I don’t know when I first got turned onto Joshua Guess’ episodic zombie blog “Living With the Dead”. From the looks of my Amazon order history, it was probably toward the beginning of 2011, which makes sense as that was right around the first season finale of The Walking Dead. I was semi-into the whole zombie genre as a kid, but kind of lost interest due to a lack of good content (more on this later). I seem to recall figuring hey, maybe there’s some other good stuff out there to whet my appetite, in between seasons. One way or another, I found the blog and was hooked by the concept immediately. The fact that these blog entries were collected into novel format and used as the foundation of a truly epic series was even more interesting to me.
All too often in zombie media, the entire focus of the endeavor is on the fight against the zombies during the outbreak. Joshua has that to some extent, but he takes it one step further, which is what really hooked me in the end. He showed the grind of day to day life, as survivors tried to adapt to their changing surroundings and make something in a more dangerous world. It’s a concept I adore, and one I tried to emulate in my own writing.
Fast forward to six years later and the universe spawned by that blog is still going strong, though it’s broadened and deepened in years since. “Revelation Day” is the 6th in Josh’s companion series to “Living With The Dead”, which follows the adventures of Kell McDonald, one of the originators of the zombie plague. Yup. He made someone who should ostensibly be the antagonist not only a sympathetic figure, but a likable protagonist.
More than anything else, I love this aspect of modern life. Fans of all genres used to have to satisfy themselves with the mediocre content that Hollywood and the big publishers put out. (Say what you will about Romero, the rest of the zombie genre in particular was critically lacking for quality stuff until films like “Shaun of the Dead” and media like “The Walking Dead.” As a fan of kaiju/giant robots, that genre has it even worse off. Believe me — I paid theater pricing to see “Robot Jox.”) With the Internet, and to a lesser but corollary extent Amazon, there’s a little something for everyone, and it shows. It’s a democratization of content, for lack of a better term, and I think it’s something that’s great for the consumer in the long run.
If you liked “A Place Outside The Wild”, give “Revelation Day” — and the rest of Guess’ work — a look. I think you’ll like what you see.