Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Survivor or Crosshair? Legendary badasses meet the Zombie Apocalypse

Everyone knows how obsessed I am with the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse (it will happen, you know!). Okay...maybe "obsessed" is a strong word, because I do know people who are obsessed, and frankly, they freak me out. Let's say I'm...well-aware?

Anyway, with this in mind, how could I NOT buy myself a copy of The DIY Guide to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse as a birthday gift for myself when I was at Wizard World Chicago this past summer? Especially when the creators, Bud Hanzel, John Olson, and Mark Stegbauer gave me a double-my-money-back guarantee if I don't manage to survive? You KNOW I can't resist a good bargain!

(Click here to get this book NOW from it's too late!)

The book itself is not only an informative zombie survival guide (seriously...these guys cover topics you'd never even think about until it was waaaay too late), it's also a very provocative look at what we human beings are like pre-apocalypse. And most of us are not very well prepared for what lies ahead, for a lot of reasons...

While reading this book (and, since I don't get a lot of time to myself, I read the majority of it by leaving 10 minutes early to pick up my daughter at her high school so I could read it while I was parked outside waiting...probably not the best way to ensure her social well-being...), I did a lot of thinking about what we think we already know about surviving the Zombie Apocalypse--based on movies, TV, etc. (because we all know I'm a scatterbrained geek like that) and whether or not these characters and supposed "experts" would really end up surviving.

So, what I'm hoping to do is to go straight to the source. I'm asking the creators of The DIY Guide to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse who, out of the following list of monster killers/hunters/slayers and all-around badasses, would be survivors and who would be major crosshair candidates.

(Please note that this list is, by no means, complete.)

Sam and Dean Winchester (Supernatural)
Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Alice (Resident Evil)
Ash (Army of Darkness)
Sarah Connor (Terminator)
Sarah Connor (Terminator 2: Judgement Day)
Chuck Norris (Anything That Kicks Your Ass)
Zoey (Left 4 Dead)
John Rambo (One Too Many Rambo Movies)
Tallahassee (Zombieland)
Ellen Ripley (Alien, Aliens, Still More Aliens, Aliens Gone Wild)
Rich Grimes (The Walking Dead)

(Please also note that the people on this list are not all "zombie hunters." I get that. I'd like to broaden the spectrum and see how other popular characters would be rated as fighters/survivors.)

So, whaddya say, guys? Spare a few minutes and a few thoughts to let us know who sets a good example and who is gonna make us all zombie chow?

LOVE this book!



  1. Saundra,

    Thank you for the kind words regarding the book!! Unsolicited even!! And, thank you for using our terminology as well. For those who have not yet gotten a copy, here is a bit directly from the glossary of the book to explain “crosshair”.

    Crosshair candidates: Anyone who, through action or attitude, proves that they are more likely to be a liability rather than an asset to the group. Someone for whom ending their life now may be the most merciful course of action.
    Crosshairs: Slang expression, used often in exasperation, in reference to someone’s act or statement of stupidity.

    Let me get right down to the question at hand. I am going to break it down into four categories. First: clear survivors, these are the characters with the absolute best chance of survival. Second: uber-confident warriors, these are characters that may seem to have everything going for them but for one reason or another they have a huge chance of experiencing a catastrophic crosshair moment. Third: 50/50s these are the more or less “real” humans who have some specialized skills but also have the emotional foibles that go along with life. Fourth: Crosshairs! This is the group that is more than likely going to get you killed with their stupidity, fear, hang-ups, etc.

    The Clear Survivors. As far as I am concerned you have three clear survivors on your list.

    Ellen Ripley, John Rambo & Sarah Connor (2nd movie).
    I pick these three as clear survivors because each shows the ability to think on their feet, see a problem and plan for it, and handle themselves when the fit-hits-the-shan. Each also possesses the ability to understand a situation and adapt their behavior to specific parameters. Not to mention Rambo’s clear wilderness survival skills.

    The Uber-Confident Warriors from your list are the characters I think lots of people might pick as clear survivors. But, they may not be well suited to the zombie apocalypse, as portrayed in our book.

    Alice, Buffy Summers & Sam and Dean Winchester.
    Buffy and the Winchester’s share a common theme, they are both tailored to bad guys created and motivated by evil, in other words, supernatural villains. They would assume the zombies are the zombies they know, and this presumption of knowledge would more likely than not lead to a ‘catastrophic crosshair moment.” In Alice’s case she would have the presumption of immunity, which would lead to the same result. I would give theses characters a very high probability of failure for these reasons.
    One note however: If they had our book ahead of time, they could adapt and would end up on clear survivors.

    The 50/50s, more or less normal humans with a few special skills.

    Chuck Norris, Rich Grimes & Zoey.
    Okay, so I know Chuck is regarded with god-like reverence, but really, the man is just an actor with some excellent athletic training. (Yes he made some bad-ass movies! But Walker Texas Ranger had to have a soft side too.) Rich Grimes is motivated by emotion as his driving force, and well, I don’t know very much about Zoey. In any case these characters could be good in the right group, but they are just human beings. I’ll give them each a 50/50 chance.

    And finally The Crosshairs! You have three of those as well.

    Ash, Sarah Connor (1st movie) & Tallahassee.
    Ash is, well, sorry, but Ash is just stupid. The movies are fun in the right company, but I would never want Ash in my survivor group! Chainsaw! Please! Sarah Connor, from the first movie? Well she had to be taken care of the whole way, so sorry. And then there is Tallahassee; cocky, arrogant, happy-go-lucky zombie hunter. Read the book, if you aspire to be a zombie hunter, you are a crosshair. He works in the movie (and don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the movie) but in real life he gets people killed.

    So that is my take on your list. Hopefully I have given you plenty of fodder for further discussion, and I look forward to what others think. And, seriously, thanks for enjoying the book!


  2. John,

    Thank you SO much for your VERY insightful response! I'm knocked out that you gave this so much thought! At the most, I was hoping for a "yes-no" answer, if I was lucky!

    But, I seriously do love your book, and I'm so glad I got a chance to talk to you all at Wizard. Keep up the GREAT work, and I'll see you after the apocalypse! :)