Last updated: February 17. 2013 12:45AM - 301 Views

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Jeanie Sluck isn't fazed by the living dead.

In fact, the Taylor Community Library's director is ready to embrace zombies with open arms – after all, they're helping to bring in readers and, next week, donations to aid the facility.

"I've seen lots of trends," Sluck said. "Vampires have been done to death."

"Zombies are so exciting," she continued, gesturing toward a table full of books with the semi-skeletal undead leering from the covers.

Each new book seems like manna for legions of new fans, ranging from youth to more than a few adult readers.

"I talked to a woman in her 50s who is so excited about this," Sluck said. "It's amazing. It truly is amazing."

And it is that broad demographic organizers hope will turn out on Sunday, Sept. 23 for a 10:30 a.m. zombie brunch and discussion at Colarusso's LaPalazzo on Birney Avenue in Moosic, with proceeds to benefit the Taylor library.

The brunch is one of several events planned as part of Infect Scranton, a three-day "Zombie-con" that kicks off Friday, Sept. 21. And while the ghoulish event may have Scranton in its title, several of the key happenings will actually be in Taylor, including Saturday's 5K run and convention events at Riverside High School.

For zombie aficionados, this is a pretty big deal.

Judith O'Dea is one of many guests at Infect Scranton who will be signing autographs on Saturday. She is one of the few actors to have had the privilege to act in the first ever flesh-eating zombie film, 1968's "Night of the Living Dead."

"I did not start being invited to conventions until decades later, I think because I was out of sight, maybe I was out of mind," O'Dea said in a telephone interview. "But I think it was maybe 15, 25 years before, ‘Oh, maybe we'll invite Judy. I wonder if she's available,' kind of thing."

"Now, I really enjoy receiving the invitations because, in all honesty – please believe me when I say this – being able to talk to the people who have sustained this film is one thing I love more than anything else," O'Dea added. "That's really why I go to these conventions. I love talking to the people."

If you go

WHAT: Zombie brunch and discussion, featuring Meet Matt Mogk, author of "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Zombies," and others.

WHEN: Sunday, Sept. 23, 10:30 a.m.

WHERE: Colarusso's LaPalazzo, 4500 Birney Ave., Moosic.

COST: Tickets are $20 and include brunch.

INFO: 562.1234. For a full schedule of Infect Scranton events, visit www.infectscranton.com

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