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Brains! CDC PSA is a zombie comic

Comic books are an excellent way to tell a story, and zombies are the hottest horror creatures of the moment. Can a comic book about zombies spice up a dull public service announcement from the Centers for Disease Control?

Recently the CDC issued a comic book called “Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic,” which delivers a set of tips about how to prepare for an emergency—in the form of a zombie survival story. The idea is that surviving a zombie attack (the worst case scenario) involves the same steps as preparing for a real pandemic or other widespread emergency.

It seems corny, but I think the CDC deserves some applause for this effort. It’s hard to take dull, repetitive, public-interest information and package it in a novel way, especially one that might appeal to kids. The book (prepared in-house by the CDC’s communications team, with writing by Maggie Silver and art direction by James Archer) is surprisingly well done.

Why are comic books so seductive? I think it’s because we’ve been conditioned since childhood to think that words printed in dialogue bubbles are supposed to be interesting. They’re often jokes (in newspaper comics) or condensed, dramatic dialogue (in graphic novels). There’s also a positive feedback loop of visual and written information: the words help you appreciate the pictures, and the pictures help you appreciate the words. It’s really hard to look at a page of comics and not read the word bubbles.

And zombie stories? Geez, that stuff is solid gold right now.

Below are a few pages from the CDC comic book. You can download the full book here.

Spotted via Ragan.com and USA Today.

— By Daryl Lang. Filed under Copywriting, Marketing

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