In case you haven’t noticed, zombies are pretty hot right now and there is no sign the mania will abate. We like zombies. Since they’ve been mishandled for so long in film and print, we are encouraged by new, innovative and entertaining interpretations of the undead.
Sure, we might reach critical mass, and maybe the genre is near “Jumping the Shark.” Regardless, nothing entertains like some hard dystopian stories about brain eating hordes.
This summer, the New York Times did a story about the state of zombie fiction, assembling a list of noteworthy titles. And with the release of Colson Whitehead’s acclaimed literary zombie book- Zone One- other zombie stories have begun popping up from unlikely authors.
Most zombie related titles that hit the shelves are pretty violence heavy, in particular destruction dispensed from the barrel of a gun. We’ve noticed the cross-interest-trend of zombies among the military/gun culture.
It’s a natural fit. What would World War Z or the Zombie Survival Guide be without a good machete, shotgun or big bore rifle? The interest in zombie hunting and busting to save yourself, your family, community or country, has a broad appeal to both soldiers and civillians alike. Sure, you can go through World War Z and pick apart some technical inaccuracies, but its a zombie clobbering good read.
The zombie pollination of the world of military and firearms enthusiasts has spawned everything from zombie zapping ammunition and branded pistols to zombie targets. Nothing unites dissimilar groups like a common enemy- zombies.
One ammunition manufacturer produced a line of anti-zombie bullets (real by the way.) An entire company popped up devoted to the zombie-firearms culture as well. Zero Heavy produced not only zombie themed targets, but in a tip of the cap to World War Z, a t-shirt emblazoned with the term “Remember Yonkers.”
Zombie targets seem to be the single most popular collision of zombie-tainment and the 2nd amendment. Dozens of zombie targets, from cartoonish to gruesomely real, have appeared on ranges around the nation.
One serious firearms instructor, poked a little fun at the concept of the zombie horde by melding live-fire training and some zombie gags like this zombie vehicular ambush.
Another obvious join-up of firearms and books meeting on zombies is the Ruger LCPZ- Zombie Slayer pistol. Note its pairing with Brooks’ entree to the zombie world. Several other firearms manufacturers have made special components for rifles emblazoned with anti-zombie logos and slogans of all sorts.
Another facet of the zombie interested culture are the creation of “morale patches.” Worn by members of the U.S. and other militaries, the patches range from patriotic sayings and off-color jokes to pop culture references. Zombies too have found their way onto morale patches like that designed by MilSpec Monkey- Zombie Hunter.
Of course for all the serious genre books coming out of mainstream or indie publishers about the zombie outbreaks, the military enthusiast community has answered with their own works.Over on Wired, they profiled a “manual” for small unit operations in the zombie war.
Osprey Publishing, one of the truly great publishers of military non-fiction, recently got into the zombie game with their title Zombies: A Hunter’s Guide. Osprey even has a video about the effects of a zombie outbreak on their own office…
Over at Military.com’s Kit Up! they profiled the zombie war, from the undead side. The Brain Eater’s Bible has some pointers to the recently mobile deceased on how to handle undead-to-man combat.
If you are interested in going deep into this cross-over, we’d recommend the outstanding Tactical Fanboy for all the tongue-in-cheek tacti-cool zombie industry news. Also, the normally serious Kit Up! has devoted a few pages of analysis of the most effective anti-zombie weapons.