Books

Shamble On

Dear Diary, There Are Zombies EVERYWHERE!

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ANYONE TIRED OF ZOMBIES YET? With the influx of zombie culture continuing to come in hordes, I'm feeling surprisingly insatiable. Zombies: A Record of the Year of Infection combines genre aspects of graphic novel, field guide, and diary into a good-looking account of the zombie plague of 2012 (go Mayans!), which decimates 90 percent of the earth's population and forces the uninfected to fight to survive.

Written from the perspective of avid birder and biologist Dr. Robert Twombly, Zombies chronicles his encounters with the undead around Seattle and his journey to the supposedly safe and frozen climes of Canada. Graphic sketches of the carnage by artist Chris Lane accompany the diary entries, which make for the most arresting part of the book, and are by turns stomach-turning and haunting. Don Roff's written accounts of Twombly's troubles are solid if not inspiring. There are some clever twists on the lore, like the vegan punk band from Olympia, who escape infection by eatin' healthy and slaying zombies with their bass guitars.

But even passing zombie fans have seen much of this before—Zombies doesn't shamble over any new ground. The book's biggest flaw is its lack of any escalating conflict: Twombly roams the countryside, and the story is nearly as aimless. Ultimately the story peters out with only the illustrations to recommend it—which are filled with the gore, gristle, and guts of walking dead and their eviscerations.

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