Silver Age Yorick

Spoof of Y: The Last Man, casting it as a rip-off of an obscure Silver Age girl's romance comics. Fantastic.

Unsurprisingly, the writer of Yorick, The Last Man On Earth was a woman: Sally Polenti, a trailblazer in the comics field and almost totally unknown today. Her work on Yorick is more soap-opera-ish, perhaps, than Brian K. Vaughan’s - but then again, she also doesn’t have any of those Trivial Pursuit factoids Vaughan seems compelled to insert into any and all narratives he writes. And if you thought Vaughan’s depiction of the longing between 355 and Yorick was hot - well, Polenti’s positively smolders. Plus, mad scientists in just about every issue. Girls Romance Comics went out of business in 1958, and most of its writers went into television writing, explaining why it’s now a footnote in comics history. Highly recommended.



Notes Toward Zombie Popularity

While the vampire (especially the gothic mode) is a study in the repulsion/attraction dynamic the modern world feels toward hereditary aristocracy, the zombie narrative allows anyone to imagine themselves to be free in a depopulated world filled with riches. It is a anti-authoritarian fantasyscape. All the (primarily masculine) skills the modern world has little use for become paramount in the post-zombie apocalypse: self-reliance, individuality, gun-play, mechanical inventiveness, bravery. Just as the image of the space-age / interplanetary pioneer was crucial to Heinlein's vision of expansion libertarianism, the later-day zombie narrative can attract those bored with the inaction and routine of daily life in the modern first world.

This renders the zombie narrative a portion of the survivalist fictions whose extreme expression is the Last Man On Earth trope.


Reason Articles on Zombies and Politics

We the Living Dead
The convoluted politics of zombie cinema
Tim Cavanaugh | February 2007

It’s vain to argue that zombie politics don’t lean left, but the positioning is not simple. Bob Clark’s 1970 film Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things, for example, is something of a reactionary fantasy, with the undead attacking the most irritating band of flower children in movie history—possibly the exact moment America turned decisively against hippies.

George Romero's Diary of the Dead
David Weigel | February 18, 2008, 9:26am