Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Book Review - Zomnibus Volume 1 (Graphic Novel)

Zomnibus Volume 1 (Graphic Novel)
Shane McCarthy (Author), El Torres (Author), Chris Ryall (Author), Chris Bolton (Illustrator), Enrique Lopez Lorenzana (Illustrator), Yair Herrera (Illustrator), and Ashley Wood (Illustrator)
Trade Paperback
Publisher: IDW Publishing;
Publication Date: First Edition September 15, 2009
ISBN-13: 978-1600105272
380 pages


     A zombthology of more zombie goodness (and a lot of bbbrrraaaiiinnneeesss…)

Stories include:

     1. Zombies!:Feast – Written by Shane McCarthy, Illustrated by Chris Bolton and Enrique Lopez Lorenzana
4 out of 5 brains

     2. Zombies!:Eclipse of the Undead – Written by El Torres, Illustrated by Yair Herrera
4 out of 5 brains

     3. Complete Zombies vs. Robots – Written by Chris Ryall, Illustrated by Ashley Wood*
5 out of 5 brains

     I’ve often wondered why zombies are so vocal. What with all the “arrrggghhh’s” and “urrgghh’s” it’s almost as if their imminent approach came with a built-in early warning system for the non-ambling survivors. Wouldn’t zombies be infinitely scarier if they were absolutely silent and we couldn’t hear them coming? And I understand the whole putrefy thing. Hey look, Billy, I’ve got your nose… but wouldn’t rigor mortis set in eventually and turn them all into living pieces of non-shambling statuary? Or by 21st Century standards “works of art”? And really, who on earth would be frightened by half-a-zombie slowly crawling towards them? I can visualize gangs of post-apocalyptic teenage boys taunting two half-zombies to drag race. And zombies rising up out of the sewers (Dude, you smell like crap!) is so cliché. But I digress…

     Seriously though, how can anyone not love a good zombie story?! That goes double for a shambling-undead graphic novel. And, in the stories found in Zomnibus Volume 1 no one gets out alive. Oh, shoot! Should I have said SPOILER there? On second thought, I can’t remember a zombie story when everyone got out alive and the three stories included in this brilliant anthology are no exception. (Should zombies be called spoilers? Hmmm…. You heard it here first.)

     In Zombies!: Feast and Zombies!: Eclipse of the Undead we find familiar urban settings taken over by the flesh-eating undead. In the first story, a band of hardened convicts being relocated to a new prison by bus find out how tough it is in a new un-dead world and in the second story, a sword-wielding sensei cuts a path through a wall of zombies to save a few brave and honest souls. In both stories, the chance of survival is next to nil. Yet a flicker of hope keeps the narratives, and the characters, moving forward. Both accounts are beautifully drawn, darkly macabre, and tell very different, but entertaining, zombie infestation stories.

     Complete Zombies vs. Robots is a murky and foreboding collection of stories that turn into a triple-threat apocalypse rather quickly. A zombie apocalypse, a robot apocalypse, AND nuclear war combine to create a truly horrific zombie-winter cautionary tale. The art work here is breathtaking and each panel is a total work of creative genius. Minimalistic in some panels, though effective, the scenes are always pleasing to the eye, even the gory, brain-splattering (payoff!) ones.

     File with: The Walking Dead, Marvel Zombies, The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks, World War Robot, Zombies vs. Robots, post-apocalyptic fiction, World War Z, zombies, and “hello, cruel worlds.” (And any other zombie book I’ve reviewed in the past six years.)

4 ½ out of 5 brains

The Alternative
Southeast Wisconsin

Additional Reading:

Zomnibus Volume 1 Amazon Page

Zomnibus Volume 1 Preview

Zombies!:Eclipse of the Undead Preview

Artists Websites:

Chris Bolton

Enrique Lopez Lorenzana

Yair Herrera

Ashley Wood

Ashley Wood Blog

[* Note: If she hasn’t already, Ashley Wood should be awarded for her talents. She’s a gifted artist, has that “it” factor, that really needs to be noticed by the masses. I know that I’ll be purchasing anything she’s associated with from now on.]

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