There is no doubt that zombies have taken over the pop culture scene worldwide and South Africa is definitely not immune to the infestation. Smallville Comics has been embracing this phenomenon by hosting the very first Zombie Walk in the south of Johannesburg as well as a Zombie cosplay competition. They continued with the zombie trend by hosting the author of Journal of A South African Zombie Apocalypse, Lee Herrmann, as part of their opening weekend festivities, held in honor of the brand new store in New Redruth, Smallville Comics 2.0.
On Sunday 01 March 2015, Lee visited Smallville 2.0 to host an informal discussion on his recently released book and the looming (depends on who you talk to) zombie apocalypse. The group discussed topics like which weapons could be found in your own backyard and how they thought they would cope during a massive infestation like we’ve seen in popular TV shows and movies. Lee also shared some of his inspirations behind the characters in the book and why he chose some of the locations in the story. Overall, it was an awesome morning and it was great to talk about zombies and our contingency plans (or lack thereof) with a group of like-minded individuals.
What’s the book like?
I quite enjoyed it. It was refreshing to read about a zombie apocalypse all while the author is referencing familiar landmarks like the Ultra City on the N1 going towards Pretoria or the Madiba statue standing in Sandton. The characters were well rounded and they all reacted in exactly the way you would think people would react in an infestation of this magnitude. Some people coped better than others and they all used what they know best, to try and get an edge over their adversaries. I didn’t see the end coming, I have to admit but I quite liked the twist. I would like to see a couple of more books in this series, particularly the story as seen by someone inside the Raiders camps and also what happened to Nomi, before she met the main characters. Well worth the read, especially if you’re a fan of South African writers. I'm looking forward to reading more books from this author.
About The Author
Lee Herrmann was born and raised in South Africa. He has always had a fascination with zombies and has numerous contingency plans for the eventual apocalypse. Therefore, while he waited, it made sense to write a book about zombies in South Africa. He has a great love of by comic books, movies, television and popular culture, and cites his zombie favorites as 28 Days Later, Dawn of the Dead and The Walking Dead.
About The Book
South Africa has been infected.
The army and police failed.
Government fell. And now the dead roam the streets.
Journal of a South African Zombie Apocalypse is a post-apocalyptic story set in South Africa, 2 years after a mysterious outbreak has ravaged the country. No one seems to know how it started, but the reality is that most of the rainbow nation is mindless; walking zombies and it’s survive or be eaten. After their supplies run out, 16 year old Kon, his brother and father leave their Pretoria home and embark on a journey for a new home. They come across Kat and Dirk, two fellow survivors on a mission to reach Robben Island, a reputed safe haven. Together they embark on an epic journey across the country. Along the way they befriend other survivors, and face an unrecognizable new world filled with new, unpredictable dangers. Oh, and there’s lots and lots of zombies. Journal of a South African Zombie Apocalypse is a coming of age story in a very different South Africa, and chronicles one family’s fight for survival against the walking dead.
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The important stuff:
Title: Journal of a South African Zombie Apocalypse
Pages: 180 pages
Retail Price: R120 (incl. VAT)
Publication Date: August 2014
ISBN Number: 978-0-620615-92-1
Format: Soft Cover, 198 x 129 mm, with matt lamination
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/ Horror