Monday, September 19, 2011

"Dead Beyond the Fence" Book Review

Fall is here, and we are back! We have spent the summer traveling, reading stacks of zombie books for review, and watching the world go zombie crrrazaay. From video games, movies, books, pub crawls, and even the new 5k zombie dash in Maryland, it has been non-stop zombie love taken to the next level!

All that being said - we are back to start our full run of zombie book reviews, so that you will have more than enough reading material for the long winter ahead. I know a few of you have been waiting patiently for these to start, so let to it!
Our first book review comes from the author Brian Kaufman. We will be posting a interview with him soon, so stay tumed for that! in the mean time, here is a quick run down of "Dead Beyond the Fence" reviewed by Grady Arth, our newest edition to the iLovetheUndead Crew!

Zombie novels are not regular Pulitzer Prize winners, and with good reason. It's hard to make the undead more than formulaic and occasionally gross. But, see, here's the thing: I sat down to give it a chance and two hours later I got up to close all the windows, double-check the locks on the doors and nervously watch cartoons before going to bed, jumping when the neighbors made a loud noise upstairs. It got under my skin. In Kaufman's novel, the action sequences are remarkably engaging, with the characters showing an unnervingly realistic mix of fear and the kind of boredom that comes from being horribly traumatized for a long time with no respite.
Dead Beyond The Fence tells the story of Kevin and Angel, two people in Fort Collins, Colorado, who somewhat randomly hooked up when the world suddenly became jam-packed with zombies. When their building's security is compromised the two of them split with no plan and fewer resources. After a meticulously mapped hike through the streets (Kaufman lives in Fort Collins; he was clearly brimming with glee while imagining zombies at all the intersections and businesses he describes), the pair happen upon a fenced research facility. The 10 people in the building protected by the titular fence are mostly scientists who have been brought together under the charismatic control of one Nurse Rached-style woman.
The greatness shines in little flashes when Kevin and his new friend Corey go out on short trips to look for food and supplies. Armed with a hand gun and a crowbar respectively, they search for food and weapons to take back to the comp
ound. The zombies are slow, so their primary defense is walking away when one comes close. That makes it sound kind of boring, but these little confrontations are actually remarkably gripping. There were several passages where I had to remind myself to slow down and actually and read the words and not skim just to find out what happened next. There are a couple places in this book where I get the cloudy impression that Kaufman wanted to convey a generalized "be nice to nature or it'll kick you like a cranky mule" message, and maybe a little "human nature is a black, vile monster barely held in check by the fragile chains of society, so you guys better watch the hell out when society crumbles" thrown in, but he never comes right out with it.
The novel itself is a decent little yarn about regular people struggling through a crisis.

iLovetheUndead Score: 3/5

Stay tuned for our interview with Brian Kaufman!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Holy Zombie Books Batman!

Sorry for the hiatus guys, but we are FLOODED with zombie novels for review - and we want to make sure we give each book its due.

We will be gearing up with nonstop book reviews and zombie news in the upcoming weeks here - so stay tuned!

Thank you all for the continued support! We promise we will make it worth your while ;)

The I<3Undead Crew

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Artist Spotlight: Aleksandr Poltavskiy

Undead Crew: Who are your influences?

Alek P: Now days it'
s not as much as who but what. Pretty much I get influenced by all the random stuff I see. It can be watching a movie, reading a book, to even staring at the floor until the blobs form something and I go, Oh Damn! And run to draw something.

Undead Crew: What is your process in creating art?

Alek P: Usually my best work happens very randomly. For example some of my best designs I have done by just scribbling random ideas. One time I was making dinner and started drawing a skull, then added some horns for fun, then some hands. Next thing I know it was a design that sold in one day! But for most part I draw a sketch on the computer, then I go through with a new layer and re-ink it. Then go through and color. All done in Manga Studio by the way.

Undead Crew: What if any formal art training have you had?

Alek P: None, I tried to get some training twice actually. One time I went to an art school when I was a kid and we were told to draw whatever, so I drew a voodoo doll. All the kids started telling on me and the teacher told me not to draw it any longer. I never came back to that place. Second time I had a guy come over on the weekends to teach me how to draw, after 5-10 sessions we didn't get past 1 point perspective and so I got annoyed because I knew it before he came along and told him I was done.

Undead Crew: What made you decide to pursue art seriously?

Alek P: Chicks! Heh kidding, I always loved art and drawing. So I decided to try to do it digitally and had fun, eventually some people wanted to hire me so I thought, hell might as well try to make some money!

Undead Crew: Have you always been interested in horrific and morbid imagery?

Alek P: Umm kind of. I come from a christian background and so my entire life everything that was anything from normal was considered evil. Just like if you tell a child not to touch a hot stove a second later he burns himself I burned with desire to explore! For most part though yes, the way I see it. I can draw nice pretty mountains that everyone has seen day in and day out, or I can create concepts no one imagines. Or as some people have told me the art I create is what they see in their nightmares from Satan. I am envious of that though, because I have to sit and think of these concepts and they get them for free in their dreams!

Undead Crew: Who are some of your clients?

Alek P: Gah so many! Some of my latest and biggest have been: Bravado, Harley-Davidson, Lamb of God, Sumerian Records, Psychopathic records, KungFu Vampire, Bizzy Bone, and so many others I can list.

Undead Crew: What are some of your upcoming projects?

Alek P: Lately I have actually started doing more work on Motorcycle Helmets. So I am doing a few helmets for people now. I am always doing random T-shirt designs here and there, but currently these helmets are what I am focusing on as they are completely different and a challenge to work on!

Undead Crew: What do you like to do when you are not creating art?

Alek P: Oh so many things! One of the activities I really love but can't at the moment because of the weather is to practice motorcycle stunting. I am still learning but it's a lot of fun to try to get the wheelie as high as possible! Other then that video games are fun as well, hell tonight I am going to the release of KillZone 3. Most people reading this will read it after it has been released, but yes I was going to the release! I am sure this also falls under art but I like to practice different forms, lately I have been experimenting with airbrushing as well. Just anything and everything though.

Undead Crew: What is your favorite color?

Alek P: It used to be black (which is a tone of course) but lately I have been using so many colors in my work that it is hard to choose a favorite. Pink is always fun to work with, so is orange, green, purple, and all others. So all colors? :P

Undead Crew: How do zombies influence your art?

Alek P: The rotting! I love how they look when they are rotting away in details and their hands all over the place. A lot of the hands I draw are typically boney and just randomly positioned and fingers gesturing random stuff. So It's a lot of fun to draw stuff that looks grotesque and decaying!

Undead Crew: Do you prefer slow or fast zombies?

Alek P: There are 2 ways of answering this.

1. Am I part of the apocalypse? If so then slow zombies! That way I can have a chance to run away.
2. I think it was the movie Day of the Dead? Where the zombies are super fast and just jumping insanely high killing everyone? Not sure since I saw so many of those movies. But those were so bad a! I loved how no one stood a chance, and it made zombies the ultimate hardcore killing machine. Those I prefer but if I was to survive and those were the zombies I would deal with, I would definitely be the first to go! Unless I put zombie guts all over myself and walk around pretending I was a zombie like in the walking dead. (although I have a weak stomach so I would vomit every couple seconds.)

Undead Crew: What is your favorite zombie weapon?

Alek P: To use against zombies or that zombies use? In all honesty I do not know, I would always have the fear of their blood splattering in my eyes or mouth and I would get infected. I guess a machine gun would be nice so I can shoot at a distance, or a sniper. In the flicks that seemed to always take them out right away!

Undead Crew: What is your favorite zombie flick?

Alek P: Although hey are not as much zombies anymore I love the resident evil movies. For the fact that it gives the humans a fighting chance. FOr most part none of the zombie movies ever give humans a chance, in the end everyone dies because how is anyone supposed to kill the entire population of the world? In this movie there is some hope!

Undead Crew: How did you find out about

Alek P: I was actually browsing through different art sites and artist pages and saw you guys through one of them, so I thought I would check it out since zombies always interested me. :)

Undead Crew: How can people contact you for work?

Alek P: Best way would be through my email. Anyone can find all the information about me on my website though

Undead Crew: Thank you for sharing your art and spending the time to talk to us! As a band of artists ourselves, we always enjoy seeing what others are creating! please keep in touch and thank you again for supporting!

Alek P: Well guys thanks for the interview, It was a nice break from work. Now I will get back to creating demonic horrific work. Take care!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Simply Amazing.

This has to be the greatest trailer I have witnessed in a long time. Beautiful. Chilling. Zombies.

Enjoy my friends.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Zombie Book Reviews and Interviews with the Authors

For all aspects of zombie culture, the most talent belong to the writers. There are countless zombie novels out today, and some fall victim to formula. So which ones do you read? We have done several book reviews in the past for the best zombie books we have come across. This is nothing new, in fact most zombie websites do the same. But we are going to try to bring you something special in the next few months.

Starting in February, we will be bringing you reviews to some recent novels including interviews with the authors, to get an insight on their thought process on their book as well as the zombie genre. Our first review coming up will be "Dead beyond the Fence" by Brian Kaufman. Books from IPG and St. Martins Press to follow!

Stay tuned zombie lovers - there is some good reading ahead ;)


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011: A reflection on zombie culture

As with every holiday - we all take a bit of a hiatus to be with family and friends, but we are back with a humble reflection on zombie culture today.

2010 was a very interesting year for zombies. General society is now saturated with the fascination of zombies. Games, movies, books, television and even plush toys have cashed in on the zombie phenomenon. within the past 3 years, zombie culture has seemed to become pop-culture.
It is a matter of personal opinion whether that is a good or bad thing. So where do we go from here? What are we looking forward to that hasn't already been done? will we see a rise in new and exciting ideas or a sharp decline in popular interest?

Only time will tell, but no matter the status of zombies in pop-culture, there will always be true followers of zombie culture. And that is you and me ;)