Wednesday, October 31, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 31 - The Last Zombie

The Last Zombie
I thought it would only be fitting if we extinguished the Zombie Infestation with the aptly named comic book, "The Last Zombie."

The comic book explores an interesting concept. Often times in zombie literature the focus is on the breakout event. When the zombies hit, what happens? 28 Days Later took a little spin on that and accelerated the clock by 28 days to where the zombies had pretty much overrun everything. The Last Zombie takes the concept one step further in exploring a world where a zombie outbreak occurred and the was repelled. The disease is still out there, waiting to explode again, but it did its damage to the world in the meantime, leaving society in complete disorder.

All of that is just backdrop and backstory for a personal story of overcoming obstacles to survive and perhaps make some human connections as well.

Zombie fans should definitely check this one out.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 30 - Radioactive Zombie Containment Unit Drums

Zombie Containment Unit Drums
So, if you can't kill a zombie because they're already dead what do you do with them? I guess you've got to build some kind of containment unit. Luckily, you can already purchase one and only for $2.99!

The ad says it all. The zombies glow! The drums glow! The slime glows!

So apparently, not only is this an undead abomination but it's also RADIOACTIVE! The sick minds behind this product actually found a way to make zombies even deadlier. I don't think I've ever heard of radioactive zombies before.

There are five different zombies inside so you can collect... er... contain them all!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Fantastic Four (1978)

The Fantastic Four's section cartoon show was released in 1978 on NBC. Just 13 episodes were produced.
The Fantastic Four 1978 Cartoon
This show is notorious for one thing: Replacing the Human Torch with the robot H.E.R.B.I.E. This show pretty faithfully adapts some classic FF tales and it just tries to shoehorn H.E.R.B.I.E. into the Human Torch's role. H.E.R.B.I.E. fights with Ben Grimm just like Johnny would. But H.E.R.B.I.E. comes across as oddly antagonistic to even the other team members such as Reed. In fact, even though Reed is called the "leader" the FF regularly turn to H.E.R.B.I.E. and he comfortably barks out orders. H.E.R.B.I.E.'s dialogue is obnoxiously designed to prove how smart he is. The only thing is H.E.R.B.I.E. regularly proves what a dunce he is, even failing to think of looking for a pirate treasure aboard a pirate ship.

Beyond H.E.R.B.I.E., the rest of the show falls pretty flat as well. The animation is shaky. The character designs are slightly more faithful to the comic books than the previous cartoon, particularly the Thing. But the art is simply dreadful. The Thing's appearance ranges from blank orange to a melted lump of orange rock to the more traditional cracked look with an orange beak on the front of it. Eyes seem to be a particular problem for the animators. Additionally, this show uses a lot of stock footage shown again and again.

Like I mentioned, most of the plots come directly from the early FF comics. Now this isn't exactly a good thing, however. Sometimes the plots barely make any sense. At times the story is far too thin to effectively cover a half hour, causing a lot of "filler" material to be added (such as Reed fixing a machine, emergency calls to the military, and crowd reactions). The Invisible Woman is effectively invisible, as she was commonly sidelined and used as a damsel in distress rather than a full member of the team.

All in all, the Fantastic Four cartoon of 1978 is boring and poorly produced. The show from 1967 was much more entertaining.

1LR REVIEW - 8 out of 20! It's a Miss!

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 29 - Zombie Targets and Throwing Knives

If you're going to throw knives, might as well throw them at something awesome (anyway, your neighbor contacted me and wants you to stop throwing knives at her cats). Why not zombies?

This zombie target comes with a dozen very sharp six-inch throwing knives. The target, as you can see, is specially designed with a zombie theme. There are six games you can play on this board. 

So you can have fun, risk putting your own eye out, AND prepare for the coming zombie apocalypse! It doesn't get any better than that!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 28 - Zombies Prep Emergency Responders

A zombie receives emergency attention
in Shippensburg, PA
On October 27 the Zombie Apocalypse started in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania and it was initiated by the Franklin County Department of Emergency Services.

Why would they unleash a Zombie Apocalypse upon the rest of us? Aren't they here to help us respond to emergencies?

The event was organized as a test of the department's response in the event of a real emergency. The department set up POD's - Points of Distribution - to respond to those impacted by the Zombie Apocalypse.

1LR applauds this creative use of zombies and those men and women who provide critical response services in an emergency. A zombie apocalypse merely represents any large-scale negative event that can impact a community from a disease outbreak to wildfires to tornadoes to flooding. With Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the entire northeast the practice is sure to come in handy.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 27 - Zombie Costumes

Zombie Disney Costumes
With Halloween right around the corner this one seems like a no-brainer (joke!).

Zombie costumes are so great for trick-or-treating.

First, they're simple and cheap. A zombie costume could be nothing more than throwing on some "normal" clothes and then putting some fake blood around your mouth. Act zombie-ish and you'll be instantly recognized.

But if you wanted to go the extra mile, you apply the zombie template to a preexisting character. This can be done with almost anything. Zombie Mario and Luigi. Zombie pirates. Zombie princesses. Zombie nurses. Zombie Buzz Lightyear. Zombie Obama and Romney. The possibilities are endless!

So you see, zombie costumes range from ultra-easy to as involved as you wanted it to be. But 1LR awards points to those who go for originality in the concept of the costume, like the clever folks in the picture above with nine zombie Disney characters. How awesome is that! But where are the seven zombie dwarves?

Friday, October 26, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 26 - Zombie Humor

◕ ‿ ◕ ~ LMZombies can be funny, right?

Sure they can! What's not funny about the walking dead? Isn't Dawn of the Dead a comedy? Add a laugh track and you'd see the entire film as one gigantic slapstick gag!

As we've noted previously, zombies allow us to take a step back and make observations about ourselves that we may not have otherwise made.

That this little comic sent in by 1LR reader, Bill. We've all been where that guy is. You can see his little heart breaking. He's obviously earnest - he even killed a flower in a vain attempt to please his love. But her body language (hands locked behind her back) says it all - I'm not interested in you.

By zombify-ing a common break-up phrase we realize how lame it actually is.

I think that somebody should create a zombie therapist. Running for your life from the undead would make the fact that he leaves the toilet seat up every once in awhile a little less significant, wouldn't it?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 25 - Zombies in the Bible

Now, some of you still might be skeptical. Sure, even the Red Cross believes in a zombie apocalypse but you think you know better.

But do you know better than God? That's right. Zombies are in the Bible.

Don't believe me? Check out these verses!

Ezekiel 37:1-10

1 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lordsays: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

Zechariah 14:12
12 This is the plague with which the Lord will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.

Matthew 27:51-53
51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[e] went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-16
15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

Revelation 9:6
6 During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.

Revelation 20:12-14
12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 24 - Red Cross Prepares for Zombies

The Red Cross Prepares for the coming zombie apocalypse.
That's right. This isn't a prank. The REAL Red Cross is actually preparing for the zombie apocalypse. Not a joke!

They've even launched a website fully dedicated to preparing for the zombie apocalypse. Check it out -

The site features a clock counting down to the end of the world as it is predicted by the Mayan calendar - December 21, 2012!

Listen, it doesn't get any more serious than this and 1LR has been warning you for 24 straight days now. Prepare. The Red Cross doesn't want you to end up becoming one of the shambling undead. Unless you want to be, and then it's okay.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 23 - Zombies VS. Zombie Hunters Plastic Figure Bag

Zombies VS. Zombie Hunters
This one is a guaranteed winner. Remember all of those little plastic army men, cowboys, and indians you used to play with as a kid? Well, now you can have them all join forces to fight off ravenous hordes of flesh eating zombies! Yay!

This bag contains 35 figures including zombies (of course) but also SWAT teams and HAZMAT units.

Notice theat the zombies are green while the humans are blue. That's so you can actually tell them apart.

I could see this bag being a great roleplaying aide for that time when you just can't resist throwing dozens of zombies at your intrepid adventurers. Time to roll up new characters!

Monday, October 22, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 22 - Zombies for Charity

The Littlestown High School senior class will be holding a zombie run this weekend.
zombie run for charity
That's right. When they're not too busy feasting on human flesh, zombies organize themselves for charity. It's about time zombies did something to improve their public image. Have you ever seen the approval numbers of zombies? Let's say they make Obama's numbers look good by comparison.

In the small town of Littlestown, PA (get it - SMALL town), the high school held a zombie run. Half of the money went to the 9/11 first-responders fund, the rest went toward the senior class trip.

For a small entry fee, participants got to run through a woods filled with zombies. Each runner was given three flags (you were able to purchase additional flags). If they reached the other side of the woods with all of their flags they were a survivor.

Apparently those zombies were able to use strategy because they used terrain such as a pond and a bridge to trap their prey.

This seems like a brilliant fundraiser to me. Everyone involved had fun - way more than, say, a car wash where kids scratch your paint job because they're using a sponge that's filled with little pebbles because they dropped it on the ground. Not that that happened to me or anything. Just saying that the zombie run sounds like a much better fundraiser, that's all.

Marvel Media Mania: Fantastic Four (1967)

The first Fantastic Four cartoon aired on ABC from 1967 to 1970 for a total of 20 episodes.
Fantastic Four's First Cartoon in 1967
This cartoon was produced the same year as the original Spider-Man cartoon. Everyone knows the first Spider-Man television show but the first Fantastic Four television show is all but forgotten even though it is actually a better show than the Spider-Man from 1967. Why? It comes down the the theme song. Spider-Man had a very memorable theme song while Fantastic Four's is ultimately forgettable.

For its day, the animation on Fantastic Four is great. It reminds me a lot of early Scooby Doo episodes. The use of repeated stock footage is kept to an absolute minimum. Characters are expressive and faithfully adapted from the comics (except for some reason Galactus was all green...). However, some of the character designs look ridiculous in their "simplified" form. The Thing looks ridiculous because his head is a bunch of small rocks while his body is simply orange with a couple of lines drawn on it. Dr. Doom looks like a nutcracker robot with his mouth mechanically moving up and down along two tracks.

The voice acting is all fine... except for The Thing. Everyone imagines The Thing to have a deep, gravely voice but the voice they gave to him just sounds like your best friend in the ninth grade... just too normal to be coming from The Thing's body.

Generally, the show is very faithful to the comics. The villains used are mostly actual villains from the comics along with hordes of identical "henchmen" robots or lizard men or whatever is needed for that episode. Some of the series's stories are directly inspired from the comics. The series features notable characters such as Namor, The Watcher, Klaw, The Red Ghost, Blastaar, The Molecule Man, and Dr. Doom to name a few.

You can really tell that the thin plots had to be stretched to fill the thirty minute time slot. Character development for the Fantastic Four is unheard of in the show, instead you're treated to a lot of action with The Thing and Human Torch taking center stage. Frequently long sequences where the FF are beating up the aforementioned "faceless" henchmen are used as filler for the series. At one point in one episode, the action stops and several minutes is dedicated to The Thing remembering beating up henchmen from all of the previous episodes.

The plots are generally pretty campy, leaning heavily on action and eye candy while being light on logic. The dialogue is mostly exposition and can almost become laughable at times. Each episode is also riddled with bad puns such as, "Now that's what I call a real smash hit!" Still, continuity was kept from episode to episode which I appreciate.

You know, I don't want to make it sound like it's all bad with this show. For its time, the 1967 Fantastic Four show was quite successful in many ways. It is easy to point out the many deficiencies of a show like this when compared to today's big-budget, CGI-polished cartoons. Still, The Fantastic Four is deserving of a lot of credit for what it did right.

1LR REVIEW - 13 out of 20! It's a Glancing Hit!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

50,000 Pageviews for 1LR!


50,000 Meeples (Taken with Instagram at Snakes & Lattes)
50,000 Meeples
Some time in the last couple of weeks, 1LR reached the milestone of 50,000 pageviews and we want to thank YOU, the faithful reader. Without you, we'd just be a tree falling in the forest with nobody to hear it. We won't make a sound. Well, I guess technically we don't make any sounds as it is but you get the idea. 

We're powering on to 100,000 pageviews and beyond! Tons of geeky goodness coming you way in the days and months ahead including the continuation of the Zombie Infestation through Halloween, we'll wrap up 1989 Uses for Valiant Comics (we promise!), Marvel Media Mania, and tons of gaming notes and geek gear!

To celebrate 50,000 pageviews, gander at this mountain of 50,000 meeples! That one purple one is a real minority. 

As always, thanks for reading!

1LR Misses Marvel Media Mania Deadline

Where are you, Torn?
Where are you, Dangerous?
Alright, I'm man enough to admit it - I blew it. For the first time in over a year, I missed one of my self-imposed deadlines for Marvel Media Mania. I didn't anticipate how difficult it would be to watch the X-Men motion comics Torn and Dangerous.

I tried to borrow them from friends. I tried to watch them online. I tried Netflix. No luck! So if you know of a good site that I could watch them on, please let me know. I'm trying to avoid having to actually BUY the things! To make it worse, another one is coming out in early November! Gah!

So I sincerely apologize for my missed deadline. I absolutely HATE it when an RPG, comic book, or video game is late so I know how you feel. I'll make it up to you, I promise!

One way or another, I WILL get my hands on those motion comics and review them for you, faithful reader. Be patient! As it is, we're moving on to the Fantastic Four block, having "wrapped" the X-Men block for now.

Fantastic Four - Forward!

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 21 - Zombie Evolution T-Shirt

Proving once and for all that zombies are superior life forms, this T-shirt shows the evolution of monkeys into cavemen to homo sapiens to a corpse to the walking dead. Which begs the question... how awesome would it be to see zombie monkeys? And that's all I can think of to say about this shirt.
T-shirt Evolution zombie R.I.P red/black
Evolution of zombies.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 20 - Zombie Food Truck

Zombie's Food Truck... truly twisted.
Alright, we've seen some pretty sick stuff in the last twenty days but today's entry in Zombie Infestation is by far the sickest. I mean, whoever thought up this idea is truly twisted.

Everyone knows that zombies feast on human flesh (and pretty much any other type of flesh they can get their hands on). So if you were going to open, let's say, a food truck or a restaurant that was zombie themed what foods would you serve? Meat, meat, meat, right? And if you could serve it literally dripping with blood all the better! Maybe you could even work monkey brains onto the menu as a appetizer.

Not so with Zombie's Food Truck. The owners of this ghastly establishment started a zombie themed food service (which is questionable in and of itself) complete with a zombie logo. What do they serve? Only vegan food. That's right - absolutely no meat! Not even eggs!

Now tell me that's not the absolute scariest thing you've heard in a long time. Frightening!

Friday, October 19, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 19 - Zombie Car Window Stickers

I'm sure you're like me and you love those stickers people put in their car windows that represent each member of the family. They reveal so much about the strangers in the car. So today when I was driving I laughed out loud when I saw a van with zombie family stickers in the window. Obviously, this family rocks.
Zombie Family Car Window Stickers

Thursday, October 18, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 18 - Zombie Weddings

At most weddings they say, "'Til death do us part." I wonder what they saying at a zombie wedding? If you're making a vow that goes into the next life now that's REAL commitment! But, hey, if you can find a little lady that'll go along with this I'm pretty sure you've got yourself a winner.
Zombie Bride and Zombie Groom
Zombie wedding cake

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 17 - Night of the Zombie Goldfish

Night of the Zombie Goldfish
At first, zombies and goldfish may seem like an unusual fit. But, in fact, the easy-reader book "Night of the Zombie Goldfish" for kids is brilliant. After all, a goldfish represents innocence and youth and is completely harmless in every way... exactly the opposite of a zombie. AND goldfish are known for going belly-up without warning. What if those goldfish rose from their watery graves...?

Here's the plot: Two ordinary boys own some very ordinary goldfish. But when a science experiment accidentally gets mixed in with their food, these regular pets start becoming a lot more interesting. With a series of bubbles and pops, the slimy fish start growing and changing. Then they step right out of their tank -- and begin marching towards town.

Now, sure, this is suppose to be a funny book. But with that simple premise the author transforms the very symbol of childhood innocence into an undead threat. Additionally, it begins to introduce little kids to the ideas of zombies. Some of the other picture books we've featured for "Zombie Infestation" have actually been intended for adult audiences but this one is actually intended for kids around the first grade. For many kids this might be the first time there's exposed to zombies. And the sooner they learn about the coming zombie apocalypse, the better.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

31 Day of Zombie Infestation - Day 16 - Zombies!!! Board Game

Zombies!!! Board Game
Zombies!!! is clearly the most popular Zombie themed board game ever. This thing has over a dozen expansions that add all sorts of new elements into gameplay!

I think the simple joy of the game is being able to send scores of little plastic zombies shambling across a simple map. In the game, not only do you move your own piece but you're also able to control the zombies to a degree. You win by reaching the helipad or killing 25 zombies first. Because we all know how the movie ends - every dies eventually... but the winner is simply the one that is best at delaying that inevitable end for as long as possible.

Zombies!!! is just good old fun. Players can't resist moaning like a zombie when it's their turn to move the hungering masses across the map.

Monday, October 15, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 15 - Zombie Cookie Jar

Zombie Cookie Jar
After all of that shuffling around on the 13th (World Zombie Day), I'm sure you were quite famished. Chances are, like most zombies, you failed to find any brains. That's okay. 1LR has the solution! Cookies kept inside a zombie head cookie jar!

Look how practical this jar is. You never have to squeeze your hand into a narrow opening every again! The top of the jar is much wider than the base. Plus, this thing is head-sized and will hold a ton of cookies. Score!

Stylistically, I love the eyes. One is sagging while the other is listing to the side. That really says it all, doesn't it? And the fact that the base cuts off the lower jaw of the zombie actually makes it look like the zombie is rising up from your kitchen counter. Spooky, funny, and cool!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 14 - Shaun of the Dead

Shaun of the Dead... zombies? Or not?
Zombie comedy. What an odd concept. Yet Shaun of the Dead made it work brilliantly.

Frankly, if you've never seen this film you have got to. No, it's certainly not the best zombie film every made. Nor is it the best comedy ever made. It can barely make up its mind on what it wants to be. In the end, it ends up being a bit of everything. It's a action horror comedy spoof parody wrapped around sharp social commentary.

Shaun of the Dead points out that we all live our lives like zombies. We shuffle through our days with bleary eyes, killing time at meaningless jobs, turning off our brains to stare at the television, and grunting greetings at one another. Maybe that's why so many can identify with zombies. Because in many ways, the zombie infestation has already hit. And we're all already infected.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 13 - World Zombie Day!

That's right! Today, October 13th, is World Zombie Day! What do you do on World Zombie Day? Well, dress up like a zombie and go on a zombiewalk, of course! The only gift you could possibly give your fellow zombies on this auspicious occasion is brains! Now, where can you get some brains...

Isn't she just darling?
Another question I have is when wishing someone well on World Zombie Day should you say "Happy" World Zombie Day or "Merry" World Zombie Day? Or are positive terms even appropriate to the theme of the holiday? Or would the intent of the holiday be better suited by simply starring vacantly and shambling around groaning random words such as, "Baaacccooonnn ffferrtttiiilllizzzeerrrr ssssaaaannnndddwwwwiiicccchhh..."

If you're curious about World Zombie Day you can check out the website at!

Either way, to celebrate this, the first day when zombies use the "surge" tactic to take over our world 1LR presents zombie pictures! Enjoy!

Friday, October 12, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 12: Zombie Survival Energy Drink

Zombie Survival Energy Drink
Now, of course, if you pound this bad boy you're going to be able to run faster than any zombie. When I'm running from zombies I don't have to run fast. I just have to run faster than you! To that end, I have three cases of Zombie Survival Energy Drink stashed away in strategic locations. One at home, one in my car, and one in my desk at work.

But this can is useful for many additional purposes other than just consuming its contents for an energy burst. These supplemental uses for the can are described on the can itself.

You can use the can by filling it with rocks and throwing it at a zombie. You can use it as a make-shift gas mask. You can collect rain water with it. I'm sure there are more... the possibilities are endless! Perhaps you could roll it toward the zombies and they'd slip on it and fall in comical fashion!

I hope you're prepared for the coming zombie infestation... tomorrow they're using the "surge" technique. And, no, I'm not kidding.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 11 - Marvel Zombies

Marvel Zombies
For a long time, Marvel fans were called "Marvel Zombies" by people who didn't like Marvel. Marvel fans were just so dedicated and outsiders just didn't see the attraction.

Much to Marvel's credit, it took this title and pinned it to it's chest like a prized ribbon. Taking the name literally, they launched an entire new universe that featured zombie versions of all of their most popular characters. The results were frightening. Normal zombies can destroy an entire world... but what about zombies with superpowers? They literally can eat all flesh in an entire universe!

The first few Marvel Zombies series featured classic covers reimagined with Zombies. The idea seemed to be played out to its logical conclusion when literally all life in the zombie Marvel Universe was extinguished. But, as we know, zombies will do anything to satiate the hunger. So, the... er... "heroes" starting jumping to other parallel universes. Things got really interesting when Marvel Zombies showed up in the Marvel Universe 616!

Marvel Zombies is the #2 best thing to happen to zombies in the last ten years. #1 is The Walking Dead, of course. But Marvel Zombies boldly went where no other universe has dared to go and literally turned all of its major characters into zombies, thus breaking new ground for zombie fans everywhere.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 10 - Pat the Zombie

Front Cover
Pat the Zombie
Zombies invade everything. If not in the real world than certainly in the realm of pop culture. It just seems so easy to apply a zombie template to anything in the world. I'm sure a quick Google search for "zombie Strawberry Shortcake" would turn up some spectacular results. Let's see... yep. Here you go:

Zombie Strawberry Shortcake

So, anyway, that's all a lead up to Pat the Zombie, a spoof of Pat the Bunny. I don't think I can say it better than the publisher so let me just pull exactly what they say about the book:

"In the hemorrhagic vein of other zombie parodies,Pat the Zombie presents trusting toddler Judy playing peek-a-boo with a putrefying Paul. Grownup fans of Pat the Bunny (seven million of them) will find their favorite touch-and-feel features disturbingly re-created: Judy reaches for Zombie’s decaying jaw instead of daddy’s cheek; Paul caresses Mummy’s empty eye socket instead of her wedding ring. Ximm’s twisted wit, Soofi’s sick artistic sensibility, and clever packaging that mimics the original book will bring the undead lurchingly to life in this camp popculture romp."

Sounds like fun to me!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 9 - All Flesh Must Be Eaten

All Flesh Must Be Eaten
Roleplaying and zombies go together like peanut butter and jelly. It's a natural fit.

All Flesh Must Be Eaten provides roleplayers the opportunity to roleplay in a world infected with zombies. One of the things that makes this great is the depth to which it takes traditional zombie lore. You can tell that the creators behind the game really, really love zombies. I would imagine that, as research, they read and viewed just about everything they could get there hands on when it comes to zombies.

First, the zombies themselves have a vast variety among them. Players can't assume that they're stupid shufflers that are highly contagious. Game masters can customize the zombie outbreak in their world. Perhaps zombies retain some of their prior personalities and even memories. Maybe zombies are even intelligent and can problem solve. Or maybe the zombie plague isn't spread by a single scratch but perhaps a zombie must actually kill someone to have them rise from the grave. The various combinations are endless.

Then, also, a diverse selection of "Dead Worlds" are detailed. Tired of the modern-era zombie outbreak survival scenarios? Well, what about feudal Japan? What about a traditional western? What about pirates? Not to mention having the campaign take place at various places in time. Instead of at the onset of the zombie outbreak why not play in a game world twenty years after the zombie outbreak reset the clock?

The rules system is the Classic Unisystem. Character generation is quick and easy using a points system. Combat resolution is simple but gritty.

The end result is a zombie-centric roleplaying game that any zombie fan would love.

All Flesh Must Be Eaten...? Can I have another helping, sir?

Monday, October 8, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 8 - Zombie Kid Diaries

Zombie Kid Diaries #2
A parody of the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid novels, Zombie Kid Diaries was originally conceptualized with the title "Diary of a Zombie Kid" and had covers very similar to the Wimpy Kid books. I don't know if it was a lawsuit or not but for some reason the line was renamed and the visuals changed to make it more different than Wimpy Kid.

The insides are formatted very similarly to the Wimpy Kid books. It is kind of a hybrid between a comic and a traditional novel. Paragraphs of text are broken by "childish" drawings illustrating the action.

Antarctic Press has promoted the devil out of these books. They've released a Free Comic Book Day special as well as a "ComicFest" special as well. Several volumes are available now.

Marvel Media Mania: Marvel Anime: X-Men

Marvel Anime: X-Men was first aired in 2011 in Japan. The series has since re-aired in the United States and been released on DVD. All total there are twelve episodes.
Marvel Anime: X-Men
Of the three Marvel Anime projects that 1LR has reviewed (Blade, Wolverine, X-Men) this is clearly the best. Of course, that may not be saying much since the first two we reviewed both got "Misses!" Let's start with the positives.

First, the story slowly unrolls in an intriguing, twisting manner. Each episode ends in a cliffhanger that begs you to watch the next one. The X-Men consist of Wolverine, Cyclops, Beast, Professor X and Storm with Emma Frost and Armor being added later (a dead Jean Grey is seen in flashbacks throughout the series). The series really focuses on Armor - a flesh change after seeing the same seven mutants featured over and over again in X-Men media. The X-Men are balanced very well against one another, each given their own emotional storylines that develop across the series. Even Professor X is given a new backstory that is sure to surprise some viewers. The villains are the U-Men from Grant Morrison's New X-Men run and the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club (most notably, Mastermind).

Additionally, the show's creators make efforts to address the X-Men's long history, placing the story in a greater context. Sometimes the characters make an off-handed reference to an absent character such as Magneto. A number of other characters are shown in the final episode including Captain Britain, Deadpool, and Iron Man. These type of references are not only cool for fans but give the story a sense of connection to a larger universe, causing it to feel less isolated and meaningless.

Also, the art style is perhaps the least stereotypically-anime of the Marvel Anime shows thus far. While this may seem to defeat the purpose of the project, I, for one, appreciated this toned down anime effort. So, yes, there are still close-up shots of someone with their pupil pulsing in shock. The backgrounds are still ultra detailed. But the X-Men's character designs take much more inspiration from the original source material than Ghost in the Shell. Some of the villains suffer more from anime influence but that's to be expected.

Now, it's not all pixie dust and unicorn smiles. There are times that the animation makes it difficult to follow what's happening (in particular I'm thinking of the Wolverine fight against the bat thing on the Blackbird). Wolverine's claws are shown to be ridiculous in length (also, the characterization of Wolverine seems to be slightly too cerebral and rational as presented). The story drags a bit and becomes formulaic in at least one place.

But perhaps the biggest strike against the show is the facelessness of the villains. In the end title sequence we're shown Juggernaut, Magneto, Mystique, and many other awesome villains... none of which appear in the series. Instead, Mastermind hides behind a dozen or so mostly forgettable monsters before being revealed toward the end of the series.

Overall, Marvel Anime: X-Men is a good show and it marks the the strongest effort in the Marvel Anime line I've seen to date.

1LR REVIEW - 14 out of 20! It's a Hit!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 7 - The Walking Dead Plushes

Walking Dead Plushes
These six plush dolls simply scream out, "Cuddle with me!" don't they? No? You're right. They don't. Because they're either zombies or zombies killers or tombstones. Who wants to cuddle with a tombstone? What are you - morbid or something?

Well, either way, that doesn't stop these dolls from rocking, especially for Walking Dead fans and Zombie enthusiasts everywhere.

I personally could do without the tombstone ones but the zombies and Michonne (holding the blade) are just plain awesome.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 6 - U.S. Army Zombie Training Manual

Army of one. Plus 100,000 zombies.
It's good to know that the U.S. Army is prepared to defend us from any situation. Including the inevitable zombie infestation.

Wait. What? This manual isn't how the army plans on DEFENDING us from zombies. It's literally a guide on how to TRAIN zombies to do jobs for the army.

Does this sound wise to anyone else? No? Okay, then we're on the same page.

The logic goes like this: The army can train dogs and the navy can train dolphins... why not train captured zombies? They can track, search, attack, and even go undercover! I think the best use might be to find the mines in a mine field.

But I see one big difference between a zombie and a dog or dolphin - a dolphin doesn't carry a infectious disease that could wipe humanity from the face of the earth. I say the only good zombie is a dead zombie. I mean really dead, not undead.

So I would implore the President to rewrite policy when it comes to zombies and our armed forced. Containment is a recipe for disaster and to think that they can be retrained is just playing with fire. Unfortunately, the only way to deal with the threat of zombies is complete annihilation. I know that's not very PC but it's the hard truth of the situation.

Friday, October 5, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 5 - Zombie Dice

I'm normally pretty wary of games themed with pirates, ninjas or zombies. Most of the time it is a cheap marketing plot of a game that's all concept and stinks as a game. So a year or so ago I begrudgingly gave Zombie Dice a chance. I was hooked after a single game.

Zombie Dice is a fast pasted, press-your-luck dice game. The goal is to roll as many brains as you can without getting blasted away by shotgun blasts. You can roll as many times as you want but the dice are color coded to represent the risks associated with each. A green die is an easy target - perhaps a blind and crippled grandma. A yellow die is a moderately difficult target - perhaps a teenage boy. A red die represents extreme difficulty - perhaps an armed-to-the-teeth marine. 

The typical game will have all of the players moaning the word "Brains!" over and over again. It's a lot of fun! A zombie game that actually works! How cool!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 4 - Zombie Cat

Zombie Cat. Why has this one never been done before? It seems like a natural fit. Zombies wander around aimlessly destroying everything they get their dirty little paws on, killing, and eating their prey. Sounds just like a cat to me!

This picture book features Tiddles, the Zombie Cat. Tiddles loves his owner, Jake, but Jake struggles with accepting his now undead pet. Obviously, this book is meant for adults and it is suppose to be funny.

The only problem I have with the cover is that Tiddles looks more like a vampire than a zombie. Since when do zombies of any species grow two long fangs?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 3 - Star Wars Death Trooper Statue

Star Wars: Death Trooper Statue
We at 1LR previously informed you about a series of Star Wars novels that had at last unleashed the undead upon the Star Wars universe. At the time of this announcement this was the single coolest thing to come from a galaxy far, far away in a long time. But this statue, inspired by the novel Death Troopers, may just exceed the novels themselves in sheer awesomeness.

The statue is a Gentle Giant Sculpt. I think they got the pose just right. Obviously something has attracted the attention of this Death Trooper but the left arm hanging off at an odd angle speaks to the awkwardness of movement this poor fella must experience. I love that the mouth has been revealed to show just a hint of the zombie beneath the armor... and to make feasting upon human flesh easier!

It's about time horror stories were able to be told in the Star Wars universe! Fans of both zombies and Star Wars - unite behind this monument of brilliance!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 2 - Tales From The Crypt Vol. 8: Diary of a Stinky Dead Kid

Tales From the Crypt Vol. 8
Sure, the Zombie spoof of Diary of a Wimpy Kid was already done with Diary of a Zombie Kid. But this is Tales From the Crypt! The "Stinky Dead Kid" is featured in two stories. In the first, the "wimpy" kid gets infected and becomes a zombie. The second story also has a vampire it in and features the continued adventures of the "Stinky Dead Kid."

I'm pretty sure the folks who did the Diary of a Zombie Kid got sued or something from the Wimpy Kid people because they ended up changing the name of their comics to just "Zombie Kid" and the covers don't look as similar to the Wimpy Kid covers anymore. The folks over at Papercutz probably took notice of this which is why they clearly labeled the cover PARODY.

Monday, October 1, 2012

31 Days of Zombie Infestation: Day 1 - Walking Dead B&W Action Figures

Mr. Roger's Zombie Neighborhood!
McFarlane toys are great which is why these Walking Dead Black and White (and Red) Zombie Action Figures rock. They come in a three pack.

Roll call!

Bicycle Girl Zombie! Present!

The Well Zombie! Present!

RV Zombie! Present!

These black and white editions have all of the same points of articulation and accessories as the full-color figures from Series 2 of The Walking Dead figures.

You know, Christmas is right around the corner. Why would your daughter want another Barbie doll when she can have Bicycle Girl Zombie?

Marvel Media Mania: Marvel Anime: Wolverine

Marvel Anime: Wolverine is the second show in the Marvel Anime project. It had 12 episodes total and was released in 2011.
Marvel Anime: Wolverine
Of all of the Marvel Anime projects, this is perhaps the one that makes the most sense. Wolverine has direction connections with Japan from the comics and this show builds directly upon those roots. Instead of reinventing Wolverine as Japanese the show keeps his Canadian origin and we first see him in New York. For the most part, Wolverine is largely unchanged. He has enhanced healing, metal claws, and heightened senses. Although his berzerker rages seem tamed down (he never gets uncontrollable) and his claws don't seem to be made of adamantium (at one point steel armor deflects them).

The writers take pains to connect Wolverine to established continuity. At one point, Cyclops briefly shows up flying the Blackbird. Omega Red is the lone recognizable big-name villain (along with the organization AIM). SHIELD also makes an appearance in the show. And Wolverine ends up in Madripore a time or two.

The overall story is pretty simple: Wolverine's long time love, Mariko, is being forced into an arranged marriage by her warrior father. Wolverine sets out to free her and gets into a lot of fights along the way.

The action itself is 100% typical anime. Characters leap into the air while lines of movement zip past in the background. Still shots are held while the camera pans over them. Characters react in slow motion. You get the picture. Wolverine's claws were used a bit awkwardly, I thought, when going up against a sword. Frequently Wolverine and his opponent will stand with their blades crossed and I would wonder why his opponent just doesn't push his blade down Wolverine's claws and directly into his hand.

The content is pretty bloody and violent and it is better off for it. The creators take great advantage of Wolverine's healing powers and then mangle him every chance they get. At one point his entire chest is split open. At another point he's nearly cut in half and his half sags away from his body with an arm hanging limply at his side. After this happens battle after battle, however, you get to get the idea that Wolverine may not be a very good fighter after all.

The dialogue is absolutely atrocious. Essentially, the writers relied upon one cliche after another. This eliminates any possibility of you taking the show seriously. There are some moments that seem like they should be genuinely emotional moments but I just couldn't bring myself to care when the dialogue is incredibly predicable.

If you can actually sit through the entire series the ending provides a great twist. Frankly, the ending is the best thing about the series and not just because it is over. The ending really came as a shock to me but ultimately fails to capitalize on the twist.

1LR REVIEW - 10 out of 20! It's a Miss!

1LR's 31 Days of Zombie Infestation!

She's prefers a guy with brains over a good looking dude.
That's right folks! Every day from now through Halloween on October 31st One Lost Road is going to be bringing you a daily dose of Zombie goodness! It's almost better than... BRAAAAIIIINNNNNSSSS...

So make sure you check back every day so you'll be prepared with the zombie apocalypse hits later this year (what did you think the Mayans were predicting for December 21st?)!