Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Zombies vs. Vampires
Growing up, I was a huge fan of the vampire genre. I watched Lost Boys and Fright Night until the tape in my VHS fell apart. When I reached high school, I started reading Anne Rice's vampire novels and have read all 10 to this day. I never watched Zombie movies. I may have seen and enjoyed some of this genre from time to time. 28 Days Later was fun, as was the orignal and remake of Dawn of the Dead, but I just didn't care, give me Buffy the Vampire Slayer anyday.
About a year ago, a friend that is a HUGE Zombie movie fan came over to me and we got into an argument about Vampires vs. Zombies. It didn't end well. I defended my vampire love and he said the Day of the Dead series alone wins hands down. We disagreed, but this argument stayed with me.
A few days after the argument, I realized what always appealed to me about Vampires was the romanticized notion I had of them. I wanted to be a Vampire. I would live forever, do anything I wanted and the only negative was I never saw the sun (no big deal for my pale, Easter-European descended ass) and I had to drink blood. For me this seemed like a great trade-off where being a vampire won out. On the other hand, no one wants to actually BE a zombie. You have no thoughts, or dreams, you just roam the earth trying to eat brains.
Maybe because the world is so over-saturated with the Vampire craze with Twilight and True Blood and the hundreds of other Vampire-like entertainment, I have found myself not enjoying it as much. Maybe because the Twilight Vampires really are not the vampires I grew up with. These cry-baby vampires aren't for me. At least the True Blood vampires want to kill, fuck and enjoy their immortality. But this season of True Blood has been too political with the Vampire kingdoms and the Werewolves, I have found myself just not caring about my former love: the blood-drinkers.
So when I heard that AMC was creating a new television series based on the comic book series The Walking Dead, I had to try the book out for myself. I bought the Walking Dead Compendium. It has the first 48 issues in one single bound book. the book weighs about pounds and for the past two days I have been enraptured in the story. I finally get why my friend loves the Zombie genre and it has nothing to do with the zombies at all. The story isn't about the mindless monster that is trying to eat you, but it is about the survivors.
In The Walking Dead a zombie outbreak occurs and 99% of the world's population are now mindless pieces of flesh that want to eat anything alive. The remaining 1% has to learn how to survive in this new world. They need to set up their own rules, and governments. Also, because of the isolation that they all feel many literally lose their mind whether it is due to watching their children or loved ones ripped apart in front of them, or planning the death and sabotage of their only rival of their affections and dealing with the grief.
I read a lot. On top of that, I have read many disturbing stories in my day both supernaturally based, and psychological. But, I can honestly say The Walking Dead has some of the most intense stories about human nature that I have ever read. I am really looking forward to the TV show when it comes out and beg everyone else to give the source material a try.