Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Art & Culture: How to Speak Zombie by Steve Mockus

If you’ve been wondering when -- or even if -- you’d hear the final word on zombies, you’ll be relieved to get a load of How to Speak Zombie (Chronicle Books), the book that calls itself “A Guide for the Living.” Here’s some of what the book says about itself:
In a world overtaken by zombies, the only hope for survival lies in learning the language of the undead. How to Speak Zombie demonstrates how to blend in and avoid being eaten while carrying on with everyday activities like ordering a latte from a zombarista and shopping at a zombie-infested mall.
Although, in a way, this doesn’t even come close to describing this strange little book. Just 12 pages long -- think about a child’s boardbook -- each of the chunky pages is cut around the shape of the electronic sound module that sticks up through the book, ready to demonstrate “proper zombie pronunciation.”

You’ll find instruction for what to say at the mall, at the gym, at sporting events and other places where zombies might congregate in the post-zombie apocalypse imagined in the book.

While the book is somewhat clever and the graphic novel-style illustrations -- by Travis Millard -- are great, it’s difficult to imagine just who this book is intended for. Beyond the book’s potential as a gift for the zombie-lover in your life, I can’t imagine anyone having a burning need to run out and grab a copy. But then, what the hell do I know? I’m still trying to figure why The Da Vinci Code blew so many minds and, anyway, I suppose it is possible zombies will take over the world at some point. Better to be safe than sorry.

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