So, I just discovered that George Romero has a comic book out called Empire of the Dead. The reason I discovered this is, apparently, It’s being picked up as a TV series by AMC. Now, anyone who’s been paying attention knows that I am a HUGE Walking Dead fan. And I was really excited when I found out that they were going to start up Fear the Walking Dead. But even I am a little concerned that AMC may be pushing the zombie train a little too hard. Granted, just because they picked up the rights doesn’t mean that it will actually made into a show, but it does make me raise an eyebrow.
Now, I don’t know much about the comic book (I ordered it today, but haven’t read it yet), but is 3 shows about zombies on the same network a little overkill? If they did turn it into a series, what could distinguish this series from its very successful older siblings?
1.) It takes place in New York.
Okay, New York becomes a pretty strong character in any show it’s the backdrop for. Using NYC as a backdrop for any show can set a series apart from others in its genre. The sheer massive scope of such a tightly populated city could really add a different dimension that the Walk Dead and Fear just can’t cover.
2.) Apparently there are vampires.
Again, I haven’t read the series, but apparently in this world, zombies aren’t the only undead game in town. The idea of the vampires versus zombies isn’t entirely new trope. Max Brooks, author of World War Z, explored that in his short story and then comic series Extinction Parade. But, it’s not a story that we’re all used to seeing so that could be a new twist that could provide a big draw to a new show.
3.) It’s George Romero.
Both Max Brooks and Robert Kirkman (creator of the walking dead) have stated that George Romero was an inspiration for their love of the genre. (Granted Romero has not always returned the admiration.) Nevertheless, anyone who considers themselves a fan of the zombie genre has to have some nostalgic feels about Romero and his huge contribution to the genre. Always good for some social commentary, a series by Romero might be enough to pull in even the biggest zombie purists.
Ultimately, though, the move may be nothing more than a way of keep competition from springing up, or a back-up plan for when the Walking Dead franchise has to finally be shot in the head. Either way, if it was different enough from the current shows, it might have some real potential.