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Zombies lurch into popular culture

Vampires are all the rage in books, on TV and at the movies, but another contingent of the undead is storming our pop culture landscape.

Zombies are everywhere.

There are books galore, movies in the works, perhaps a Broadway play. There was even a zombie march in Cambridge, Mass., recently.

Not since George Romero’s seminal bloodfest “Night of the Living Dead” has so much flesh been munched by so many reanimated corpses.

“Other monsters may threaten individual humans, but the living dead threaten the entire human race,” says Max Brooks, author of the 2003 best seller “The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Living Dead,” of the undead’s popularity. “Zombies are slate wipers.”

This fall, Three Rivers Press will release a novel version of Brooks’ guide, and a major movie version of Brooks’ second foray into zombie lit, “World War Z,” is in preproduction at Paramount.

Seth Grahame-Smith, author of “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” written with Jane Austen (Quirk Books, $12.95), a book best described as Mr. Darcy meets “Dawn of the Dead,” says zombies connect because they’re lovable menaces, funny, and easy metaphors.

“They’ve always been used to skewer the ills of society,” he says. “It’s not surprising they’re making a comeback in these intense times.”

They’re not just for grown-ups.

“The Forest of Hands and Teeth” by Carrie Ryan (Delacorte Press for Young Readers, $16.95) is a tale of teen angst in a post-apocalyptic world. There’s also “Zombie Queen of Newbury High” by Amanda Ashby (Speak) and “You Are So Undead to Me” by Stacey Jay (Razorbill), both in stores, and “Strange Angels” by Lili St. Crow (Razorbill), on sale May 14.

“In the world of traditional horror, nothing is more popular right now than zombies,” says Katy Hershberger of St. Martin’s Press, which is coming out next winter with an all-original zombie anthology. “The living dead are here to stay.”

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

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For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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