Zombies are not the only ones with illustrious histories in horror. Jovanka Vuckovic has her place in the world of horror as well. The fiery haired, tattooed horror aficionado spent five years at CBC as a digital effects artist, where she won a Gemini award, and also worked for Rue Morgue magazine, eventually becoming their Editor in Chief. Vuckovic was also recently named one of the 13 most important women in the history of horror. Now she is turning her talents towards filmmaking with her first film, The Captured Bird, which is being produced by Guillermo Del Toro. Film critic, film historian, editor, filmmaker, artist. And now writer with the release of Zombies! An Illustrated History from St Martin’s Press. Vuckovic is a strong voice in the world of horror, and now that voice tells us the story of the zombie.
Zombies! is kind of a horror fan’s coffee table book. Aside from the fantastic cover by Charlie Adlard who is known for his work on The Walking Dead comics, the book is chock full of interesting information about everything zombie. From the roots of the zombie mythology in history in Africa and elsewhere, to the zombie stories out of Haiti to modern day takes on zombie’s in film, Vuckovic covers it all, but does so in a concise, easy to browse way that is a genuine pleasure to read. Vuckovic is not one for filler, every word is carefully selected and quite to the point. Her opinions are stern ones, and she does not shy away from letting her well versed views be known. All the writing is fun and informative, and flows along effortlessly, making it almost impossible to get up from that first sitting. The history is fascinating, and the evolution of the zombie in films is equally engaging, giving the proper nods to genre godfather George A Romero for his contributions and inventions of the modern day zombie. Romero even wrote the forward for the book, which is just as entertaining as Vuckovic’s commentary.
With beautifully reproduced art ranging from paintings to movie stills to movie posters, the book is also a gem just for sitting and browsing the visual side of it. Zombies! almost serves as a ‘what to watch’ guide for the zombie lover, I found myself taking notes as to which films Vuckovic mentions that I hadn’t seen or wanted to revisit. Overall, this book is a must have volume for any zombie lover, horror lover, or film lover. Entertaining, informative, beautifully illustrated, and essential reading, I am hoping Vuckovic decides to take on other icons of horror in the future with companion volumes, from monsters to vampires to haunted houses, I know I would look forward to her schooled takes on everything horror. Vuckovic is indeed one of the most important women in horror, and I am looking forward to her foray into film with The Captured Bird as well.
Zombies! An Illustrated History is in bookstores everywhere now.