—Don’t care what I have to say?  That’s cool; the trailer is at the bottom of the post.

Writing original things specifically geared towards zombies is difficult, and now people are getting angry that I bought this website but I’m not doing anything with it.  Here’s a start, and shut up.

So, there’s this movie coming out.  Based on the novel by Max Brooks, World War Z was initially slated for a December 2012 release, but has been pushed back until June 21st.  The book has sold over 600,000 copies and spent four weeks on the New York Times Best Seller’s List.  Yeah, a book about zombies, I know right?  Who strikes it big writing stories about zombies?……..  Max Brooks may sound familiar to you.  His father, Mel Brooks (yep, that guy) starred in some pretty kickass comedy movies.  Prior to writing World War Z, Max Brooks wrote another well received book titled The Zombie Survival Guide, which you may also recognize, and is rumored to be ready for the big screen in 2014.

About the movie:            This guy who you’ve definitely never heard of named Bradd Pitt stars as Gary Lane, who is a United Nations employee.  Brad Pitt owns “Plan B Entertainment”, who was actually in a bidding war for rights to the film with Leonardo Dicaprio’s production company.  So it’s kind of like when guys envision Reece Witherspoon and Rachel McAdams duking it out over something, only slightly different.  At the same time, I wish Brad Pitt and Leonardo Dicaprio would fight each other over my blog.   For you meth Breaking Bad fans, the film also casted Bryan Cranston for a smaller role.  The script to the film was actually released in 2008, and reviewed by Ain’t It Cool News as such:  “This isn’t just a good adaptation of a difficult book… it’s a genre-defining piece of work that could well see us all arguing about whether or not a zombie movie qualifies as ‘Best Picture’ material”.  So, watch the trailer, let me know what you think on my Facebook page or by leaving a comment below.  Personally, I am excited that zombies are about to go mainstream; you can’t get much more mainstream than having Brad Pitt star in the on-screen adaptation of your best-selling book.  The trailer alone raises my pulse.

One final note I didn’t want to mention before you watched the video, was that Max Brooks was filmed in an interview (as you can see below) and asked about what he thought about the new wave of “fast zombies”.  To me, the zombies in the movie look like they’re booking it; very similar to how I look after I enjoy Mexican food.  I guess the question is “what defines a fast zombie?”, but Brooks’ take on fast zombies is pretty cut and dry.

“FAST ZOMBIES ARE GAY.”

I hesitated on writing this article.  I wrestled with myself on this for hours; after I bodyslammed me through my kitchen table after I took myself by my hair and smashed my face into the bathroom mirror, and then me came out of nowhere, grabbed my hand, and put it down the active garbage disposal, I decided that if I lived it, I can talk about it.  The intent of this article is to correlate the two events without making myself culpable.  It’s for you.  And before I begin, I’m going to make a note to myself right here that says “maybe there are things that you need to get off of your chest and this is an appropriate way of doing it.  Maybe this is how you can cope.”  In relating these events, I hope to inspire feelings of hope and resiliency… or, at least as much as possible while talking about zombies.

May 22nd, or a zombie apocalypse:

It could happen on the most unpredictable of days.  A day that begins like every other day; for you, it begins with breakfast.  For me, it begins with a hangover and a dog’s bladder about to rupture in my face.  My dog, like me, drinks more on the weekends.  The only problem is that if he stays up all night drinking from his water bowl, he’s going to wake me up by dancing on my pillow sometime between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.  If I stay up all night drinking from my “water bowl”, I want to sleep until noon, and it hurts my head to get out of bed before that.

It could happen at the most unpredictable time.  It could happen when you finally let your guard down to your new neighbor and introduce yourself.  He’s heard you playing guitar, and wants to jam together sometime.  Maybe you get all cocky and talk yourself up like you’re some type of BB King, and then maybe he tells you he toured the east coast playing bass for a band that opened for BB King in the 1980’s.  Maybe you don’t want to talk to him anymore.  Maybe you don’t ever have the chance.

It could happen to anyone you know.  It could happen to someone that you saw at the grocery store yesterday for the first time in years.  You swear you’ll call them for lunch this week.  It could happen to someone that would shape and change your life for forever, had you simply had the opportunity meet them.  Someone you consider a great friend, maybe a best friend, can be trapped somewhere and their outlook for surviving the day could be bleak at best.  Maybe you’ve decided to look up someone you were unkind to in Jr. High school to apologize and salvage a friendship.  Maybe, in the blink of an eye, it’s too late.

And when it does happen, it’s hell… maybe even worse.

                                          —————————————

Having been right in the thick of things on May 22nd, 2011, I was able to witness something incredible.  It wasn’t an F-5 tornado, it wasn’t cars on top of houses, it wasn’t the fact that the town I’ve lived in for five years was completely destroyed;  it was people helping people.  Friends helping friends.  Strangers helping strangers.  Civilians from states away driving through the night to help a town they’d never set foot in.    People calling out names of people they’ve never met and they’ll never know.

Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr describes this as “the miracle of the human spirit“.  I respectfully disagree.  Miracles, by their definition, are considered divine.  I’d say it was more like the response of the human spirit.  I knew something terrible had happened, because I had watched it from just a few blocks away, and I didn’t go towards the city to survey damage.  Moments after the tornado passed, I drove as far as I could, I got out, and I started running towards familiar territory.  It was difficult to gain a sense of location; every landmark I had familiarized myself with around the city over the last five years was destroyed and not visible whatsoever.  I knew the general area I was in, but suddenly, I had no sense of direction.  My north and south wasn’t working.  I began to panic.  I was running over power lines, hundred year old trees, nails, glass, picture frames, all pieces of perfectly comfortable lives scattered for miles and miles (up to 70+ in some instances).  People with injuries everywhere around me.  A woman sitting on her front porch smoking a cigarette, which was all that was left of her house, looked like her foot had been turned inside out, and tears streamed down her face.  I gave her my hoodie to wrap her foot up and keep the rain and any infection at bay for the moment; she said her stash of marijuana had been blown away and wondered if I had any.  People screaming out for help; names, pets, calling for people to help lift debris, calling for health care professionals.  People with clothes literally ripped off of their bodies, missing shirts and shoes wandered aimlessly without speaking.  I did everything I could.  I met up with a first responder and his friend who was with him, and we literally lifted a man’s own house off of him so he could get out.  I’m a little guy and I was lifting things I had no business lifting.  In fact, the first responder and myself lifted a woman that was probably 400 pounds clean off the ground and loaded her into the back of a truck, to be transported to the hospital.  We held hands with complete strangers, only to watch them pass on to the other side.  We found some people already passed away on arrival.  It was overstimulating, and I wasn’t prepared.

It wasn’t heroic, it wasn’t a miracle, it wasn’t divine, it was simply a natural response.  However, it was definitely hell on earth.

  —————————————

What seemed like an event so big it would be impossible to recover from actually spawned some of the most beautiful and fruitful relationships and life lessons one could ever learn.  Oftentimes, I think to myself “ you know, I kind of want someone to shoot me.  In the leg or arm, nowhere vital, just to see how I would respond to the pain.  Maybe, I would even need to go through some type of physical rehabilitation.  It would be a good measuring stick as to how well I am able to overcome adversity”.  The city of Joplin was riddled with enough metaphorical bullets to make an infantry supply bunker go dry, and the way we responded was so encouraging.

If you had seen this city one day after the tornado, and compared it to present-day Joplin, you would literally soil your britches.  It’s much more clean.  So many houses have been rebuilt, or new ones built from the ground up, and people are slowly moseying back into city limits.  Stores are reopening, and new stores are breaking ground and opening doors.  Trees are growing leaves, birds are singing, even the rabbits are reproducing.  In fact, I work right in the middle of the city on one of the busiest streets, a good ways away from residential areas, and I have two baby bunnies that found their way to a group of bushes and plants just outside my office window.  They come out every day, eat some grass, drink from the water bowl I provided them, and go back to sleep.  Of course, they don’t understand that they are a sign of life; a sign of hope springing up from a city that I personally thought would never make a comeback.  I literally thought Joplin would just have to pack up and GTFO.  I am elated that I was wrong.

The connection I’d like to make between Joplin and the zombie apocalypse is simple:  We are a resilient being.  We are strong beyond what we think we are capable of being.  We are compassionate and our hearts are rewarded accordingly.  We can stare into the face of adversity without blinking.  We can conquer obstacles that we can’t see the end of.  We are human.  WE WILL BE FINE.  WE WILL BE BACK.  The earth has a history of resetting itself, and the latest craze is all about global warming, rapid resource consumption, overpopulation, blah blah blah (a biological phenomena fits right in line with all of these theories)… But humans consistently survive.

It took us a while, undoubtedly.  It took a lot of work: a lot of machines, a lot of physical labor, a lot of paperwork… but it also took people handing out bottles of water.  It took people cooking meals and giving them away for free.  Everyone had a role, and even though we still have a ways to go (our high school students are still going to attend class inside the mall), we freaking got it done.  The most seemingly impossible scenario I could ever imagine has been transformed into the most amazing story ever known.

My hope for the post zombie apocalypse recovery and response is that we will take a page out of this story.  We will see that the resiliency is not beyond our means.  You’ll see sights you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemies.  You’ll hear things that you’ll never be able to get out of your head.  Let’s be serious, rotting flesh?  You may never get rid of that smell.  But, we will see that nothing is impossible, even when everything has been ripped from your loving arms and life as you knew it will never be the same.  We will see that if we take that page out of the incredible book Joplin has written, we will get it done too.

Joplin High School, one year later. (USANews)

From http://www.bigcatstickershop.com comes another genius way to make money off of the imminent zombie apocalypse.  These “Zombie Permits” are an absolute essential for any zombie enthusiast, and at a mere $3.00, I don’t think you can afford to pass this up.  As you will see below, the punishment for slaying zombies without one can come at a serious cost.  Make sure to order directly from Big Cat Sticker Shop and not Amazon, as Amazon has the higher price and deserve to be hunted down themselves.

no daily limit, no birdshot, no problem.

The company based out of Bend, Oregon, makes custom stickers, targets, and coming soon a book on zombie field hunting.  I was able to reach Ian Sexton, President, Owner, and “Supreme Leader” (he made me put that in there), who says he is a big game hunter, and the idea of hunting zombies in the apocalypse has always fascinated him.  You may be surprised to learn that the idea for zombie permits didn’t come somewhere between 13 and 15 beers into Zombieland;  rather, he figured that we, as potential zombie hunters, need an official and legal permit to pursue dangerous game of the undead variety.  When I asked where the “Trophy States” are, which I assume is where you can locate the biggest zombie species, Ian said Texas, California, and Florida sell the most permits.  Presumably, his company has seen a rather large increase in Florida since the Memorial Day Weekend zombie attack.  Ian also notes that the repricussions for hunting zombies without a permit can have serious penalties; you can lose your firearms, as well as anything you use to facilitate the poaching of zombies, and you can also pay a hefty fine.

Thanks very much to Ian and the rest of the Big Cat Sticker Shop for the talk, and for being such good sports.

These bullets are absolutely ZCB approved.

Something great has come along and it’s my duty to pass it along to you.

From the Hornady Manufacturing Company comes these beauties: Z-MAX Zombie Ammunition.  Special thanks to Katy Wiest and Kevin Gunlock (aptly named) of Neosho, Missouri for the hot tip.

If these don’t take zombies out, there’s absolutely no hope for mankind in the zombie apocalypse.

But seriously, let’s look at this from simply a marketing standpoint.  It’s absolutely genius.  Change up the color of the actual bullet itself to bright green, and you’re going to sell an incredible amount just off of the novelty of the idea.  Kudos to you, Hornady.  I’ve enclosed some pictures for your viewing pleasure below, but I encourage you to visit the website and give them a look.  I was told that these are available to purchase at your local Academy Sports and Outdoors, http://www.academy.com.

7.62×39 123 GR

308 Winchester 168 gram

Also, a very special thanks to Kyle Myers from Odessa, Missouri for explaining the anatomy of a bullet to assist me in writing this post.  He was playing Call of Duty: Black Ops when I called and most assuredly was ravaging through zombie mode.

Writing about zombies is tough.  It’s even more difficult when you really don’t know that much about them.  I began searching for someone who knows a little bit more about zombies than I do (which should be just about any high school janitor).  I came across a modern gentleman by the name of Mike Esser.  Mike has a very impressive blog, so I decided to send him an e-mail.  He is currently working on his third book in The Deadz trilogy, took only nine minutes to respond to my initial e-mail.  My faith in human kindness was immediately restored.  He even zomplimented (that was initially a typo until I looked at it twice and saw that it was AWESOME) me on my blog here at ZCB, which as this thing begins to take off, was a very inspiring and encouraging thing to hear.  It really made my day.  It also made me feel like I’m in some type of elite club now that I write about zombies.  If such a club existed, he would be the president/owner/operator/CEO and I would be his errand boy.  I’d call it FAZE:  the Fraternal Alliance of Zombie Enthusiasts.  Wait a second; that’s actually pretty legit.  Let me know, Mike.

I developed some questions to get the low-down on all the hard-hitting zombie curiosities and e-mailed them to Mike.  I wasn’t sure if he would even respond after reading them (you’ll understand why shortly), but he did, and in fact said he had fun answering them.  Please, if anyone reads this blog ever, I really want to encourage you to check Mike’s stuff out.  It was very selfless of him to take time out of his day and chat with me, and he works hard to produce top-notch material.  The least you could do to repay him for doing this article with me is send him some love.

http://www.TheDeadz.com   This is Mike’s blog, complete with awesome blood-splatter background.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/87804   This is a link to where you can buy Mike’s e-book, The Deadz.  It has been reviewed very positively, and at only 99 cents, even Dennis Rodman can afford it.  And if he can’t, I’ll buy it for him.  Also, an open invitation here: if anyone buys the book and wants to write a book review, I would be happy to let you do a blog here about it.

Q&A with Mike Esser

This goatee is ZCB approved.


I see that you have a blog, a couple of eBooks published, as well as working on your zombie novel trilogy The Deadz.  Any other notable projects you’d like to share?

I have been working on the third installment of my series. I’m calling it, “The Deadz Won’t Rize.” Then, as far as fiction, I’m moving on to a mafia series called, “Mikey Batts.”

What initially sparked your interest in zombies?

I love all what’s thought of as traditional horror characters. Plus, I was a fan of the Walking Dead comics from day one. When I moved to a small town I thought, “What would happen to this town if a zombie outbreak were to happen? We’re far enough from anywhere that it could get ugly.”

I have heard several different theories on what will actually cause the zombie apocalypse.  Many popular theories include an infection outbreak, some take the spiritual road and say quote numerous biblical scriptures, and currently I’m working on a theory involving Tom Cruise and a mermaid.  Where will it all begin?

I think you and I are on the same page, damn it Tom Cruise! No really, maybe it will be a divinely inspired cleansing that plays on a human weakness. Like drug addiction and these recent bath salt mutilations?

In Shaun of the Dead, Simon Pegg (Shaun) uses a cricket bat.  Better or worse than a slow-pitch softball bat?

I think the solid cricket bat would cause more damage and create less fatigue. Softball bats tend to release a ton of vibration when they strike solid skull.

What do you assume an average zombie’s IQ will be?

The charts say anything under 50 and the individual would probably be required to be institutionalized and since most zombies have only two objectives, feed their dying flesh and spread the disease, I’d have to guess maybe somewhere in the 40’s?

Can zombies swim?

No, they can’t swim. But, they can walk and don’t need to breathe. See the first Pirates of the Caribbean.

In your professional opinion, please give me a percentage to the likelihood that zombies can in fact breakdance?

According to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, 100%.

Can domesticated animals become zombies?

I have heard from the so-called experts that it isn’t possible. But, with so many possible origins how would they know for sure? I address this in the first two Deadz books, where in fact, animals are transformed.

If you had to be eaten, would you rather it be the zombie version Rosie O’Donnell or Justin Bieber?

Rosie. Her human version is obviously used to eating fast and I think her zombie version would keep that trait and finish me off quick.

What is the post apocalypse plan for disposing of zombie bodies?

Fire or an acid vats.

Do you feel like all zombies will be on a similar playing field, or will some have an advantage due to race? 

I think that the things that made one strong as a living person will somewhat translate into their zombies. So, if they were athletic or flexible, small or slow it will play a role. As far as race, I don’t seeing that translate unless there is some cognitive thoughts remaining and then deads might form clicks?

It seems like finding clean drinking water will be everyone’s number one priority in surviving a zombie apocalypse.  Is there anything more important to seek out while everyone else fights over clean water?

Twinkies.

Cranberries – Zombie — best zombie song of all time?

Love that song. It’s either that one or Your Favorite Martians, “Zombie Love Long.”

Mike was able to answer all of the questions, and do so eloquently with facts and humor.

Mike, ZCB thanks you again for the kind words and the Q&A session, and wish the best of luck with your upcoming publications. I hope we are able to work together again soon.

Artwork Submission by Nathan Jones!

Special thanks to Nathan Jones of Colorado Springs, Colorado for submitting this amazing piece. Nathan is invited to give his opinion on ZCB whenever he likes. Also, he will be first in line to reinvent all graphic designs for planet earth after the zombie apocalypse has ended.

As soon as I figure out this WordPress thing, you’ll be seeing this logo a lot more.

Image  —  Posted: June 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

If you’re like me, you no longer live at home with your parents.  Not because you don’t love them, it’s just that sometimes it feels nice to poop with the door open, and they can’t appreciate the finer things in life, which forces you to leave the nest (perhaps even at gunpoint).  There’s a definite chance that when the zombie apocalypse begins, you’re not going to be right beside them.  Regardless of how much you love them, do not pursue your parents: They’re going to be eaten by zombies, and I doubt there’s anything you can do to prevent this from happening.

Sorry, dude.  By the time you’re even aware there is a zombie apocalypse, that toothless hillbilly that lives underneath the Oldsmobile 88 in the junkyard outside of city limits will have devoured your mother’s intestines.  Your dad will be bouncing around like a beach ball at a nickelback concert amongst those stupid teenagers that hang out at mall.  Those teenagers will probably still have their headphones on, too, because they wear them everywhere, even in the shower.  There’s no way your sweet, sweet parents are going to make it.  When most of us are in that panicked state, dad will be too busy doing something mundane such as tucking in his shirt, matching his socks, balancing his checkbook on paper, and polishing his local bass club fishing trophy from 1987.  Mom will be too consumed with making sure the stove is turned off, gathering crossword puzzles to give her something to do, making sure to DVR American Idol before she leaves the house… Oh, and fixing her hair, too.

They can’t help themselves; neither can you.

I love my parents.  They’re wonderful.  They’re actually my biological grandparents.  They took me home from the hospital, they loved me, adopted me, raised me, and they turned me into a grown man who drinks scotch, plays video games in his underwear, and spends his time writing ridiculous things about zombies.  I’d say they did a phenomenal job.  On a serious note, I am eternally grateful for their selflessness and patience; knowing them and being raised by them is truly a beautiful testament to the seemingly unfathomable ceiling of the human spirit.  But if mom and dad are foaming at the mouth and they want to eat me, I’m opening fire on their asses.  Period.

Zombies are often referred to as the living dead.  Dead, is the keyword here.  When you die, you’re dead.  As in no longer here.  You’re just a corpse.  Once your mother and father are dead, you can’t shoot them and kill them.  It’s kind of like that stupid movie, Double Jeopardy, with that stupid actress, Ashley Judd, where she did the crime for murdering her husband, was released, hunted him down, and was going to kill him because you can’t be charged for the exact same crime twice.  Well, Ashley Judd thought she was so smart, but as it turns out, this movie has a major flaw.  She was initially charged with murdering her husband on, oh hell, let’s say June 5th, 1995.  She went to jail and did her time for that.  If she went back on June 5th, 2015 and murdered him, she’s not charged with the same crime; she’s charged with a crime that occurred on June 5th, 2015.  Stupid Ashley Judd. Stupid story writers. Stupid movie.  So this situation is actually nothing like Double Jeopardy, but… I digress…

It is okay to shoot your parents… they’re not your parents anymore.  Their souls have been rewarded or punished depending on how many toys they bought you as a child.  And if you don’t believe there’s a heaven or hell… I don’t know.  I guess they’ll be sipping tea with Buddha after they get done riding their dinosaurs.  Your parents will love you unconditionally.  They obviously don’t love you unconditionally if they are trying to eat you.  It’s actually what they would want.  If your real father saw you getting all emotional, trying to decide if what you’re doing is proper etiquette, he would throw his glass of Beefeater against the wall, put out his cigar, and beat you silly.  And what’s the phrase your real mother used every time you spoke to her after you turned 18?  “I just want you to be happy, dear”.  Isn’t she sweet? Don’t think, just shoot.  It’s not like you can trap your parents and keep them in a cage throughout the course of the infection and unzombify them when it’s all over.

Sorry moms and dads, but I must deliver truth and implement preparedness.