The Evolution of the Zombie in Western Popular Culture
In the article, Todd K. Platts takes the reader through the history of the Zombie. Starting from the first mention of the term, the origins of it, and early attempts in popular culture to depict the monster: on screen, in comic books, in literature works, video games, and on other platforms. The author presents his findings on the topic, giving many examples of successful, as well as failed experiments. He observes an incorporation and integration of the Zombie narrative into popular culture. Platts, in his research, highlights the most prominent points in the history of the Zombie, starting with the 1920s and then through the 2010s.
He splits the record into two main sections. The first one focuses on defining the term and the exploration of the new monster. The second one revolves around narrowing down a set of rules which define the Zombie. A standard, the author states, is first set by Romero. It is discussed how the portrayal of zombies went a long way from an obscure and unpopular element of a horror story to a worldwide science fiction phenomenon.
Platts then presents the key points which shaped how the concept progressed through the years and who made the most significant contribution in each decade. He talks about the ban of zombies in comic books and the ways that it was used to circumvent those limitations. The author notes exactly which ideas or fears were behind the works created in the zombie category. Platts argues that these seemingly pure entertainment films had, in fact, subtexts. He points out that real events were, in fact, catalysts which made the public take a closer look at zombies, especially with the term being tied to a concept of survival.
In the twenty-first century, he states, the Zombie finally got the recognition it deserved, and even surpassed the horror genre, now more diverse, broad and popular than ever …