Undead in the West II: They Just Keep Coming

"The undead are back! This sequel to Undead in the West: Vampires, Zombies, Mummies, and Ghosts on the Cinematic Frontier" moves beyond screens large and small into the realms of literature, sequential art, gaming, and fan culture (fan fiction, blogging, fan editing, and zombie walks). Its essays run the gamut from comics and graphic novels such as American Vampire, Preacher, and Priest, and games like Darkwatch and Red Dead Redemption, to novels and short stories by celebrated writers including Robert E. Howard, Joe R. Lansdale, and Stephen King.

Featuring a foreword by renowned science fiction author William F. Nolan (Logan’s Run) and an afterword by acclaimed game designer Paul O’Connor (Darkwatch), this collection will appeal to scholars of literature, gaming, and popular culture, as well as to fans of this unique hybrid.

Check out the Undead in the West II page on Facebook for chapter summaries, author profiles, and examples of the spectacular undead art that illustrates the book.


William F. Nolan

Cynthia J. Miller and A. Bowdoin Van Riper

I.  Pioneers on a Wide-Open Frontier

Chapter 1:
Vaqueros and Vampires in the Pulps: Robert E. Howard and the Dawn of the Undead West
Jeffrey Shanks and Mark Finn

Chapter 2:
Weird Western Comic Books of the 1950s
Paul Green

Chapter 3:
Filling Up the West with Dead Folks: Joe R. Lansdale
Cynthia J. Miller

Chapter 4:
On Death’s Horizon: Wandering Spirits and Otherworldly Landscapes in Western Art and Cinema
Courtney Fellion

II. Lawmen & Gunmen in the Badlands

Chapter 5:
Genre Exchange on the Supernatural Frontier in Stephen King’s The Gunslinger:
The Gunfighter Archetype Meets the Ravenous Other
Adam S. Kozaczka

Chapter 6:
Vampires and Vermin: The Ambivalences of Historical and Generic Revision of the West(ern) in Darkwatch
Christina V. Cedillo

Chapter 7:
Finding a Noble Purpose in the Post-apocalyptic Zombie West: Identity Development in Jonathan Maberry’s Rot and Ruin
Julia Saric

Chapter 8
Allegorical Confrontation Meets Gaming System: Rhetoric and Trauma within Red Dead Redemption/Undead Nightmare
M. Melissa Elston

Chapter 9:
Go West, Young Fang!: Skinner Sweet as Outlaw and American Vampire
Andrew John Sneddon and Aspasia Stephanou

III. Men of God on Hallowed Ground

Chapter 10:
A Baptism of Blood: Priest and the Regeneration of Violence on Min-Woo Hyung’s Frontier
Will Grady

Chapter 11:
Ghosts of Texas: The Duke, The Vampire, and The Saint of Killers in Preacher
Jim Casey and Marc Petersen

Chapter 12:
“And Hell Followed with Him:” Gothic Economics in Clint Eastwood’s Pale Rider
John Edgar Browning

Chapter 13:
Scratching Open Old Wounds:  The Supernatural Brujo and the Undead Body in The Missing and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
Jericho Williams

IV.  Communities at the Edge of the Unknown

Chapter 14:
Days Gone Bye: Robert Kirkman’s Re-envisioned Western, The Walking Dead
Jeffrey A. Sartain

Chapter 15:
Genre Mashing in the Role-playing Game: Deadlands: The Weird West, the Horror-Steampunk-Western
Rachel Mizsei Ward

Chapter 16:
Unsettled: Ghosts, Zombies, and Indians in the American West
C. Richard King

Chapter 17:
Undead and Online: Fan Communities and the Undead Western
Matthias Stork & A. Bowdoin Van Riper

Paul O’Connor

Notes on Contributors

From the Cover

The Western is dead: pundits have forever proclaimed such. So it seems both ironic and absolutely logical that in the postmodern era the form should be seen as vitally undead. Moreover, volumes like this one demonstrate that the Western's scholarship continues vigorously alive.
— Jim Kitses, author of Horizons West, Gun Crazy, and The Western Reader

Fans of comic books have no problem embracing stories that mash-up genres in an un-ironic way. I think these kinds of mash-ups can revitalize the genres being played with. Taking Western genre characters and placing them in non-genre stories or placing non-genre characters into Western genre settings is a great way to keep these stories fresh.
— Scott Stewart, writer, producer, director (Legion, Priest) More

My co-editor, Cindy Miller, discusses Undead in the West on Sci-Fi Pulse