axel-In-Charge: Waid & Samnee on "Black Widow" and the Dawn of the All-New, All-Different Era
While the state’s stalling economy may be a more immediate threat, Kansas is preparing itself to confront the walking dead head on.
Joined this morning by a teenage revenant, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback declared October “Zombie Preparedness Month,” an initiative designed to ensure residents are ready for an undead apocalypse — or, y’know, a tornado or flood. Whichever comes first.
AMC has The Walking Dead and its spinoff Fear the Walking Dead, while Syfy has attempted to carve out its own corner of the television landscape with Z Nation. Clearly the next logical step for the subgenre is something involving adorable, zombie-killing cats.
Although created by Mr. TVCow as a promotion for Z Nation, “Cats vs. Zombies” stands on its own. Heck, it has everything you could hope for in a drama: a kitten in peril, hordes of undead, surprisingly good — and, warning, gory! — special effects, and a pair of jacket-wearing cats with semiautomatic weapons and a plan. Oh, and there’s a cliffhanger!
Police in China have had just about enough of reports of zombies, alien corpses and, um, defecating monsters.
The New York Times notes that authorities have been cracking down on social media users who post about sightings of the walking dead, mythical monsters and electrocuted extraterrestrials.
As readers and viewers of The Walking Dead well know, secluded farms, penitentiaries and gated communities will only protect you for so long from the undead hordes shambling across the post-apocalyptic landscape. But short of plunking down $113,000 for a zombie-proof log cabin, what’s a person to do?
According to researchers from Cornell University, you should start packing for the Rockies.
As if you needed a reason to believe that zombies should be depicted as lumbering reanimated corpses rather than ridiculous sprinting wraiths, there’s now scientific support for that.
Neuroscientists Timothy Verstynen and Bradley Voytek have written Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep?: A Neuroscientific View of the Zombie Brain, which shows “how zombism can be understood in terms of current knowledge regarding how the brain works.” The book includes chapters like “Hungry, Angry and Stupid is No Way to Go Through Unlife,” “There’s No Crying in the Zombie Apocalypse!” and … “The Neural Correlates of Lumbering.”
In a recent ranking of states most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse, Florida was certainly no New Jersey — Garden State residents would be the first to go — but it also wasn’t likely to outlast the outbreak. Floridians were somewhere in the middle of the pack (No. 32, sandwiched between Washington and Oregon), which probably means they’re destined to become freshly squeezed midnight snacks.
Or at least they might’ve been, before this week. The Florida Senate is considering legislation that would permit all residents, whether or not they’re licensed, to carry concealed firearms during any mandatory evacuations ordered as part of a declared state of emergency. Say, because of a hurricane or flooding.
Proponents argue the law is necessary because residents fleeing during an evacuation shouldn’t have to leave their guns at home, where they might be stolen by looters; opponents, including the Florida Sheriff’s Association, say the bill’s language is dangerously vague and “absurd.” But Sen. Dwight Bullard understands the real need for the measure: the walking dead.
Robert Kirkman established more than a decade ago in The Walking Dead that no one is safe in a zombie apocalypse. It turns out, however, that when it comes to survival, location may be everything. And for those located in New Jersey … well, it’s been nice knowing you.
In its new ranking of the United States, real estate website Estately determines the Garden State is the least likely to survive a zombie apocalypse, followed by Mississippi, the District of Columbia, New York and Georgia. My money would’ve been on the most obese states, in which case Mississippi would again be doomed. (Our condolences.)
Considering we established long ago that Soylent Green is — spoilers! — people, it should come as no real surprise that a new Walking Dead tribute beer contains brains, right? Goat brains, to specific.
All right, maybe it’s a little surprising.
On Sunday, Dock Street Brewing Co. in Philadelphia will debut Dock Street Walker, an American Pale Stout brewed with wheat, oats, flaked barley, organic cranberry and — wait for it, wait for it — smoked goat brains.
“In true walker fashion, don’t be surprised if its head doesn’t hang around forever,” the microbrewery jokes.
“Gourmet mushrooms and potentially hallucinogenic herbs are one thing, but smoked brains … really?” the Dock Street website reads. “Believe it or not, much of the world considers brain to be a true delicacy. Think Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, but not ridiculous. Many also believe that using every part of the animal not only increases and encourages sustainability, but also honors the animal’s life and death.”
The beer’s unveiling on Sunday coincides with the season finale of AMC’s The Walking Dead.
Auctions | The Leicestershire (England) Police are auctioning about 1,200 comics — most of them are post-2000 DC Comics titles, described as in mint condition — seized as criminal assets in Dorset (the police force doesn’t have its own eBay account). “Some are signed by the artists and they are mainly Superman and Spider Man, that sort of thing,” said Dave Hargrave, proceeds of crime asset realization manager. “[…] The person who had the comics was obviously a collector.” About 400 comics have been sold, bringing in £600 (about $985 U.S.). [Leicester Mercury]
Publishing | Avatar Press has returned to Diamond Book Distributors as its distributor to bookstores, the mass market, library services, and other markets. Avatar left DBD in 2011 to sign on with BOOM! Studios to distribute its books through Simon & Schuster in the United States and HarperCollins in Canada. [ICv2]
A math-minded 4chan commenter has done a bit of number-crunching to arrive at an interesting theory: that The Walking Dead‘s zombie plague should’ve ended after a year, simply by biter attrition.
While the passage of time is difficult to discern in either the comic or the TV series, it would appear to be about two years since the outbreak began in the former, and a little less in the latter — more than enough time to dispatch the flesh-eating hordes. In theory, anyway.
Despite what you may have heard, the real threat to America may not be illegal immigration, same-sex marriage or even Obamacare. No, it turns out that it’s Robert Kirkman & Co.
In an editorial on FoxNews.com, Dr. Manny Alvarez asks, “Is watching The Walking Dead seriously hurting American society?” Before anyone has a chance to consider the question, Fox News Channel’s senior medical contributor answers with a confident “Yes.” And with that solved, Alvarez is free to focus on other pressing concerns, like the nature of Batman and Robin’s relationship, or, y’know, the dangers of socialized medicine or something. Then again, maybe not.
It’s been about seven months since Marvel teased George A. Romero’s not-so-secret comic series for “fall 2013,” but since then there’s been no more information about the project. However, it is coming, the Godfather of Zombies assures — it’ll just be a little later than expected.
“They were going to originally launch it in October, but I understand that they’re pushing it back,” Romero tells Daily Dead. “I don’t know why, but maybe they don’t want to bridge it over Christmas.”
Legal | Palestinian cartoonist Mohammed Saba’aneh, who was arrested in March by Israeli authorities and held for what many feared would be an indefinite period, is expected to be released today. [Palestine News Network]
Graphic novels | Aligning itself with the latest trend in education, Diamond Book Distributors has released a list of 98 graphic novels that can fit in with a Common Core curriculum. [Diamond Book Distributors]
Awards | The shortlist has been announced for the Scottish Comic Book Alliance Awards. [Forbidden Planet]
Legal | The Malaysian cartoonist Zunar has appealed a court decision upholding his 2010 arrest and detention, claiming police acted in bad faith when they arrested him under the Sedition Act because of his book Cartoon-O-Phobia, which had not yet been released at the time of his arrest. No charges were ever filed, as the police could not identify any actual seditious content in the books. A court ruled in July 2012 that Zunar’s arrest was lawful but ordered the police to return the books they had confiscated and pay him damages. An appellate court will hear the case next week. [The Comics Reporter]
Publishing | Heidi MacDonald takes a look at Marvel’s new graphic novel line, which will launch in October with Warren Ellis and Mike McKone’s Avengers: Endless Wartime. [Publishers Weekly]
Every so often, public opinion shifts and popular culture gets a craving. Remember when everything was all about pirates? Then we all got on this huge kick about vampires and the supernatural, and we had a variety of different television shows to slake our thirst? The remnants of those yearnings still linger (well, not so much the pirates), and now the masses have all lined up for zombies.
Zombies play into so many metaphors for the fears that plague us (death, communities turning against us, a loss of identity and so on), and they can even reflect economic shifts with consumerism and political-mob mentalities. That latter point is probably why Game of Thrones (a fantasy political drama) and The Walking Dead (a morality play on humanity versus its corrupted self) are TV-ratings gold.
Sadly, this cannot last. I’m not saying zombies are on their way out, just that the cultural craze is reached a peak and is moving toward something new — and Marvel comics has your back.
With robots! They’re fantastic and a personal favorite of my science fiction-loving heart, so the announcement of Avengers A.I. left me looking past our zombie-filled present with a hope for a new future-craze. We should be looking forward to what comes after our old rotten selves, pushing forward with our fiction to better understand the human condition. There is no better metaphor than that of the robot to help us grasp our own humanity and morality by looking through mechanical eyes; the future of our pop culture might not be full of artificial men, because who can really predict the public’s taste for fantasy or fiction? But Marvel seems primed and ready to try to take us into a new age of androids.