The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

‘Diary of a Zombie Kid’ Shut Down by Poor Sports/Possible Anti-Zombie Bigots

Here at the ZRC we tend to be critical of the ongoing trend to just splash a bit of Zombie flavor into anything entertainment related and rake in the bucks; we even have a blog tag for it, ‘Don’t Use the Zed Word’.

This comes up a *lot*.

Yet when I saw this story about an unauthorized Zombie-infused parody of the Wimpy Kid book/media series, and the legal trouble it faces, I couldn’t help but sympathize:

The owner of the popular Wimpy Kid franchise is suing an upstart publisher for releasing an illustrated “diary” featuring a haggard, blood-spattered version of the wimpy protagonist. The “Diary of a Zombie Kid” lawsuit is a feast for headline writers (cue your “He’s No Wimp” lines) but will also test the fine line between a joke and a rip-off.

According the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Manhattan federal court, the books have sold more than fifty-two millions copies and the wimpy kid become a full-fledged cultural icon with an appearance last year in the Macy’s Thanksgiving today parade.

The zombie kid arrived on the scene this August via a small publisher, Antarctic Press, which released the book in a similar color and cover design. But the protagonist of the new title, is not just wimpy:

Middle school is horrific enough for any 5th grader’s first day. But for Bill Dookes, it’s a festering, rotting, undead nightmare! Since Bill’s deadbeat dad got arrested trying to burn the house down for the insurance, Mom’s had to make ends meet by volunteering to various medical research companies for cash. This would be fine if she hadn’t brought home a mysterious zombie virus! Now Bill has to deal with skin problems and body chemistry changes that make puberty look like a walk in the park! And then there’s his ever-growing appetite for BRAINS!

(Italicized portion is actual product description)

Now, first of all, that certainly sounds like a parody to me, and hence, legitimate free speech. It also sounds like a media Goliath once again acting like a humorless stooge toward anyone small enough to kick around.

But just read that bit in italics there, the official book description. It sounds like this might be a *Zombie Friendly* parody that they’re trying to suppress.

In fact, in the absence of other evidence, I have little choice but to conclude that this is the case, and that the ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ author is in fact desperate to keep Zombie Friendly children’s material off the shelves.

I mean, just look at how far he’s willing to go:

Needless to say, lawyers for Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney are throwing the kitchen suit at the zombie, demanding a temporary injunction and a galaxy of copyright and trademark damages.

Really, Mr. Kinney?

Somehow I think this is a bigger issue for Mr. Kinney than just that someone took a few parody potshots at his comic. This sort of overreaction is something we see a lot at the ZRC; it reeks. It reeks of potential prejudice.

There’s more to this story from a ZRC perspective, however, because Antarctic Press has come in front of our media criticism crosshairs before, as has the author of ‘Diary of a Zombie Kid’, Fred Perry.

Because that’s the publisher, and author, of, wait for it…

‘The Littlest Zombie’

littlest_1

Yes, ‘The Littlest Zombie’, which we’ve reviewed here on the blog at least three times as issues slowly trickled out over the months and years.

As you can see, the comics in question have rated ‘Anti-Zombie’ pretty consistently, so Mr. Perry is hardly, historically speaking, a Zombie Ally. Yet his ‘Littlest Zombie’ has always displayed a certain sympathy for the titular Undead waif that left us wondering here at the ZRC if he might one day turn over a new leaf and truly join the ranks of the Zombie Enlightened.

Image2

Well, maybe.

Here was the chance to finally see Mr. Perry graduate to a nobler and more humane artistic form, and now it faces extinction, because of what? Snippy legal action?

Image3

Come on, Mr. Kinney. Can’t we settle things in the court of public opinion?

More to the point, haven’t you ever heard of the Streisand Effect?

The Streisand effect is a primarily online phenomenon in which an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information has the perverse effect of publicizing the information more widely. It is named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose attempt in 2003 to suppress photographs of her residence inadvertently generated further publicity.

Gee, I wonder if that would apply in this instanc–

Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we’ll deliver when available. We’ll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.

Oops.

And of course if the book is successfully suppressed it’s just going to be the hottest thing on BitTorrent for a week, because, well, that’s what the internet does to censorship. Honestly, it’s like some people born in the 20th Century have their minds stuck in the Pre-Enlightenment.

Needless to say the ZRC is now *very* interested in obtaining a copy of ‘Diary of a Zombie Kid’ for review. We’ll keep you posted, loyal readers.


About The Author

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

Comments

One Response to “‘Diary of a Zombie Kid’ Shut Down by Poor Sports/Possible Anti-Zombie Bigots”

  1. Mike Esola says:

    This lawsuit against zombi kid is a real shame.

    I was writing to see if anyone would be free to review my new kids book DIARY OF A DINOSAUR. The book follows around a sixth grade dinosaur (T-rex) named Stan as he tries to make name for himself in a world populated by humans.

    If you’d like a copy of the paperback, I’d be more than happy to send you a copy for free. Email me at mike.esola@gmail.com

    DIARY OF A DINOSAUR
    http://www.amazon.com/Diary-Dinosaur-The-Attack-Benny/dp/1478713631/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364957089&sr=8-1&keywords=diary+of+a+dinosaur

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