Art by: Boe Leahy
Written by: Boe Leahy, Chris Cave
Published: October 4th, 2012
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The zombie apocalypse could begin any day now. Are you prepared? What weapons should you use? Do zombies have allergies that could give you an advantage? When shooting a zombie, should you aim for the head or the groin? All these questions and more are answered in 10 Top Tips to Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse, ensuring you will be well prepared when the fateful day arrives.
This Gashu-Group publication from writer Chris Cave and writer/artist Boe Leahy straddles two current trends in pop culture. One, obviously, is zombie fiction; the other is the jokey survival guide, a genre which was popularised by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht’s Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook from 2000. This particular combination has been done before numerous times in the last few years — Max Brooks’ Zombie Survival Guide, Max Brallier’s Zompoc: How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse and Rob Sacchetto’s Zombie Handbook being just three examples — but Cave and Leahy manage to pull off a worthwhile retread of what is already an old joke.
10 Top Tips to Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse comprises a set of four-panel gag strips about a group of survivors facing off against the legions of the undead; breaking up the strips are humorous ‘statistics’ pages for the various characters, which resemble top trumps cards. Much of the humour derives from the fact that the incompetent protagonists never quite grasp the gravity of their situation; again, this is not a new idea, being the main premise of Shaun of the Dead, but the authors succeed in getting a good amount of broad comedy from the concept.
The artwork is very simple and relies on stock comedy manga expressions, but by being so basic and stripped-down it recalls traffic signs or fire safety handouts. Perhaps unintentionally, this over-clinical portrayal of an apocalyptic scenario just adds to the comedy.
The book may not be the most inventive title on the market, but as a comedic love-letter to an extensively parodied genre it does its job; those who cannot get enough of zombies are advised to give the slim volume a look. 10 Top Tips to Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse is billed as the first title in an ongoing 10 Top Tips series — hopefully the future volumes will keep the same sense of humour while tackling less well-worn subject matter.