Friday, August 8, 2008
Being Way Into Zombies
In my defense as a citizen of a democracy, I must admit that I have read Marvel Zombies in hardback form. (And then sold the volumes on ebay to get them out of my house.)
Marvel Zombies, in its several bound books, certainly is much worse than what I have recently excoriated my students for reading.
I had to read it. I ran across a mention that She-Hulk, at one points, eats a bunch of children, and I thought, whoa, what's this about?
Not much, it turns out. But I turned several days' attention on Marvel Zombies, my first significant return to the Marvel universe in decades, although I have been a diligent consumer of zombie media in the meantime. I think I'm done, though. Turns out that the subjects of zombies and superheroes are just as vapid as they seem, despite intelligent efforts to make them vivid and meaningful.
One notable work of fiction regarding zombieness, of course, is described here. (Although the internet filter where I live prevents me from accessing the magazine in which it appeared, last March, in extraordinary awesomeness.
I say this with a heavy heart (a delicious, still-beating heart), and have to take it back a little, because two of the most intelligent things I've read recently were by former students, one a great zombie-poem manuscript that should appear in this world someday, and another student's senior honors thesis about the architecture and philosophies of zombies (this a brutal reduction of his serious work.)
I am not, certainly turning away from comics. Brian K. Vaughn is writing work of enormous popularity and depth, with his recent Pride of Baghdad and Y: The Last Man. In particular, the long range narrative of Y (in which all male mammals in the world die suddenly, except one dude, Yorick, and his pet monkey) constantly surprised me, by character development as much as plot, in a way I've never seen in comics, which seem either flat and standard or falsely brooding and adolescently deep. Y is good stuff. (John, he's also a writer on Lost the last few seasons.)
It probably requires little comment that a thing called Marvel Zombies is disappointing, for some people, and for others, it is an outrageous lie to say that something called Marvel Zombies could be anything less that the most perfect human creation. I guess I wanted it to be one thing, but it was another thing.
So I sold it on ebay to a gentleman from Illinois, who asked that I send it express, because his son was "way into zombies," which is not the sort of thing dads used to say about sons.