Book feature: Zombie McCrombie From an Overturned Kombi (picture book)

(image via Hardie Grant)
(image via Hardie Grant)


There’s a well-established pattern in movies especially, but also TV shows and books, that while humans may perish and drop like flies, dogs will soldier on unaffected.

It’s not always the case of course – for every Boomer (Independence Day), there’s – SPOILER! – often a Samantha (I am Legend) – but by and large man’s best friend does a fairly good job of staying out of harm’s way.

Unless, of course, they end up in Michael Ward’s hilarious version of the zombie apocalypse, Zombie McCrombie From an Overturned Kombi, in which dogs haven’t so much triumphed over the undead-inducing virus as succumbed to it in all its rotting flesh, running on autopilot, frisbee-ignoring “glory”.



Though not quite as terrifying as the infected dogs are in syfy’s Z Nation, where pretty every living thing is a walking, talking poster child for avoiding becoming a reanimated corpse, these canines, their tale told in ever-escalating, brilliantly-repetitive poetry, are most definitely endlessly funny, hungrily relentless and more than a little bit unhinged (in some cases, literally).

Brought wonderfully to life with illustrations by Gypsy Taylor,  and dragging body parts and rank odours in their wake, Zombie McCrombie (from an overturned Kombi) and his zombie doggy besties, Montague Klutz (trailing his guts) and Benedict Wise (enshrouded by flies), are on the hunt for brains, as is their flesh-craving way.

A brilliantly-realised parody of Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy, by Lynley Dodd, Zombie McCrombie from an Overturned Kombi is, as the publicity quite rightly promises “… a book for anyone who loves dogs … a book for anyone who loves zombies … a book for anyone who loves zombie dogs.”

And you might add for anyone who wonders what might happen the dogs of the undead come face to face with an enemy quite a bit more alive than they are.

It’s enormously cleverly-written, beautifully-illustrated, its delightfully sing-song rich cadence rendering the zombie apocalypse a far more poetic undertaking that you might ever have thought possible.

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