So many things flash by our consciousness every single day. As we try to get from our own individual "Point A" to "Point B" we are constantly under a barrage of images, sounds, and influences about what to do, buy, look like...the list goes on. Yet, we make those choices on our own and so, even when so many of us might follow one trend or another, it is our unique outlook that allows it to still be something of our own creation.
Take zombies for instance. (Yeah, I bet you didn't see that coming!) The classic zombies from our beloved Romero movies were slow. The horror rested in their sheer numbers; that, and the fact that they were "us" for the most part. The idea of killing your husband, wife, or significant other is not a normal thought (for most of us...and seldom taken seriously). That would make killing that zombie that, for all intents and purposes, was a person that you loved, a difficult prospect. So many people make statements that they could not see how such a thing might spread. Simple. We are not designed to kill each other at a whim. If that were the case, the freeways would be a killing zone every night at rush hour.
But then Snyder brought us sprinting zombies in the remake of "Dawn of the Dead". I know that some of you are pounding your desk and demanding to know why I did not use "28 Days Later" as my example. Simple. They weren't zombies. It was a rage virus. Similar? Sure. But from my perspective, those were not zombies.
Some folks keep saying that the whole zombie craze should have just about run its course. Why? Because they don't like it? Or are those the same people that knock(ed) Hootie and the Blowfish? Huh? Oh...let me explain. Hootie was HUGE back in the early 90s. However, that band started in the clubs of South Carolina and then blew up. And when they hit, it was a tidal wave. You heard them on every station, all day. The inevitable happened as folks burned out on the Hootie craze. Yet somebody bought those millions of records. I would be willing to bet that many people who made jokes were also singing along in their cars and showers as Hootie pleaded, "Hold my hand..." Pretty soon it becomes more popular to take a shot at something (even if you once enjoyed it).
How long have vampires been mainstream? And say what you will about the "Twilight" saga, but it sold millions as well. And while folks certainly made "sparkly vampire" jokes, I don't recall many people saying that vampires would "run their course" or anything of the sort. Also, last I heard, the Twilight books and movies had made millions. Somebody is buying those tickets...reading those books. The author took her own perspective on vamps. It sold. Be mad, be jealous...but she is rich off a monster that should have run its course after Jack Palance portrayed Dracula on a movie-of-the-week. And how many vampire shows are on television right now?
There are a few new spins on the zombie out there. And I am certain there will be many more to come. While there may be a glut of zombie fiction, it is not all the same. With the blowing up of the genre, you have new and fresh minds using their own unique perspective and creating something fun. Sure, there will always be people that re-hash the classic story line, but like any mine, if you dig, you will find something that sparkles.
And there is another aspect to this equation that often can be overlooked. YOU. Yes, you, the reader. You come to the table with your own ideas. No matter how I might describe something, you color in the details with your own perspective. Every so often, I have offered up ideas for what actors I see in the roles of some of my characters. Take That Ghoul Ava. Famke Janssen. That is who I picture in my head when I write her. Now, ask other people and they have something else in their heads based on the world that they created using my words as a template.
That is my two-cents worth for the day.