All posts for August 2011

Book Reviews: Velveteen & Mandala (Jiro Matsumoto)

"Bizarre" is the best adjective for this post-apoc zombie story, but "strangely touching" also comes in after a while.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2011/08/15 21:15
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What is it about zombies that has suddenly lionized the attention of SF/fantasy/horror types all over again lately? Between Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, World War Z, Zombieland and all of the other material in this vein that’s suddenly boiled out of the sewers and flooded the land, you can’t spit out your window without hitting a reanimated corpse. I suspect it’s got something to do with a renewed sense of doom in the air, which will find some way to manifest in the psyche of the popular culture. If it isn’t Godzilla knocking down high-tension lines, it’s the flesh-eating dead reducing civilization to armed camps of hold-outs.

Note that I am not complaining, merely expressing amusement at the way this stuff comes in waves. If I must choose my undead, I will gladly take Bub from Day of the Dead over the likes of, say, Edward Cullen. At least the zombie has no pretenses towards romance; he just wants to snack on your head and be done with it. That and the tone of the material is entirely different. The overheated romanticism of vampires veers too easily into self-parody. Zombie-pocalypse, on the other hand, is at its core just plain funnier: it’s a great and fertile ground for black humor, satire, parody, absurdism and farce (and you get bonus points if you can tabulate for me how each of those things differ from the other).

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Tags: Japan Jiro Matsumoto Vertical Inc. books manga review

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