The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

Dead Winter Review (1-100)

While waiting for the latest issues of Deadpool to arrive, delayed due to a lifeist mole of some sort within the US Post Office (Anti-Zombie spies are everywhere), the ZRC was made aware of another zombie-themed webcomic, entitled Dead Winter.

Dead Winter has a rather large archive, so I thought that I’d pause here at the 100th comic or so and see how it’s going.

Well? Badly, in a word. Badly for Zombie Rights.

Dead Winter starts out with your fairly standard Hollywood Post-Romero Zombie Apocalypse. In mid-sized American city of some sort, we meet a waitress, Liz Cooper, working her miserable shift at a sleazy diner on the night of the Zombie pandemic. Naturally, an infected customer comes into the restaurant and the story begins from there. As the outbreak spreads, Liz has to contend with ever larger hordes of the ravenous undead and learn to stand up for herself, yadda yadda yadda. In a parallel story, a hitman operating under the codename ‘Mr. Blues’ or ‘Black Monday’ is also operating in this city during the pandemic, and he tries to make his way out of town, a path of destruction left in his wake.

The art evolves quickly, the writing is fairly punchy, if a bit stodgy at times. Some of the symbolism goes over the top. What really gets us here at the ZRC, however, is how uniform the anti-Zombie portrayal is online, Dead Winter being merely an example.

I mean, is there a handbook? It can’t just be that everyone memorizes the work of Mr. Romero and his diabolical henchman Mr. Savini religiously, can it?

The dead start to rise from their graves, or, since almost no one is buried quickly in the modern era, from gurneys and ambulances and the morgue. Immediately a panicked public turns to melee weapons and shotguns as the government falls apart and order disappears. Huge numbers of the differently animated roam the streets, hungry for human flesh.

Now, assuming for a moment that the Differently Animated were actually like this, unthinking, unreasoning masses I mean, shambling about at 2 mph, how is it that they get the upper hand over the human population? I’ve seen it said that the golden rule of zombie movies is that ‘No one knows they’re in a zombie movie’, or in this case, a zombie comic, and thus everyone acts irrationally and self-destructively. But surely the police and armed forces have trained for, if not Hollywood Zombies per se, then civil unrest, rioting, and the outbreak of sudden disease.

Yet, in a Hollywood Zombie comic, nobody ever gets as far as an organized response. Society collapses like a house of cards in a hurricane. Does this reflect our underlying cynical doubt about the longevity of American society? Are filmmakers and comic artists, in fact, scapegoating the Undead to cover for their own lack of civic pride and faith in their public institutions?

In Dead Winter’s case, the message seems to be that the only classes of society one can rely upon in an emergency are hit men and waitresses.

Perhaps, whether we’re talking zombie comics or movies or books for that matter, the real question isn’t, ‘How do you survive’, it’s ‘Why are you so insecure about Western Democracy?’

Well?

(A concluding review will be posted once the entire archive of Dead Winter has been analyzed. In the event of actual mass-Zombification, the ZRC will be serving cookies and milk at its suburban Madison location. Zombies like cookies too.)


About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.

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