In 2010, author Roger Ma brought us the ever-useful tome, The Zombie Combat Manual: A Guide to Fighting the Living Dead. This book could do nothing less than save your life, should the day of the zombie apocalypse come. From conditioning and preparing, to weapons (both traditional and not), to combat strategy and techniques, this book definitely covers the bases when it comes to zombie combat.
And now, Roger Ma has brought us something even more fun and informative: The Zombie Combat Field Guide: A Coloring and Activity Book for Fighting the Living Dead. Highlighting all of the most important lessons from the Combat Manual, this coloring book gives folks a multi-sensory learning approach to surviving attacks from the living dead. There are coloring pages, fill-in-the-blank exercises, mazes, puzzles, and more, all designed to help prepare you for the impending apocalypse. This book should be in everyone’s survival tool kit.
There are pages to help you identify the enemy and know his methods of attack:
Scenario training to prepare you for attacks on land, sea, or air:
And of course, plenty of tips to protect your young ones:
So break out your crayons, pencils, and markers. Preparation is the key. WE WILL SURVIVE.
As a nice supplement to his books, you can hear Roger Ma chat with author Anton Strout on The Once and Future Podcast about zombie fighting and more.
Roger Ma specializes in hand-to-hand combat against the undead. He is the author of The Zombie Combat Manual: A Guide to Fighting the Living Dead. His new book, The Vampire Combat Manual: A Guide to Fighting the Bloodthirsty Undead, focuses on surviving an attack from a hunting succubus. He is the founder of the Zombie Combat Club and the Vampire Combat Club, organizations that focus on battling the undead without the aid of a firearm. He was recently featured as a zombie expert on the History Channel documentary “Zombies: A Living History.” He currently trains in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Only just getting into the Halloween spirit now that October is here (not before October, dammit!), I was at a local festival and saw this ninja family. So cute! So deadly, I’m sure. Want a custom made peg doll? She’ll do whatever you like. I was thinking of a pirate-Christmas theme. (But not until December!) You can find PegNation on Etsy and Facebook.
How about a plant that dies and then rises from the dead? My son thought this one was really cool. It’s called a Zombie Plant. Perfect for your party, or just to freak out visitors.
Happy Comic Release Day! Welcome to another installment of GeekMom Comic Book Corner, where we recap our adventures in comics for the week.
Dakster Sullivan — Starburn #1 by Kelly Bender and art by Brian Balondo (Emerald Star Comics)
Starburn follows a group of scoundrels that make their living by smuggling, stealing, and killing (not necessarily in that order). The team consists of mostly aliens, with three humans thrown into the mix.
I get a Han Solo-like feeling when I read about Guage (human male), but I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because he had the nerve to ask the Captain if he had a plan other than for them to fly into a mission blind. Captain Aphi comes off as an alien who cares for his team, but also likes money. I haven’t decided which he would choose, if it came down to only having one or the other.
Amongst the team, there are two strong female types that know how to handle the trouble they find themselves in. The creative team gets bonus points for both women being 80-percent clothed.
After an introduction to the characters, the story picks up and takes off into their first mission. It comes off as an easy pick-up-and-deliver job, but of course, something has to go wrong and we are left wondering how they will get themselves out alive.
I’d recommend this book for anyone 14-years-old and up because of a violent scene where heads fly (literally).
One title is far too long and isn’t at all reflective of the material inside and the other title still bothers me for the missing apostrophe.
Of the two, read Zombie. It’s about an intelligent zombie who works as a federal agent and is infiltrating an American militia bent on anarchy. Zombie has a female partner and the power of not being able to die, and, as Palmiotti promised me at Boston Comic Con, he indeed rides a missile, a la Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove. The book has a similar sensibility to the movie, though without the political commentary. I have no idea who’s reading this except me (sales of #1 were very low), but if you like the work of the creators or zombies or cop stories and you have a skewed sense of humor, you should be reading this. Plus, the cover is by Darwyn Cooke.
Futures End is one of the DC events books, detailing how things have gone wrong on two different earths five years into the DC future. I didn’t like the first few issues and I don’t like it much now, but the story has improved marginally and the various creators seem to be using Lois Lane fairly well. Plotwise? Lots of DC characters are doing some things that seem random that will no doubt be connected at the end, and this entire story will all probably be retconned because the future will be reset so that these events never happened and Green Arrow is alive. Killing off a character now starring in a hit television show is certain not to stick.
The bright spot in #17 is the revelation of who’s pretending to be Superman. Hint: It’s one of the popular theories.
G.I. Zombie: 12 +
Futures End: 10 +
Looking for something else, readers? Check out this week’s listed books:
Adventures Of Superman #16 All-Star Western #34 Final Issue
Batman ’66 #14 Batman Beyond Universe #13 GM
Batman Eternal #21
Batman Superman #13
Bodies #2 (Of 8)
Catwoman #34 DC Universe Vs The Masters Of The Universe TP GM
Dead Boy Detectives #8
Fables Vol. 20 Camelot TP
Green Lantern New Guardians Vol. 4 Gods And Monsters TP Harley Quinn #10 GeekMom Recommended He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe #16 GM
Injustice Gods Among Us Year Two #10
Justice League Dark #34 New 52 Futures End #17 Weekly Series
Red Lanterns #34
Secret Origins #5
Star-Spangled War Stories Featuring G.I. Zombie #2
All-New Invaders #9
All-New Ultimates #7
All-New X-Men #31
Amazing Spider-Man #1.4
Avengers Undercover #9
Avengers Undercover Vol. 1 Descent TP Cyclops #4 New Series
Deadpool Vs Carnage TP
Fantastic Four #9
Fantastic Four Vol. 1 The Fall Of The Fantastic Four TP Guardians Of The Galaxy #18 GM Inhuman #4 New Series
Jessica Jones The Pulse The Complete Collection TP
Marvel Masterworks Atlas Era Tales Of Suspense Vol. 1 TP
Marvel Masterworks Marvel Rarities Vol. 1 HC
Marvel Previews #133 (October 2014 For Products On-Sale December 2014)
Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man #29 New Warriors Vol. 1 The Kids Are All Fight TP GM
Original Sin #5.4
Original Sin #6 Oz: Dorothy And The Wizard In Oz TP Kid Friendly
Savage Hulk #3
Secret Service Kingsman HC (Premiere Edition)
Silver Surfer #5
Uncanny Avengers #23
Wolverine And The X-Men #8
X-Force By Craig Kyle And Chris Yost The Complete Collection Vol. 2 TP
X-Force Vol. 1 Dirty Tricks TP
24 #5 7th Sword #4 New Series Borderlands The Fall Of Fyrestone #2 New Series Cartoon Network Super Secret Crisis War #3 (Of 6) Kid Friendly
Godzilla Rulers Of Earth #15
Kill Shakespeare The Mask Of Night #3 (Of 4)
Last Fall #2 (Of 5)
Magic The Gathering The Complete Collection Oversized HC
Mars Attacks Deluxe Edition HC Ragnarok #1 New Series
Star Trek Harlan Ellison’s The City On The Edge Of Forever The Original Teleplay #3 (Of 5)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles The Works Vol. 3 HC
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Turtles In Time #3 (Of 4)
Transformers More Than Meets The Eye #32 Transformers Vs G.I. JOE #2 New Series V-Wars #5
Archie Archives Vol. 10 HC
Baltimore The Witch Of Harju #2 (Of 3)
Blood Blockade Battlefront Vol. 6 TP
Captain Midnight #14
Conan The Avenger #5
Conan Vol. 16 The Song Of Belit HC
Deep Gravity #2 (Of 4)
Dream Thief Escape #3 (Of 4)
Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan The Sunday Comics Vol. 2 1934-1936 HC Emily And The Strangers Breaking The Record #3 (Of 3) Final Issue
Goon Occasion Of Revenge #2 (Of 4)
Groo Vs Conan #2 (Of 4)
Halo Escalation #9
Hatsune Miku Unofficial Hatsune Mix TP
Mind MGMT #25
Pariah #7 (Of 8) POP #1 (Of 4) New Mini-Series
Star Wars Legacy II #18 Sundowners #1 New Series
Tomb Raider #7
X Vol. 3 Siege TP
Acronym Key: VC = Variant Cover / HC = Hard Cover / TP = Trade Paperback
The zombie apocalypse. It’s a rare geek who hasn’t at least thought about it and what their plans would be. Personally I have my eye on the convenience store in my village; solid concrete block construction, metal shutters across the doors and windows, and enough tinned and dried foods to keep us going a good six months. Of course we all believe that we’d be the ones who could survive when the dead walk the Earth, but how can you be sure? Zombicide allows you and your friends to work together to achieve objectives in a customizable world filled with the undead.
Zombicide began life as a Kickstarter campaign from Cool Mini or Not and has already gone on to spawn an expansion (Toxic City Mall) and Zombicide Season Two: Prison Outbreak. Designed for one to six players in a cooperative team, the game is highly customizable and can be played at a range of difficulties. The game boards are built from a set of nine reversible numbered tiles which are laid out together to form city blocks. Beginners can start out with small two tile missions while experts can play advanced missions from the rule book, online, or constructing their own.
The aim of each game is to achieve the mission objectives. This can be as simple as entering the room containing the objective token and picking it up or involve gathering multiple tokens, locating food & water, neutralizing zombie spawn zones, and escaping the board. The flexibility of the game allows for endless play and no two missions will ever be alike. To achieve your objectives you will depend on what you can find by searching buildings. Basic weapons like frying pans can be upgraded for rifles and pistols but beware, noise attracts zombies so sometimes a quiet crowbar might be a better option than a noisy chainsaw. Combat takes place whenever zombies and hunters come together and is dice-based. Weapons are logically ranged with rifles able to shoot out targets down the street while frying pans are only available when the zombie is right on top of you. Hey, given a frying pan over nothing I’m taking it—it worked for Rapunzel right?
Throughout the game you play as a number of named characters, the number you control based on how many players are participating in your game. Each character has their own unique abilities that change as the game goes on and they rack up more zombie kills. As the characters experience grows, the number and type of zombies spawning onto the board increases in difficulty. At the beginning a blue level spawning might only produce a single new walker. Once a character has reached maximum (red) experience that same spawn card can produce up to seven walkers, multiple runners, or other zombie types such as the dreaded abominations. It’s another example of how the game grows with the players. Oh, and the difficulty of the spawn session is determined by the single character with the most experience so you might wanna try and not have one guy leveling up too much ahead of the others.
A number of additional sets are available to enhance your games. You can add dogs as companions or as canine zombies and even add to the arsenal of zombies looking to take you down. Soon to be released is the first Zombicide Compendium, a large book containing missions designed both by Guillotine Games and by fans. The compendium gathers together the many missions released online and several new ones including Boomtown, a seven-mission campaign to nuke a zombie town off the map. The official website is filled with resources to help gamers customize their games such as hi-res blank character and weapon cards. There’s also a free app for both iPad & Android that works as a digital character card, helping you keep track of your experience points and simplifying combat through digital rolling.
I love the freedom and flexibility of Zombicide. I can play a short mini game by myself or I can set up a three hour epic with a bunch of friends. The minifigures included (and you get a lot of them—72 in the base game alone) are nicely designed. I haven’t attempted painting mine so far; that’s a skill I’ve not yet tried so I dread to think how they’d turn out, but a quick Google search reveals some beautiful paint jobs by other game owners. The game is enough of a blank canvas to be adaptable to various different franchise variants too. I’ve seen custom fan-mods for The Walking Dead and The Last Of Us, and the Kickstarter perks included additional characters based on Shaun of The Dead, the Hannibal Lecter series, and The Shining. Basically, this game can become whatever you want it to be. The possibilities are endless.
Of course nothing is perfect. My biggest gripe with the game is the box itself. Unlike many other games I own, Small World being a rather wonderful example, the inside of the box is something of a let down. There are no nice storage trays, instead the figures are held inside cheap plastic trays within cardboard boxes and the plastic tub for the extra pieces isn’t big enough to hold everything, meaning bits are constantly getting loose. It’s frustrating and makes it difficult to pack everything back inside in a way that allows the lid to sit on the box properly. There’s some lovely trays available at Battlefoam that are especially designed to hold all the pieces, but after spending $90 on the game I’d feel more than a little ticked off at having to add another $40 just to store it so the lid actually goes on and without risk of damage. Not when other companies are giving me that for free.
However storage is at best a minor gripe. Zombicide is an awesome game with limitless potential and with more seasons coming (season three was announced in 2013) the game will just continue to grow. I do wish there was an option to buy a version of the game with pre-painted miniatures for those of us without the time and skill to paint them ourselves, but I’m content enough to play with monotone plastic for the time being. Now if you’ll forgive me there’s a horde of zombies in my office that I should really be dealing with, wherever did I put that shotgun…?
Thanks to The Walking Dead, zombies are all the rage these days. It doesn’t even have to be Halloween anymore for people to make zombie references. You’ll see untold numbers cosplaying as zombies at every convention, and if you live in New York City, they may have grabbed your ankles through a sidewalk grate.
I hate walking over those big grates because I was once told a horrible story about one giving way and a person falling to their untimely death. I was maybe eight at the time, but it’s stayed with me and to this day I hate walking over those grates.
Thanks to AMC, I’m thinking there are a few New Yorkers who will never, ever, ever walk over them again.
To promote the return of The Walking Dead this Sunday night at 9pm, they staged a little prank. It started with setting up what looked like a construction project complete with orange-vested workers and a big tent erected over a section of grates near Union Square.
The fake workers installed modified grates with spots that would pop loose for zombie hands to reach through while makeup artists create a little horde of Walkers. The Walkers crawled into the space beneath the grates and then all they had to do was wait for innocent, oblivious New Yorkers to wander past.
Yup, never walking over a sidewalk grate again. Ever. For the rest of my life.
My eBay Collections were curated as part of a sponsored collaboration with eBay.
I’ve spent some time during recent months putting together groups of items for eBay to help launch their new Collections. I expected a lot of searching before I found just the right items, and that turned out to be exactly right, though it was also fun. But the hardest part happened when I was done. After looking over the GeekMom collections, I wanted to buy everything. One reason for that is because I filled collections with stuff I wished I could have in my own house.
For example, the S.H.I.E.L.D. collection has items featuring the current show, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., including shirts with the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo, a keychain, custom collectibles featuring Nick Fury and Black Widow, and sunglasses to complete your Agent Coulson look.
If you’re a fan of Joss Whedon’s work beyond his current show, like me, well, I couldn’t resist a Joss Whedon is My Master Now collection. This includes t-shirts, DVDs, and other items from his previous shows, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Dollhouse, and Firefly. Though my favorite is the mash-up t-shirt with the logo: “And Buffy Staked Edward. The End.”
I moved over to my other interests for the remaining collections. I admit, I got lost on eBay for a while looking at all the amazing teapots available. I pulled a few for the I’m a Little Teapot collection, from the black cat teapot perfect for Halloween to the one that looks like a house to the Lenox pumpkin teapot. I also grabbed some infusers—yes, they come in robot-style—and loose tea. There were more sellers of great loose tea than I expected. Score.
With Must Have Coffee, I exchanged the pots for coffee makers, mugs, and several types of coffee. My skewed sense of humor immediately settled on a coffee mug that resembled a grenade entitled “complaint department.” But I also found mugs featuring Grumpy Cat, one featuring the actual Grumpy of the Seven Dwarves, and some beautifully made pottery-style mugs. There are also several coffee makers, including a Keurig machine, and Keurig coffee K-cups. And if you’re a purist (like my husband), whole bean coffee too.
The other collections are somewhat unrelated but I like to think Sherlock Holmes (the Elementary My Dear Watson collection) would love the Watches That Reflect the Steampunk Style. Sherlock Holmes—be he from the original Doyle stories, Jeremy Brett, or Benedict Cumberbatch—doesn’t feel right without the proper pocket watch.
Finally, you’ll need proper boots from my Coolest Retro Boots collection to run from zombies, though there are other ways to survive in the Zombies and How to Survive Them collection. Certainly, using the pirate boots from the boot collection to take over a ship and sail away from zombies would completely work as an escape. (I need to research whether zombies can swim. They can’t run, so surely they can’t swim?)
If not, the Zombie Survival Kit, gas mask, zombie slayer knives (pretend), or some movies in the Zombie collection might help even the survival odds. And what is more important to survival than keeping the proper notes to pass on knowledge?
The Geeky Journals collection can help with that. Besides the River Song journal, pictured above, there are journals with the Bat-signal, with illustrations from TheHobbit, pocket notebooks, a weather journal, and one with a Hunger Games-theme. (Katniss really knew something about survival.)
I loved every second of putting these collections together, except it was torture to not be able to buy everything I was adding to them. But it helped me create a wish list for myself for the future! Though I hope I won’t ever have reason for the Zombie Survival Kit. Hmm..perhaps my next collection should include boats.
In September 2013, author and podcaster Mur Lafferty was named the John W. Campbell Best New Writer at the Hugo Awards (the science fiction and fantasy community’s version of the Oscars). The Campbell Award for Best New Writer is given annually to one author who has published his or her first professional work within the past two years. The Campbell comes with its own tiara and a list of previous winners that reads like a who’s who of modern science fiction, including C.J. Cherryh, Ted Chiang, Nalo Hopkinson, Cory Doctorow, John Scalzi, and Elizabeth Bear.
Mur Lafferty has been a presence in the geek community for so long, I can’t imagine it without her. So when she and her daughter (AKA Princess Scientist) agreed to talk to me for GeekMom, I was thrilled. I spoke with them about her new novel, The Shambling Guide to New York City(Orbit 2013), the award, advice she shares with Princess Scientist, and whether she’s pro faster-than-light (FTL) or not.
GeekMom: Congratulations on winning the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer of 2012 at this year’s Worldcon! Aside from getting (accidentally) smacked in the face by John Scalzi just after the event, how has your life changed?
Mur: Thanks! Little has changed. I’ve done a few interviews and was on our local NPR show this week, which is exciting. I have, as Mary Robinette Kowal says, a “new first name” and a tiara that so far I’ve only worn while writing by myself. Although I do want to vacuum with it on. Just because. The deep scar from Scalzi hitting me in the face with his Hugo is slowly fading, but the bitter memory remains.
GeekMom: You’ve created an amazing podcast called “I Should Be Writing.” What was the goal behind the project?
Mur: I felt that even though I was nowhere near a pro writer, as I hadn’t even sold anything, I did understand various things in writing, such as how rejections don’t mean you’re hopeless, and how you have to work to get better. I knew a lot of beginning writers who seemed to feel so alone when they felt lost and adrift and have the illusion that everyone’s career was moving faster and along a greased road made of gold and happiness. So I started it to let people know that they’re not alone, that these feelings are normal, that rejection is normal, and writing bad stories, also normal.
GeekMom: Geek or Nerd?
GeekMom: FTL yes/no?
Mur: Totally FTL. I just don’t understand people who get mad about this. Without FTL, our space SF is limited to either generation starships or journeys within our solar system. Those stories are great, don’t get me wrong, but they’re not all that you should be able to experience. If you want to call me heretic and say FTL stories are fantasy, not SF, then I’ll say cool, they’re fantasy, now shut up and let me write my fantasy FTL story.
Mur: Interesting question. I had to think of an easy way to get a light tight building in the city, and a condemned theater seemed the best way. From there I had to populate it, and I didn’t want too many zombies and vampires, so I started reading folklore and mythology and figuring out what other monsters I could put in there. So we have a death goddess/psychopomp, a water sprite, zombies, vampires, and a succubus and an incubus.
GeekMom: A question for Princess Scientist (Mur’s daughter): A bunch of us think your mom is darn cool. What’s the best piece of advice she’s given you? What’s the best piece of advice you’ve given her?
Princess Scientist: Best advice she’s given me: How to gently tell a boy that I don’t like him. (That’s LIKE like.)
Best advice I’ve given her: [When Mom gets jealous of another writer] You should be happy for him/her because think of how bad you’d feel if someone came up, pissed off that you’re doing well. You’re probably going to get up there [succeed] anyway.
GeekMom: Another question for Princess Scientist: If you could ask your mom one question about her work, what would it be?
Princess Scientist: How do you get ideas?
Mur: I get ideas all the time, the problem is trying to decide which ones are worth going after and which ones are not worth my time. The more you create, the more ideas you get.
GeekMom: Which authors have influenced you the most?
Mur: Growing up: Robin McKinley, Anne McCaffrey, and Ursula K. LeGuin. Now, Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, and Connie Willis. And of course Dougas Adams, taken far too young, is an inspiration.
GeekMom: What’s on your To Be Read shelf?
My TBR list is a source of great anxiety for me, especially as I know more authors whose books I haven’t read yet, but they’re there. Books I’m not ashamed to mention: I’m currently in the middle of the Kitty series by Carrie Vaughn, and I’m reading Railsea by China Mieville to my daughter. I am looking forward to Dr. Sleep by Stephen King, and I just got Elizabeth Bear’s new book, Book of Iron.
John W. Campbell Award Winner Mur Lafferty is an author and podcaster from Durham, NC. Her next book, Ghost Train to New Orleans, comes out March 4, 2014.
Released on April 23, 2013, and published by Broadway Paperbacks, Ex-Patriots: A Novel is Peter Clines’ follow-up novel to Ex-Heroes: A Novel. GeekMom has an exclusive excerpt. Plus, we are giving away signed copies of Ex-Heroes: A Novel, and Ex-Patriots: A Novel, courtesy of Broadway Paperbacks, to one lucky GeekMom reader.
It’s not easy maintaining a healthy, still-alive glow when you’re a zombie, but Doctor Who‘s Karen Gillan is here to help! She’s been turned into an undead corpse spokesmodel in this hilarious skit set to air during the zombie-themed episode of The Nerdist.
Watch as she suffers the indignity of rotting flesh, only to be saved by the wonder of z’Ombéal, Walking Dead Skin Care. This is just one of three Karen Gillan skits written by GeekMom’s very own Kristen Rutherford that will be a part of the zombielicious episode. Check out The Nerdist on BBC America this Saturday to see more of zombie Karen.
It’s hard to deny that zombies are everywhere and now Fiona Goble has written Knit Your Own Zombies so you can have a less deadly version in your own home. This book includes all the information you’ll need to create your own undead army.
This isn’t Goble’s first time writing about knitting. She’s previously written knitting books about creating everything from fairy tales to the royal wedding, and has only now turned her attention to something a little darker.
It’s not really one day to go, if we’re being completely accurate. Today is THE DAY! Have you set aside your rations? Have you secured a good water source? Do you have plans for finding food and shelter if your Plan A doesn’t quite work out? Just checking.
So today I’m not going to throw any more ideas your way. At this point you’re either going to make it… or you’re not. I’ve done all I can do to help you out. But I will send you off with all of our GeekMom well wishes.
If, for some odd reason, we all wake up to a normal world on Saturday we can be sure that one of two things is true: Either the Mayans really intended for their calendar to just start over and repeat itself (crazy, I know); or the dates are just a bit off and those who didn’t read our helpful countdown this month will be out of luck — just a few days later than we all thought.
For now I will leave you with this thoroughly entertaining video, a Lego version of “The Monster Mash”. It will make wonderful background music as you collect your last supplies, while entertaining your children and keeping them out of your way.
It’s been fun spending these past few weeks with you, as we all made our plans for the next phase of life on earth.
Good luck, faithful readers. May you be even half as prepared as you think you are.
TWO DAYS! Can you believe we’re down to two days? Where does the civilized time go? It’s time to make your apocalypse/end of the world playlist. I’ve got a few suggestions from our own GeekMom writers and then a few websites that offer some unique suggestions also. Here are some ideas for your listening pleasure:
GeekMom Jules suggests Undead Love Song, by John Anealio (not suitable for small children).
I’m personally a fan of It’s Raining Men, by the Weather Girls, the song that GeekMom Kay suggested.
Can you believe how fast the month of December has flown by? I’ve been stacking up my fake Twinkies and storing up my water jugs. Hope you’re doing the same. But hey, it’s not just about all work and no play. Sometimes, once all the plans are in place, it might be time to party. You know, just to sneak out to blow off a bit of steam, before hard core life hits?
I’ve rounded up a few choices places for you to go if you prefer to ring in the new world order with other like minded folks. I don’t have a master list, for every city that might be represented by our readership, but here are a few choice ones. If you don’t see your area represented here, just Google ‘apocalypse party’ followed by the name of your area. And if nothing shows up then, hey, that’s a sign that you are in charge of pulling off the party of your life.
If you’re in the New York City area, check out this list, put together by the Business Insider (which, by the way, is a respectable periodical, that makes those of us planning for the apocalypse sound a smidge less nutty). There are ten great choices on the list. Surely you can find one that fits your tastes.
Now let’s head down to the New Orleans area. I’d encourage you to visit this area anyway, as they build back their tourism after the floods, but what better time to visit the Big Easy than the day before the zombies attack? Here’s the list of great parties you can pick from if you happen to be down south.
Now, let’s just stretch our imaginations and envision a scenario where the Mayan calendar was wrong. I know, I know, it’s almost impossible to imagine. But say the 22nd comes and goes and the world seems the same. No worries. You can still get your zombie fix by entering the Race of your Life. It’s an awesome event where you try to outrun zombies as they try to steal your “health” (which are flag football flags). It will be the perfect practice run in case the calendar readers were just a little off and the zombies hit this time next year instead.
Yeah, I have a few Oreo cookies mixed in with my fake Twinkies, so I’m good, either way.
My children are not the only people who believe this zombie thing is for real. There are some pretty extensive websites out there. Most have tips on surviving or tutorials on the most thorough way to kill a zombie for good (hint: double tap). Here are a few links, if you have the time to cruise through them. Don’t forget that December 22nd might be too late to check them out! There’s a good chance you won’t have the luxury of the internet (another good reason to buy the hard copy of a good zombie survival book).
I”ll leave you with this priceless photo of GeekMom Jessamyn’s holiday cookie project. Who needs snowmen and tree shapes? She and her son opted for zombie cookies. Very clever indeed (and if you mess up the frosting, it just adds to the effect).
For those of you who scoff and call us crazy for spending so much time making plans for the major world event that is due to change mankind in just over two weeks, I have a treasure of a video for you today. The Prime Minister of Australia–yeah, that huge country full of kangaroos and “barbies”–has made a public statement and there is no doubt she’s one of us. If it wasn’t enough for you that the Center for Disease Control in the United States jumped on board, maybe an Aussie at a podium can.
I’m anxiously awaiting an official announcement from the Queen of England but feel that she might be a bit distracted at the moment with a potential heir who happens to be in gestation mode. Once she comes back to reality we should be hearing from her promptly.
Keep watching this space for more tips and highlights. Just a hint of posts to come: Children and the Apocalypse, Wound Care Management, Killing Strategies, and Bunker Ideas. If you have any suggestions to offer, feel free to comment below.
By now you should have your weapons figured out, including the logistics of breeding a few dozen hamsters. If you have no idea what hamsters have to do with living through the zombie apocalypse, see yesterday’s post. But hamsters aside, it’s now time to share a few of the zombie related posts my fellow GeekMom writers have been sharing with you for the past couple of years. Between exploring the science behind zombies, to cooking zombie related foods, we pretty much have this topic covered. Now that the time for action is drawing near, let’s revisit some of the best GeekMom posts from days past, that relate to our favorite enemies, the zombies.
GeekMom Patricia enjoyed a panel discussion at Dragon*Con which related to a post-apocalyptic world. Her post explains why you might want to consider looking into getting a license for operating a ham radio.
Do you have a house full of kids who might need to be entertained when the world shuts down? Why not play some zombie related games, to soften the terror that might linger in a young child’s heart when he realizes he may be eaten before the day’s over? GeekMom Andrea did a nice job on this post, outlining some fun, distracting, zombie games. And I just have to share with you this fabulous picture of a zombie Elvis hanging out on her front porch.
Welcome back, my zombie prepared friends. If you’re still with me on this countdown I am pretty sure you’re on the list of the committed. No, not the mentally committed (although we welcome anyone who has good ideas), the zombie committed. You know, the group of us who will still be around on December 22nd, to begin carving out the new world that is fertilized with zombie-remnant infested soil.
So today we’re going to talk weapons. Everyone has their own personal preferences, and everyone has their own ideas about which weapons are best, so I’ll put some ideas out there and you can decide for yourself. This category will be a perfect example of “survival of the fittest.” Whoever turns out to be right, on the best weapons to use against zombies, will be the last ones standing when January rolls around.
Before I share some ideas and links let me share with you a very simple idea, provided by a fellow GeekMom writer. The idea started with GeekMom Sarah suggesting that, in a pinch, you can use a family pet as a weapon (or at least a distraction) as you make your getaway. Something to remember, Sarah reminded us: ” Chances are they will not be affected should their skin be pierced and they will serve as a distraction long enough for you to find a weapon. Note: the animal in question will only trust you long enough for this to work once.”
All the good karma points you accrued by rescuing Fido from the animal shelter will pretty much be wiped out the moment you toss him into the pack of hungry zombies but hey, it’s a new world with new rules.
GeekMom Ariane took the idea a step further and suggested that hamsters might be the better option. If you are terribly attached to your family pet hamster, consider buying a dozen or so from the local pet store next week. Or just breed some of you own. They reproduce something like every two weeks, right? Or does it just seem that way when you end up with a male and a female after the teenage clerk at the pet store insists he’s sold you two males? Either way, tossing a few little critters to distract the pack of attacking zombies seems like a pretty good idea to add to your weapons list.
Now for some more hard core options that don’t require food or shelter before you use them.
The people at the Zombie Research Society (a great reference site, by the way), feel that blunt weapons are the tools of choice. At the top of the blunt weapons list is the common aluminum baseball bat. As they explain, “Bats are easy to carry and store, they don’t necessitate any advanced training to be effective, and they can be used to poke, cross-check, and strike equally.” If you don’t agree, feel free to read through the 302 comments posted by others who have similar ideas.
With just 18 days until your whole world falls apart I thought I’d give you a break today. There are many great tips still coming in our countdown, but today let’s just enjoy this ordinary Tuesday and watch a few videos.
If you’re like me, the best thing you could hear a teacher say when you were in school was: “We’re going to watch a video today!”
So sit back, feel no need to take notes, and just enjoy these uplifting zombie videos.
Next up, a pretty clever Paypal commercial. Not only is it entertaining, pay close attention to the strategies shown. I promised you wouldn’t have to take notes but you might jot down just a few, like “cans of soda will temporarily stop a rushing zombie” and “feel free to sacrifice strangers.”
If you grew up in an age where seeing movies at school involved a reel to reel projector (Hey, don’t judge… technology changed quickly once I hit college!) you might enjoy this video. It has all the basics of surviving a zombie attack in a format that is simplistic and comforting to those of us over the age of forty.
And if you have a kid like mine who loves to make Lego stop action movies, you just might enjoy this one called Lego Zombie Attack. In the interest of full disclosure, there is a bit of graphic Lego violence and Lego blood in this clip. It couldn’t be avoided. It’s a zombie movie, after all.
Here’s one you might not expect… a Corn Pops commercial. With Zombies. Don’t believe me? Go ahead, click on it.
See, wasn’t that fun? Now, be ready to jump back on track tomorrow, as the survival tips keep coming!
Okay, the days are clicking away. I don’t know if you’re feeling it yet, but this Zombie Apocalypse thing is coming faster than Christmas. In fact, it’s due to hit four days before Christmas, so put down that holiday party calendar and let’s get serious!
The GeekMom tip for the day is to spend a bit of time (and possibly money) on a handy page the people at Amazon put together for us. It’s official title is “Zombie Apocalypse Supplies” and it’s stocked with all sorts of supplies you might have forgotten about.
For instance, these snazzy two way radios would come in very handy if someone from your group needs to venture out on their own.
And don’t forget cut resistant gloves and protective eye wear. Zombies are not the most polite guests to ever show up at your door (or window, or basement…) and you wouldn’t want a little bit of zombie juice to totally ruin your day.
Oh it’s plausible. Science says so. It’ll just take the right virus. And worse, it doesn’t sound like locking your doors would be much help. New tools in your zombie protection arsenal just might be face masks, hand sanitizer, and vitamin C.
The Resident Evil franchise has been around since 1996 and has accumulated a huge number of fans through the games, movies and books that are a part of its story. The most recent movie has just hit theaters and is full of zombie-mutant-monster slaying action, but if you still want more of the evil Umbrella Corporation and Alice, then you need to pick up these two new books.
The first is the official movie novelization of the fifth film in the franchise, Resident Evil: Retribution. It’s got our heroine, Alice, teaming up with old friends to fight familiar foes like the Umbrella Corporation as she tries to save herself and the world.
If you’ve seen the movie already then the novelization will be a bit like seeing it a second time, but with extra details that flesh out the story beyond what you saw on the movie screen. It doesn’t deviate too much from the film, so it won’t surprise you, but the additional information does add to the story.
Once you’ve seen the movie and read the novelization, then you’re ready to tackle The Unofficial Resident Evil Trivia Challenge. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this book is just about the movie though, because it’s about anything and everything Resident Evil.
All together there are over 800 questions that cover the movies, books, games and even comics. This is for the hardcore fan who thinks he knows it all. Well, time to prove it. The book is divided into sections that focus on Alice, her allies, the villains and even the game creators. Chances are, even the biggest fan is going to be stumped by a few of these questions.
There’s an answer key and a scorecard so you can see just how much of a fan you really are and keep track of how you and your friends fare against each other. With Halloween coming, it’s the perfect time to break this out and put everyone to the test at your next costume party.
Have you ever been to a burlesque show? There are two different types of burlesque, traditional and neo-burlesque. Traditional burlesque integrates striptease with a bit of Vaudville, comedy sketches, acrobatics, juggling, live vintage music, and singing. This is the burlesque that most people are familiar with. During the mid-1990’s neo-burlesque emerged. While neo-burlesque still focuses on striptease and dance, it integrates popular music, performance art and exploration of gender identity. Both versions of burlesque embrace all body types in a deliberate attempt to debunk the traditional definitions of beauty. Burlesque isn’t about demeaning women, quite the opposite in fact: it is about empowering them.
If you have never been to a burlesque show, maybe now is the time to go. Still not convinced? How about if it incorporated a Ghostbusters parody, a Star Wars vs. Star Trek battle, steampunk, or maybe a zombie hunt? Burlesque dance troupes around the country have begun catering directly to the geek culture by bringing beloved geek themes and striptease together in a very memorable way. While you may be wary of attending a striptease act, consider for a moment if you would like to attend ComicCon or other cons where cos-play is prevalent. The burlesque costuming is rarely more risqué then some of the more memorable cos-play costumes.
Zombie fears distract us from a much bigger threat. Robots. These machines are plotting to become our global overlords, so of course they want us to stay busy preparing for an imaginary invasion by reanimated corpses.
Unconvinced? Consider this. People who most loudly fuel our so-called divides (between liberal and conservative, old and young, mommies who do things differently than other mommies) keep us from hearing the powers-that-be loudly slurp up ever more power. No wonder robots have marked humans as easy prey.
And robots use diabolically clever means to achieve their aims. They don’t just prey on our zombie phobias. They lure us into adoring them using darling robot toys. They entertain us using loveable movie robots like The Iron Giant. They let us feel us comfortably superior to them with strangely humanoid robots like these.
They’re not as endearing once they are weaponized.
Back when robots existed mostly in our imaginations we believed in Asimov’s Laws of Robotics, the first and most logical of which was, “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.” Oh such innocent times. Now we’re testing heavily armed autonomous drones. Even developers seem nervous. Robotics expert Noel Sharkey said in an LA Times interview, “Lethal actions should have a clear chain of accountability. This is difficult with a robot weapon. The robot cannot be held accountable.” Sir, your words sound just like clichéd lines uttered by scientists destined to be the earliest victims in every cheesy horror movie. Continue reading Prepare For Robot Overlords
How many of the following does your preschooler find appealing: robots, zombies, monsters, pirates, superheroes, pie? The more of those you say “Yes” to, the more you should take a look at Robot Zombie Frankenstein! Watch the preview video, which shows you how the first few pages go:
Robot Zombie Frankenstein! is a very simple story of one-upmanship between two robots who have a great costume box. The pictures are made from basic shapes and colors, which give you a little bit more to talk about with a small child. What color is that robot’s eye patch? What shape is his body?
The entire book is a conversation between the robots, which means it can be a lot of fun for you and your pre-schooler (or two of your kids) to each be a robot and take turns reading lines. Because each robot’s line is additive and based on his costume change, after just a few reads, even a younger child who can’t read the words can look at the pictures and participate. Bedtime for my three- and six-year-old now sounds like this:
You get the idea. And I promise — the robot buddies work things out in the end.
At author Annette Simon’s website, you can download the Robot Zombie Frankenstein! Fun Kit, which includes 16 pages of activities to print. My favorite is the Bot Builder, which lets you cut out all the robot parts to build your own.
What’s better than birthday cake? Zombie birthday cake, obviously. I have few domestic talents, but this is a cake that even the most clueless chef can tackle with ease. Mistakes? No such thing. This zombie rises up out of a grave of chocolate cake, frosting, and crumbled cookies.
line a cookie sheet with foil and put the cake on top
hollow out a small space in the middle of the cake (or use a bundt pan as I did)
frost – no points for neatness, sloppy is better
smear some of the frosting thinly over the exposed foil to make mud/dirt
put your cake topper in the middle of the cake
cake toppers are generally naked, cover in frosting to create clothing
smear green gel food coloring and some of the black frosting on the cake topper to create a zombie look
separate the creme filling from the cookie shell of the Oreos and crush the remaining cookies
arrange larger broken cookies in a circle around the zombie to suggest that she is rising from her grave
sprinkle smaller cake and cookie crumbs around the cake and into the frosting on the foil
adorn with gummy worms
stick in eyeballs or other plastic creepy things for atmospheric effect
cover a cardboard box in foil, and decorate to create a headstone (with happy birthday wishes) for your zombie’s grave
That’s it! It’s easy enough to do the same thing with cupcakes. We used mini bundt pans and small cake toppers for these little treats. To create small headstones, we used the creme filling leftover from the Oreos to frost mini-chocolate bars and then decorated with gel icing. No birthday for a while? There’s always Halloween. Ah, heck, who needs an excuse? These are good for the zombie geek any day of the year.
I am a big fan of zombies and have been since long before The Walking Dead drew in legions of new zombie fans. The same is true of author Dana Fredsti who has loved zombies ever since a guy chose a zombie movie for their first date. No really, I’m not making that up. She told me herself when I interviewed her for The GeekMoms Podcast recently. It’s clear from reading her book that Dana didn’t just jump on the zombie bandwagon, but is writing about what she loves to read, too.
Imagine the small college town of Redwood Grove. Pretty mountains. Pretty co-eds. Ugly half-rotted undead zombies. This is where heroine Ashley Parker finds herself one night while she’s out with her boyfriend. Suddenly her evening turns horrific when they’re attacked in the forest and have to run for their lives.
As the town is overrun, Ashley learns that she is one of a select few who can withstand the effects of a bite and is specially equipped to help fight off the zombies and contain the outbreak. This group of everyday people might be physically able to withstand the zombies, but emotionally and intellectually are entirely different stories. How will this varied group come together and will any of them survive their zombie encounters?
Ashley is my favorite kind of heroine. She’s just a regular person thrown into extraordinary circumstances who does all she can to live up to her new responsibilities. If you like butt-kicking heroines with a fair dose of snark and humor, then you’re going to love Ashley. She will likely remind you of a certain vampire slayer, but instead of being a cheerleader, Ashley is a bit of a geek. The references to movies, books, and all manner of fandom will surely make you smile.
You can listen to my interview with author Dana Fredsti on the latest episode of The GeekMoms Podcast then get yourself a copy of Plague Townand join Ashley on her zombie-killing adventure!
This week GeekMom Nicole Wakelin is joined by two special guests starting with Dana Fredsti, author of the new zombie novel Plague Town. They talk about her book, zombies, sword-fighting, and her time on the set of Army of Darkness. Later, Jessa Phillips of Good To Be A Geek chats with Nicole about PAX East. They both attended this epic game convention last weekend, never once found each other, but still had a fantastic game-filled time. Tune in to hear all the details!
If you’re planning for the zombie apocalypse, and you should be, then you’ve probably been studying things like The Walking Dead, Zombieland and World War Z. These are all excellent sources of information about zombies with lots of ideas for what you should and definitely should not do when the dead begin eating our brains. The question is, have you prepared your kids?
This is exactly what Lou Gaccione wondered so he came up with a solution to the problem in the first of his Meet the Monsters series called Zach Meets The Zombie. It’s a kid-friendly and fun look at average kid, Zach, who just wants to go out and play a game of baseball, but has to learn to deal with those pesky zombies.
Lou has set up a Kickstarter to fund his project and print up 3500 copies of his book. Rewards for helping fund Zach Meets the Zombie include stickers, signed artwork and even a snazzy messenger bag. He’s even made a Zach Puppet that you can download for free. We all know what to do when the zombies come, but isn’t it our responsibility as parents to be sure our kids are prepared, too?
Check out the Zach Meets The ZombieKickstarter page, make a donation, and let’s see if we can help make sure our kids are all ready when the zombies start to roam. You can also hear an interview with the creator, Lou Gaccione on the most recent GeekMoms Podcast.
This week GeekMom Nicole Wakelin sits down with Lou Gaccione and talks about his new Kickstarter project Zach Meets the Zombie. Sure, we all know what to do when the zombie apocalypse happens, but what about our kids? Lou has the solution with his humorous, kid-friendly book. Tune in and find out more!
I’ve been watching The Walking Dead and the last few episodes have been filled with an incredible amount of stupidity. They’re all under stress with a world gone to pieces but that’s no excuse for acting like fools. This got me thinking that when the zombie apocalypse happens, we could be in a bit of trouble if people are using the show as a how-to guide. In the interest of saving countless lives, here are five rules to live by during the zombie apocalypse.
1) Stay with Your Group
If you’re lucky you’ll happen upon a group of US Army Rangers when the brains hit the fan. They’re tough, well-coordinated, and won’t freeze in terror at the sight of blood and guts. They’ll teach you zombie slayage and which bugs and plants are safe to eat. Chances are higher that you’ll end up with a group of random people with varying skills and that you will really hate a few of them. Doesn’t matter. Stay with your group. Never wander off alone to contemplate the corruption of your companions, because that is precisely the moment when the hordes will descend upon you and eat your highly moralled brain. There really is safety in numbers so stay with your group.
2) The Missing are Doomed
Back before the zombies, if someone you knew went missing, then you looked for them. There were probably many uniformed people from several government agencies that helped you in your search. Random citizens were likely to join you in the effort especially if the missing person was a child. Not so post-zombie. If someone in your party goes missing, observe a moment of silence, shed a tear or two and move on. It’s not cruel, it’s survival. Likely the missing person broke Rule #1 so there’s no excuse risking your lives searching for an idiot who wanders off and has probably already become a zombie snack.
3) Don’t Go Out at Night
This seems obvious, but the folks on The Walking Dead break this rule all the time. Usually they’re searching for a missing member of their party, which, as we established in Rule #2, is a bad move. At night you can’t see your companions and may accidentally shoot one. You also can’t see the zombies. Yes, yes, I know you can walk very quietly with all your senses on high alert, but if he’s leaning his half-dead self against a tree and doesn’t animate until you pass by then you’re a goner. And you should be. What the heck are you doing wandering around in a dark, zombie infested forest?
4) Keep Track of Your Kids
I’m sure your first thought is that kids are a liability and I can’t really argue that one. They are. But, as a mom, I still have to do my best to keep them alive. And the single best way I can do this is to know where the heck they are at all times. It would save the folks on The Walking Dead all kinds of trouble if they just knew Carl’s whereabouts. But, no, Lori is too busy doing whatever it is she does and Carl is wandering. Alone. In the woods. At night. Don’t let your kids wander off. Eventually the group will turn on you when you convince them to risk their lives looking for your child and likely breaking the first three rules.
5) Always Carry a Weapon
Every minute of every day you should be equipped to kill a zombie. It doesn’t have to be a gun or a flamethrower or a chainsaw or anything big, but it has to be capable of taking out a zombie at a moment’s notice. A simple knife or a screwdriver works well. A gun that you have taken apart to clean and don’t know how to put back together yet does not count, as Andrea discovered the hard way. A weapon of zombie destruction. Don’t leave home without it.
That’s it. Five simple rules that will help you survive the zombie apocalypse. Follow them and you’ll get at least as far as the folks in the second season of The Walking Dead, and probably do it with far fewer casualties. Humanity hangs in the balance so go ahead and add your zombie survival tips in the comments!