This past spring marked the tenth anniversary of the release of David Fincher’s Zodiac, the legacy of which continues to increase. Viewers and scholars continue to analyze the narrative power of Fincher and screenwriter-producer James Vanderbilt’s journalistic rendition – based on Robert Graysmith’s gripping works of journalism – of the events surrounding the actions of California’s most notorious serial killer.

On this occasion we welcome essays for an edited collection on portrayals of the Zodiac Killer in popular culture – in cinema, fiction, comics and graphic novels, and other media. Fincher’s film is of special interest, though we encourage readings of other films and media directly featuring the Zodiac, or serial killers “inspired” by or in dialog with him. Topics include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Aspects of Fincher’s Zodiac – role of reportage, investigation, women, community action, cinematic perspective, etc.
  • Connections to Zodiac and Fincher’s earlier serial killer film, Se7en (1995)
  • Readings/analyses of Tom Hansen’s The Zodiac Killer (1971) and other early responses, including Don Siegel’s Dirty Harry (1971), and those in other media
  • Studies of cult/horror films, books, or comics featuring/or inspired by the figure – William Peter Blatty’s Exorcist III (and/or his source novel, Legion, 1983), Eddie Muller’s The Grand Inquisitor (2008), the work of Uli Lommel (Zodiac Killer, 2005, and Curse of the Zodiac, 2007), Awakening of the Zodiac (Jonathan Wright, 2017), etc.
  • Feminist films in the serial killer tradition and dialogs with the Zodiac: Cindy Sherman’s Office Killer (1997), Patty Jenkins’ Monster (2003), etc.
  • International representations of the Zodiac Killer or figures in dialog, such as I Saw the Devil (2010), and including connections to anime/manga, as in Tokyo Zodiac Murders (1981), etc.
  • Cityscape studies, of San Francisco and outlying area, in light of the subject in popular culture
  • The serial killer tradition and dialogs with contemporary television series: Showtime’s Dexter (2006-2013), NBC’s Hannibal (2013-15), etc.

NOTE: We will consider readings of Graysmith only in light of adaptions in popular culture, and essays on the search for the Zodiac Killer only as portrayed in film, tv, fiction, or other media.

A publisher is already interested in the project. Please send a proposal (250 words) with a short bio (four-five sentences) by August 31, 2017 to:

Matthew Sorrento (msorrent [AT] camden.rutgers.edu)


David C. Ryan (ryand [AT] usfca.edu)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *