Thursday, August 18, 2011

Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks

Zombie Survival Guide: Recent Attacks
Written by: Max Brooks
Illustrated By: Ibraim Roberson
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Language: English
October 2009, $16.99
Genre: Comic/Graphic Novel

Those who don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

From the Stone Age to the information age, the undead have threatened to engulf the human race. They’re coming. They’re hungry.

Don’t wait for them to come to you!

This is the graphic novel the fans demanded: major zombie attacks from the dawn of humanity. On the African savannas, against the legions of ancient Rome, on the high seas with Francis Drake . . . every civilization has faced them. Here are the grisly and heroic stories–complete with eye-popping artwork that pulsates with the hideous faces of the undead.

Organize before they rise!

Scripted by the world’s leading zombie authority, Max Brooks, Recorded Attacks reveals how other eras and cultures have dealt with–and survived–the ancient viral plague. By immersing ourselves in past horror we may yet prevail over the coming outbreak in our time.


I love zombies. As far as I am concerned they make everything better, kind of like baby animals, Neil Patrick Harris or anything Joss Whedon related. I own plenty of zombie films, was a pin up zombie a couple of weeks ago for the annual zombie walk, and got all fangirly when I saw the Season 2 trailer for the Walking Dead series on AMC. Oddly I listened to World War Z first (which by the way is frakking amazing and has the likes of Mark Hamil doing the different stories) and I immediately fell in love. Yeah zombies. Yeah realistic, entertaining and amazing what ifs. Its apocalypse writing at its best, but maybe that is just me. I hope its not just me. Well this is the comic book form of the best of the attacks. Now if you haven’t read World War Z, please do immediately. It’s amazing. Though admittedly you don’t have to have read it to enjoy these Recorded Attacks.

It begins 60,000 BC in Africa. Did you really think the living dead were a new thing? We continue through Egypt when the question is posed – was the removal of the dead’s brain ceremonial or was it more for practical purposes. From there we go to ancient Scotland, Siberia, and Feudal Japan. Each of these tales poses questions, describes attacks, the lessons learned, and the dangers faced when it comes to the living dead. After all, are we not doomed to repeat history if we forget the past.

Things I loved: As I said I love zombies and of course I love comics as well. Put them together and it’s like chocolate and peanut butter. So, between Robert Kirkman and Max Brooks I am a very happy zombie girly geek. While the stories are nothing new to those who have read World War Z, the new visual companion of sorts is awesome. This is largely due to the artwork of Ibrahim Roberson. It’s graphic. It’s detailed and well worth my money.

My favorite story took place in Feudal Japan where young warriors face a gruesome test. They are put in a temple where the walls are lined with the severed heads of the dead and forced to spend the night and either surrender to the fear or become its master. I think the pictures really do it, the row upon row of dead eyes and mangled jaws. Imagine sitting there in the dark…what was that? Was it a hiss? A moan? A slither? Did that head just move? That shadow just crawl? Even though detaching a zombie head from its body leaves one very dead head, would your fears remind you of that fun little tidbit? Its psychological warfare at its finest and I love it.

Things I didn't love so much: While yes Max Brooks and his fantastic tales are what nightmares are made of and have me well set in my options A, B, and C when it comes to the future zombie apocalypse, but this is a graphic novel. You can have a good story, but if your art sucks then it is a bit of a letdown. Ibraim Roberson’s art is amazing. So why is his name not featured on my copy of the novel as much as Max Brooks? Let’s face it the first 12 pages have about 9 prose bubbles, the rest is pure artwork. As a whole, there are only a few paragraphs of quick cliff note like copy bubbles. The stories are told visually. So it saddens me that Ibraim’s name in in 7 pt font on the back. One of those if you’re not looking, you will totally miss it sort of things. It’s not on the cover and not inside. Completely not fair as far as I am concerned. Maybe he didn’t want recognition, but somehow I doubt it.

I did want more. I would have liked to have seen more of WWZ in graphic form. While these are speculation s and reported attacks leading up to our big bad Z day, I would love to see actual WWZ stories. For example, the trek north where people hoped to freeze the undead, but they also neglected to be prepared for the harsh realities of taking that trip. Let’s face it the Spongebob Squarepants sleeping bag is not going to cut it in below zero weather and why did you bring that Xbox 360 with you? I suppose this isn’t a huge complaint. Just a wish. I want more.

Buy or Borrow: Buy if you love zombies, World War Z or great gruesome artwork. If not, just pick it up at the local library or borrow from a friend for a quick half hour.

Part of:Stand Alone

Also Recommended: For more zombies I would recommend World War Z by Max Brooks, The Walking Dead comic series by Robert Kirkman, and the Zombie Survival Guide also by Max Brooks. Feed by Mira Grant, Patient Zero by Jonathan Mayberry, Infected by Scott Sigler, and Rot And Ruin also by Jonathan Mayberry. Yeah zombies.

3.5 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks. It would get more but I am still feeling fairly sore about the Illustrator not getting props.

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