Guest Post: Stuart Conover Talks About The Impact Of Zombie Popularity

Hey Folks!

I am lucky to have another guest blog post today!

This is a pretty cool post on a subject near and dear to my heart: Zombie Literature!

I’m not gonna prattle on, so let’s get right to the, uh, meat of the post!


Stuart Conover is the editor of Buy Zombie, The Horror Tree, and a future published author living in the suburbs of Chicago, IL. A fanatic of all things zombie and horror in general.

Personal Blog:

Zombie News:

Horror Author Resource:

From Stuart:

What The Increase Of Zombie Love Has Done To Zombie Literature by: Stuart Conover

The zombie has long been one of the rarities in horror. For years they would pop up in a movie or book and then you wouldn’t hear from the undead again. No cries for brains or to send more cops could be heard for years at a time. The moans of the undead were few and far between. Overtime though that has spread. The love of zombies has slowly been infecting the population much as an actual outbreak would occur. Slow and steady they have gone from those monsters Romero uses to a household name!

From movies to video games to books zombies are EVERYWHERE. They are on our clothes, they have toys, they are clearly on the websites that we read. For all of those that love the undead and everything they stand for that has to be a great thing? More people are using zombies in creative ways to tell their stories. Our favorite walking dead are becoming mainstream, getting real budgets, they are popular. Awesome right? That’s what I was thinking. I’m not the type of person who says a band sells out when they become popular. I’m excited that more people will enjoy what I love, the sheep that they are! However I heard a quote two years ago that got me to be slightly afraid of where our zombie loving culture is going.

“Zombies are the new vampire.”

When I first heard or read this all I could say to myself was yes, zombies are becoming more popular then vampires. I love it. There’s nothing wrong about this at all! As the last couple of years have progressed though I’ve become worried.

It started with Breathers: A Zombies Lament. That’s when I first noticed the change. (I have to interrupt myself quickly and point out that I LOVED Breathers as a novel so this is nothing against the story itself.) It made a largely fundamental change by adding an intelligent zombie and brought that idea before the mainstream. Sure we’ve seen zombies that could speak or figure out simple tasks before Breathers but a fully intelligent zombie is something of an enigma. They are supposed to figure out some things, they are supposed to adapt, and possibly even evolve. Fully intelligent zombies though? Great idea when done right but still a horrible mess in what it ‘could’ come out with.

Looking at the book shelves get filled with YA zombie novels the last few years have been setting my fears from a paranoid and delusional mind into reality. Between what is out and what’s coming out, how can any true lover of our brain eating undead not be afraid? Just look at these titles: “Zombie in Love” , “Zombies’ Guide to Dating and Relationships” , “My Life as A White Trash Zombie” , “My Boyfriend Is a Monster 1: I Love Him to Pieces” , “A Girl’s Guide To Falling In Love With A Zombie.”

These are but a few of the many examples that are cropping up for sale. Not only is it a travesty on it’s own but it must be stopped and it must be stopped soon. If you think I’m overreacting all I have to do is say one word and you’ll understand where this is heading. Twilight. At this pace we’re a year, two at most, away from sparkly zombies that go to high school and try to seduce the introverted girl because she’s the only one who can feel and understand his pain.

Once you read that line you know it’s coming too. To prevent zombies from being bastardized like the once great vampire we have to stand strong and unite to prevent this travesty from happening!

From Jake:

I have to admit I haven’t read Breathers yet, but I have heard nothing but good things about it. I think what Stuart is saying is, fortunately/unfortunately, what happens when a mythos becomes popular. Even without the “humanization” effect, there has always been the fast vs. slow debate when it comes to zombies. Those that know me know I don’t have a preference. It’s all about what works for the story.

I guess that’s the real kicker: what works for the story. All the teen romance schlock being put out is just that, schlock. You can insert any subject/monster into those stories and they’d be the same. Luckily there are some great YA zombie fiction being put out there, especially Jonathan Maberry’s Rot & Ruin. Hopefully soon my YA zombie novel, Little Dead Man, will be included in this quality category. We shall see!

Thanks to Stuart for the great post and thanks to everyone reading!

Don’t forget to check out my new podcast novel, The Americans, available through iTunes now. It’s the second book in the DEAD MECH Apex Trilogy!

Oh, and there’s that DEAD MECH Kindle chart rush thing coming up! Mark your calendars for March 1st!


Posted on February 15, 2011, in What's Up.... and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I’m not I would agree that the zombie theme will follow in the steps of the vampire. Vampires have always had an air of romance, look at Bram Stokers Dracula.

    On the other hand zombies has mainly been used as tools to get another message across by the story teller, be it about human nature, the media or materialism. The zombie maybe the monster in the story, but rarely is the zombie the subject of the story.

    Also I don’t think it’s the character of the zombie that has drawn so many fans, but the idea of the end of civilization. It’s just that the zombie is usually the bringer of that down fall. Like death, humans are drawn to the “worse case scenario” and what’s worst the the complete extintion of your race?

    • True, I agree with all of that, but I think what Stuart is trying to say is how the genre itself (not the zombies) becomes warped with popularity. There are going to be more and more zombie stories coming out with zombies as characters, not as foils. Only time will tell!

  2. That was pretty much it exactly! While I don’t mind zombies as characters I don’t want the characters to follow the sparkley vampire route that some authors are pushing them towards.

  3. I see what you were saying Stuart, it’s just that I don’t see the reading public going for a romantic novel like Twilight where the lead character is a rotting zombie lol. Like I was saying, the vampire has always had an air of romance so it was easy to adopt to a teenie bopper series. Do you real see a mass market of Bieber fans going for some zombie lovin’?

    Yes the zombie genre has become very popular lately, but because of the aspects I described above (IMO of course). I for one would not go for anything that had the actual zombie as the main theme. That’s not the reason I love the genre and I would guess that a vast majority of the fans would agree. I can always be wrong, but if I were would movies like 28 Days or books like Tooth & Nail by DiLouie be bunched together with zombies like they are now?

    Still, popularity does have the habit of bastardizing that which gets to much attention and for all of use apocalypse loving, social commentary fans, I really hope the few people that try to take our precious shufflers down the road of Twilight fail miserably so they can go on and have much success with say…..Mummies! Yeah mummies! I can totally see that 🙂

    • And I wish I could fully agree with that but a few of the novels I listed went specifically that route. Maybe they’ll flop and my fears will prove unfounded. That’s all I can hope at the very least 😉

  1. Pingback: My Week In Review 2/18/11 |

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