Though it has perhaps yet to arrive on the streets of the capitals of the world, the zombie apocalypse has arrived in the homes of those who follow The Walking Dead, Fear The Walking Dead, Z Nation, iZombie and films too numerous to mention which have focused on the dead risen to plague and feast upon the living, and while the characters in these shows too rarely learn from their mistakes, the viewers at least can be assured by the preparedness of Haynes who present their Zombie Survival Transport Owners’ Apocalypse Manual.
Written by Sean T Page of the Ministry of Zombies and illustrated throughout by Ian Moores, it is important to realise that this is a companion volume to their previously published Zombie Survival Manual, covering the basics of coping with an outbreak of the living dead, but the key lesson of both is to be prepared, so it can be presumed that anyone intent on surviving will already have familiarised themselves with the contents of that first volume.
From the outset, it is apparent that this is a very British approach to the worldwide threat with an emphasis on the absurdity of the situation which contrasts the seriousness of the gung-ho abandon of our transatlantic cousins: “Many of these options can be replaced with home-made options if, like many in the UK, you find yourself facing the zombie hordes armed only with a rolled up copy of the Guardian and a small fruit peeler.”
This is not to say, however, that there is not adequate thought and analysis within the pages, and it is important to understand that those suffering “the zombic condition” are not the only dangers come Z-day. That there will also be “half-crazed survivors and post-apocalyptic raiders” is a given for anyone even mildly versed in zombie theory, but few will have considered the difference between a Bug-Out Vehicle and a full Zombie Apocalypse Vehicle, their specifications and quite different purposes.
With handy guides to the key features of the zombic condition – speed, agility, senses – and the varied expressions of the condition in order of threat presented – crawlers, newbies, dummies and the most dangerous, the newly infected but not yet turned – although it is common knowledge that destroying the brain is the only certain way to render a zombie inert, few realise that decapitation leaves a relatively immobile but still dangerous intact head, a “snapper.”
Less easily pinpointed, particularly in these days of “fake news,” the prevalence of celebrity gossip in place of current affairs reporting of substance and the way in which unfounded hysteria can spread through social media, is the question of at what point Z-day can be said to have occurred; the first disruption of public services? The blackout of news channels? The first sighting of cannibalism in the streets?
Confident that the day will come, whether sooner or later, Page’s message is that the more done in advance the better, and aware that not all will have access to the same resources or budget, there are also tips on the best unpowered transport – BMX bikes, not skateboards – and for those less physically capable, considering adaptations for mobility scooters as he discusses that while being disabled is not a choice being a survivor is, and also stating that senior citizens can equally well be senior survivors.
Becoming more outrageous further into the blood-spattered pages, with roof-mounted machine guns and rear-facing flamethrowers, some lessons are obvious to anyone who has seen Zombieland – cardio! – but some tips are quite obscure, such as the colour of vehicle least likely to attract attention, as useful in its own way as knowing how to control a car slipping on zombie entrails, and for those of a practical mind obsessed with zombies, this book will certainly entertain and enlighten.
The Zombie Survival Transport Owners’ Apocalypse Manual is available now from Haynes