Zombies are the new vampires in Seattle

A zombie epidemic is spreading, and now, there are over 4,000 record-breaking zombies in the Seattle area. ZomBcon 2010 took place this year Oct. 29-31 in Seattle at the Exhibition Hall.

ZomBcon was the first zombie convention of its kind. There were many prominent guests at this year’s convention, such as UFC fighter Nathan “Rock” Quarry, actor Bruce Campbell and artist Billy Tackett. Films were featured such as “Dead Alive”, “Dawn of the Dead”, “Day of the Dead”, “Evil Dead”, “Night of the Living Dead”, “Shaun of the Dead” and “Colin”. The famous “Godfather of Zombie Movies”, George A. Romero, who directed “Night of the Living Dead”, “Dawn of the Dead” and “Day of the Dead”, was honored with the Golden George Award at this year’s ZomBcon. The Maxwell Hotel served as the Official Hotel and Base Camp for ZomBcon 2010.

Along with ZomBcon, Halloween weekend included many zombie-related activities. The Big Zombie Walk, Armageddon featuring various DJs and Prom Night of the Living Dead featuring DJ Paul V all took place in the Seattle area on Halloween weekend.

This was not the first time that the undead have overrun Seattle. Zombie walks in Seattle have been holding international records since 2009. On the weekend of July 4, 2009, the Fremont Film Festival reported 3,894 participants in the zombie walk. This broke the world record for “Largest Zombie Walk”. The record was broken again when event organizers counted 4,233 official registered zombie walkers for the “Red, White and Dead Zombie Walk”, which took place in Fremont on July 3, 2010.

The Zombie Walk on July 3 also helped to contribute to the community. The local non-profit Solid Ground, an organization fighting poverty, was supported by a non-perishable food drive held during the Walk. Participants brought their cans to donate at the event registration.

Pop culture has been highly affected by zombies over time. The zombie apocalypse genre was begun by Richard Matheson’s novel “I Am Legend” (1954). The Living Dead franchise originated from Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” (1968) and includes various films, novels and other forms of media whose primary subject is people trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. One of the most famous zombie-themed television appearances was Michael Jackson’s music video for “Thriller” (1983).

It seems that most striking contrast between the old to new portrayal of zombies is that humans are infected with a pathogen (“28 Days Later”, “Zombieland”, “Left 4 Dead”), making them “fast” compared to their slow, lumbering counterparts in older films (“Night of the Living Dead”). Seth Grahame-Smith published the mash-up novel “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” (2009), which includes the entirety of Jane Austen’s famous work “Pride and Prejudice” and combines it with a story about a zombie epidemic.

A zombie-related game that has become controversial on college campuses is Humans vs. Zombies, a tactical game often employing Nerf guns. The existence of simulated weapons on campus has caused some controversy, but is being allowed by some schools as long as campus policies are enforced.