With Season 3 of Walking Dead set to premiere next month with an extended episode run, I can confidently say that zombie culture continues to flourish here in America. The proliferation of zombie-related paraphanelia, conferences, 5Ks, and literature has not really slowed and it’s no surprise that the crowd has done its part to collectively contribute to the zombie fervor.
Allow me to introduce you to Lost Zombies, a zombie-themed social network whose user-generated content contributes to an ongoing zombie documentary-style movie. Lost Zombies now has about 19,000 members in its community and hours of user-generated footage, imagery, and more.
Most recently, Lost Zombies collectively released a crowdsourced book entitled Dead Inside: Do Not Enter. What’s interesting about the book (besides the fact that it’s crowdsourced) is its format. It is a departure from a traditional straightforward narrative and is instead a collection of artifacts (a sort of fictional post-apocalyptic scrapbook – notes on the world before and after a zombie infestation). The collection was fictionally curated by a young girl before she was zombified and shot by another survivor who has penned the introduction. It’s described as being “unnervingly realistic.”
What’s so interesting to me is how collective creation is fostering a new collaborative genre that is a mess of styles, viewpoints, tones, and media. Also interesting is that they have a hard copy of the book, which seems that it would just as easily be suited to the eBook’s format.
It is also interesting to think about how film critics and zeitgeist analysts note that zombie culture usually experiences a resurgence of popularity during times of turmoil or social unrest. Robin Wood once saw Night of the Living Dead as a 1960’s critique of American capitalism and racial tension.
How else might crowdsourcing be changing our creative style? Why do you think zombie culture is so popular right now?