Max Brooks wrote World War Z using his previous book, The Zombie Survival Guide, as a guide. This fact gives us a few extra bits of information about Brooks's zombie universe. For example, the zombies rise from the grave due to a virus called Solanum. No devil worshiping or alien wavelengths here. The Zombie Survival Guide also provides extra history on World War Z's history. Finally, in case you ever find yourself in a zombie situation, here are Brooks's 10 lessons for surviving a zombie encounter: (1) Organize before they rise! (2) They feel no fear, why should you? (3) Use your head: cut off theirs. (4) Blades don't need reloading. (5) Ideal protection = tight clothes, short hair. (6) Get up the staircase, then destroy it. (7) Get out of the car, get onto the bike. (8) Keep moving, keep low, keep quiet, keep alert! (9) No place is safe, only safer. (10) The zombie may be gone, but the threat lives on. (source)
Max Brooks is the author of World War Z…wait, Brooks… Brooks… Brooks. Does that sound familiar? It should, because he shares the name with his father, comedic legend Mel Brooks. Brooks wrote and directed such comedy films as Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles. And like father like son, both these guys have gone on to do particularly well at their chosen professions. Just check out the link to see ten awesome things Mel Brooks has done other than make movies.
So, you've read World War Z. Maybe you liked it, maybe you hated it, or maybe you just don't know how you feel. But you know who refuses to even read it? Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead, that's who. It's not because he hates Max Brooks though. Quiet the opposite. He doesn't want to read World War Z or The Zombie Survival Guide because he's afraid he'll inadvertently rip-off Brooks's ideas. He claims he'll read both after he's finished his comic series. Just a couple hundred more issues to go now. (source)
Sure, George Romero's Night of the Living Dead gets all the love because it created an entire subgenre and helped define the modern horror movie. But it wasn't the first zombie movie ever. That honor goes to 1932's White Zombie, staring master of horror Bela Lugosi. In this film, the zombies are traditional voodoo zombies, and it's left ambiguous as to whether or not they are reanimated corpses or just hypnotized slaves. Either way, they be zombies. What does this have to do with World War Z? It's important to know your genre history.