Oct 22, 2011

TREND | Zombies on the Attack!

Last Breath, James Ryman

Ever since George Romero's epic film, Night of the Living Deadin 1968, there has been a hoard of the zombie influence on the arts in pop culture. Films, literature, and the visual arts, along with a fan base that has, through the decades, evolved/mutated into two separate subcultures. The two subcultures of fans, of this zombie trend, are divided into those who sympathize with zombies and with those who are interested in fighting and surviving The Zombie Apocalypse. These groups have given way to an all new inspiration for zombie art within the different medias and exploding like an uncontrollable virus on to the scene of pop culture. May it be your feeling the fear and horror through the images of a zombie film; chewing your nails with anticipation over a good zombie novel; or marveling over the depictions of horror and gore within a composition. 

Dawn of the Dead, 2004

Thanks to the Father of Zombies, George Romero, motion pictures have been in the lead of this horrifying trend. After Romero's, Night of the Living Dead, there have been many films and recreations of the first undead human flesh eater film. Such film as, Dawn of the Dead, directed by Zack Snyder, 2004, revised the genre creating and giving fear to a whole new type of zombie. The performance of the actors portraying the zombies were terrifying with the speed and ferociousness unlike any other zombie before them. The newly acclaim television epic series The Walking Deadon AMC, based on the graphic novel, has brought the fear and wanting to survive to the masses within their own homes. This television series is filled with horror and suspenseful drama. The actors portraying the survivors convey a real sense of dread and horror as they try to continue living among the undead. There continues to be a admiration for zombies and as long as this trend doesn't cease to exist writers and directors will continue to develop films for all to enjoy.

The Walking Dead, 2010
The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman, 2003


The Walking Dead, 2003

There have been many editions of zombie books ranging from novels, graphic novels/comics, parodies of other novels, and survival guide books. One of the most horrifying graphic novels to ever hit the pages, The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman and artists Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard, began in 2003 as simple comics but evolved into something much more. Sparking an epic television show and producing more then ninety issues and seven graphic novels The Walking Dead with its amazing illustrations and intense story lines appears to be a hallmark of the zombie trend. Bring zombies to classic British literature, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, written by Seth Grahame-Smith, 2009, is a parody to an existing novel, Pride and Prejudice. Retaining the novel's roots and giving it a undead twist allowed readers of a particular genre to explore other undead regions. Other books such as, The Zombie Survival Guide, written by Max Brooks, 2003, is a survival manual dealing with the fictional potentiality of a zombie attack. This book is sure to provide detailed information to zombie fans who are looking to survive a Zombie Apocalypse. These books are prime examples of zombie literature. 

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Seth Grahame-Smith,  2009

The Zombie Survival Guide, Max Brooks, 2003

Dentist Please, Jon Highland, 2010, oil on canvas
Hungry, Jon Highland,  2010, oil and canvas

Through films and books zombies where able to break out to create all new horror and terrifying depiction within the fine arts. Paintings by Jon Highland show the realistic gore of zombies giving them a terrifying persona. The awesome detail of realism and the attraction that Highland's paintings brings to the viewer has given way to the attribute of this trend. Zombie portraits by Rob Sacchetto allow fans of this trend to become zombies themself. Providing either family, wedding, or self portraits Sacchetto can create and remake ones photos into zombie works of art. The inspiration of zombies have allowed other artist to branch out of the normal and create magnificent works of art. 

Color Portrait, Rob Sacchetto, 2011
Color Wedding Portrait, Rob Sacchetto, 2011

Through the correlation of the different medias, zombies have been able to reach out and grab the attention of many fans of the different medias. Through films, literature, and the visual arts the masses have a complete library to fulfill all their zombie desirers. Each media has allowed the two subcultures of fans to find exactly what they need from this zombie trend and complement the status of each quo, engraving zombies into pop culture and creating all new artists and patrons . As this trend continues to grow there have and will be many more genres of pop culture to invade and take a chunk out of so that the fans may continue their undead obsession.

-Eddie Richmond


  1. I find it interesting how this trend as crossed many mediums but I wonder if it being used in art is becoming cliche?


  2. You did a great way explaining about Zombies and how we are to intrigued to surviving the Zombie eclipse. Maybe you could have talked about the Mayan calendar since the ends 2012 and people tend to believe the world is going to end. Some how we are the walking dead. Besides that I loved you had different examples of how popular Zombies are being used today.

    -Stephany Garcia

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. J.G.Gallegos-

    I have felt the same, wondering if zombies being used in art is becoming cliche. However, since zombie art is pretty much the basis of all other zombie genres - sketches and renderings for films, novels, and graphic novels. I have come to feel different about it being cliche. I fell that zombie art is barely breaking through, even though its been around for a while now, and will continue to catch our interest. We will just have to wait and see what develops.

    -Eddie Richmond

  5. -Stephany Garcia

    Even though I appreciate your view, I feel that the Mayan calender isn't really leading up to the "END OF THE WORLD" but more of the end of how we know the world. Who knows maybe the Zombie Apocalypse is what the Mayans were counting down to, but since no one really knows what or if anything is going to happen on Dec. 21, 2012 we need to keep an open mind. I'm glad that my blog was able to spark your interest and I hope it was informative.

    -Eddie Richmond

  6. i thought this post was really interesting i feel that maybe this zombie trend has helped out the vampire trend. i had never thought about it in that way thank you for bringing that to all of our attention.

    - Amanda Roland