NEW YORK (MainStreet) – Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hit on a great way to promote awareness about disaster preparedness: zombies. The agency put out a blog post advising people on the correct ways to prepare for a zombie apocalypse, including tips for putting together a disaster kit and mapping out evacuation routes.
That clever strategy apparently did a good job of bringing awareness to disaster planning, and the agency has revisited the concept by putting out a “graphic novella” about zombies entitled Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic. At 32 pages, it’s more like a single-issue comic book than a novella, but we’re not going to complain about semantics if the government wants to start putting out comic books about zombies. The comic can be read in PDF format on the CDC website.
As for the story itself, it’s unlikely to join the pantheon of great living-dead tales. Much of the action revolves around the main characters learning about the plague from television reports, gathering survival supplies from the basement and waiting out the plague in their home.
There are no graphic zombie deaths to speak of (the closest we get is a zombified old woman getting pushed down the stairs), and no scenes of people – or their brains –bactually being eaten. We suppose this is to be expected, as the main goal here is to show people how to prepare for a disaster. Plus, the government is hardly going to publish a graphic depiction of a zombie getting decapitated.
Part of the story also shows the CDC itself working to solve the zombie plague, including a cameo by Rear Admiral Ali S. Khan, the director of the CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response. While we won’t ruin the end, we can tell you that the agency fares a bit better than the CDC did on AMC’s The Walking Dead.
If this were a real comic book in stores, we’d probably tell you that it’s not worth your money – there’s little action, the dialogue is stilted and the art is nothing to write home about.
But since it can be had for free, it’s worth checking out, if only for the solid disaster preparedness tips and the helpful checklist that follows the story. Plus, when’s the next time the government is going to use your tax dollars on a comic book?
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