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Book combines comics, history -- and zombies

  • Story Highlights
  • "Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks" released Wednesday
  • Author Max Brooks says he's always been a "history nerd"
  • Romans, cavemen and ninjas all get a crack at undead in graphic novel
  • Brooks and Brazilian artist Ibraim Roberson worked remotely on project
By Doug Gross
CNN
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(CNN) -- With the movie "Zombieland" sitting on top at the box office, fans of the walking dead got another grisly, ghoulish treat on Wednesday.

"He's so meticulous," author Max Brooks said of "Recorded Attacks" illustrator Ibraim Roberson:

"He's so meticulous," author Max Brooks said of "Recorded Attacks" illustrator Ibraim Roberson:

"The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks," the latest in the series of zombie chronicles by author Max Brooks, is a graphic novel that looks at the undead menace throughout history.

"When I wrote 'Zombie Survival Guide,' I always wanted to come back to the historic attacks at the end of the book," said Brooks, whose "World War Z" is in development to become a movie. View a gallery of essential zombie movies Video

In the book, illustrated by Brazilian artist Ibraim Roberson, cavemen, the Roman legions and African slaves all battle the undead with varying degrees of success.

"More than a zombie nerd or a science fiction nerd, I'm a history nerd," said Brooks. "I was a history major in college -- history is probably the only subject that allowed me to graduate high school."

And in a move sure to please genre fans -- Brooks might say "genre nerds" -- there's even a scrap in feudal Japan between zombies and ninjas.

"It's never a bad thing to put zombies and ninjas together," said Brooks, whose father is comedy legend Mel Brooks.

In looking for the right artist to set his story to a comic format, Brooks said he reviewed lots of artists before settling on Roberson.

"He's head and shoulders above most people illustrating today," Brooks said. "The book itself is unique and I wanted a unique look. His artwork is unlike anything else I've ever seen, zombies or otherwise ... . He's so meticulous."

But turning his work into a two-person job required some extra effort. The former "Saturday Night Live" writer said he hadn't worked with a collaborator since being on the show. Roberson was in Brazil during the writing of the book.

"It was definitely a new world for me to sharpen my communication skills," he said. "Usually, the way I worked was brain to pen to paper. Now it was brain to e-mail."

Next up for Brooks, he said, is a writing project he deems "top secret" and a comic-book mini-series for IDW Publishing detailing the classic comic/action figure characters of "G.I. Joe."

"They're not continuing stories," he said of the project with the working title, "Hearts and Minds. "They're up-close and personal stories for G.I. Joe and Cobra characters."

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