Here’s an interesting view on things from the Wake the Dead podcast, about how we as a society tend to relish stories and characters that are supernatural when times are rough and go awry. Face it, Twilight is a smash-hit, whether in the bookstore or at the movie theater. HBO’s True Blood is one of the most talked about shows on premium cable (I finally discovered the show when the first season came out on DVD) and has a huge cult following.
Some think the paranormal surge began shortly after Sept. 11, 2001. Danny Boyle’s zombie film 28 Days Later appeared in 2002. Dawn of the Dead arose in 2004, and George Romero’s epic Land of the Dead in 2005. World War Z, a zombie apocalypse novel by Max Brooks, has sold more than 200,000 copies since it appeared in 2006.
Now, Mr. Timpane has a point there. . . to an extent. He does mention the Romero films again as well as Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Bela Lugosi’s version, and Nosferatu (which came out in 1922), but doesn’t mention Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein which is a zombie movie in its own way. Of course on the comic book side of things we have Marvel Zombies, Blackest Night and the newly announced, Necrosha. I think because the comic code allows it, we can get away with a lot more now. Remember, in the 70′s there couldn’t be vampires and werewovles and such in Spider-Man titles. Both Man-Wolf and Morbius were created through scientific means, not supernatural. Those Marvel guys were crafty, huh?
Now, we also have Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which is going into its 16th printing since debuting in April. I haven’t read it, but I hear pretty good things. I don’t think we as a culture are now just opening up our horizons to more supernatural material, I think we’ve always had an interest in the macabre, it’s just that now it is getting a lot of media attention. So, I impose a question to you ‘Rama readers: do you think the vampire/zombie trend will burn and die out soon or will it just grow larger as time goes by?