Paul Cantor on the walking-dead feds
Zombie Apocalypse in a ‘DC’ Comic
By Paul Cantor
September 21, 2013

All my life I have been watching the U.S. federal government steadily increase its power, but I never expected to see it expand into the comic book business. Imagine my surprise, then, when I found a comic book — excuse me, a “graphic novella”— on the official web site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a minor masterpiece of the horror genre entitled Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic. Evidently the political principle “never let a good crisis go to waste” extends even to fictional crises. Perhaps inspired by its appearance in the last two episodes of the first season of AMC’s popular television show The Walking Dead, the C.D.C. decided to make its own contribution to the growing body of apocalyptic zombie narratives, and to score some propaganda points for itself in the process. Unsurprisingly, on its own web site the C.D.C. manages to do what it — or any other government institution — conspicuously fails to do in The Walking Dead, namely to come up with a quick solution to the plague and work to cure it.