Monday, October 14, 2013

Robert Kirkman: Zombie Utopian

The Walking Dead as drawn by Robert Kirkman via Wikia

I am vindicated, or at least justified, or perhaps I've just had a bias confirmed. A friend of Felix Salmon's forwarded on this quote from a Rolling Stone interview of Robert Kirkman; the artist who created the original Walking Dead comic book and also writes for the TV series:
Sometimes I think about how life now is not cool. We made a mistake at some point in our history, a hundred years ago, when we were living in houses that we built, growing food that we ate, interacting with our families and living our lives. Looking back on that era, it seems kind of appealing. That's a life that makes sense. Now, we're doing jobs that we don't enjoy to buy stuff that we don't need. I don't mean to sound like Tyler Durden, but it seems like we've screwed things up. There doesn't seem to be any kind of movement to continue evolving how we live, who we are and what our purpose is as human beings. That's unfortunate. So it's fun to look at the world of The Walking Dead and see those things taken away. Is life going to be better? A lot of people think the show is very bleak and depressing. And it is, oftentimes. But I can see where the story is going to go in the next ten years, and I think about it optimistically. Maybe it's going to make us better people by the end of it.
As I explained in my Introduction, there was a lot of material I'd have liked to include in The Political Economy of Zombies, and couldn't. But when I was writing the essay I did make an effort to track down a copy of The Walking Dead, I was curious to read it, had heard good things, but I was upstate staying at a cabin at the time, no comic book stores. I now feel honor bound to buy the book - but even if I didn't, I would. Kirkman sounds like a interesting guy, with an amazing project. "I'm 34 years old. By the time I'm 65, I might actually get pretty far." Kirkman says. "There could be an issue 700 of The Walking Dead that's about people delivering mail. That is exciting to me." - That's exciting to me too. I admire that kind of life-long fidelity to an artistic project, especially a utopian one.

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