Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Book Review - Zomnibus Volume 2 (Graphic Novel)

Zomnibus Volume 2 (Graphic Novel)
Brian Lynch (Author), Jimmy Palmiotti (Author), Justin Gray (Author), Brea and Zane Grant (Authors), Dave Crosland (Illustrator), Giancarlo Caracuzzo (Illustrator), Kyle Strahm (Illustrator)
Trade Paperback
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Publication Date: October 18, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1613770566
320 pages

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      Even more zombie stories (with teeth and frat boys and plane crashes and flappers - and even more bbbrrraaaiiinnneeesss)

Stories include: 
     1. Everybody’s Dead – Written by Brian Lynch, Illustrated by Dave Crosland
3 ½ out of 5 brains

     2. The Last Resort – Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray Illustrated by Giancarlo Caracuzzo
5 out of 5 brains

     3. We Will Bury You – Written by Brea and Zane Grant, Illustrated by Kyle Strahm
3 out of 5 brains

     What I found truly interesting about Zomnibus Volume 2 is that each of the three stories starts before any zombification has begun and hardly a character notices that the undead are roaming (and moaning) the streets until somebody gets their face eaten off. I realize that this is a common zombie trope and fun (see Shaun of the Dead and The Walking Dead) but I found it curious that all three contained a similar premise. Still, they’re ZOMBIE stories and that makes them awesome goodness with bullets and arrows and axes and crow bars…

     “Everybody’s Dead”, the first story in the anthology is a Buffy-style pastiche about a small, low-budget college frat-house whose collection of weirdo’s survives a zombie invasion. The characters act as you’d expect from a bunch of buzzed/drunk college frat boys. Including taking risks for the favors of college women and not knowing when they’ve bitten off more than they can chew (yes, I realize this is a bad zombie pun, but give a guy a break). Even more interesting is that the rival frat-house is infected, and they’re coming to take their house back…. This is an amusing and fun undead story with excellent artwork.

      The second story, “The Last Resort” is, in my opinion, the very best of the stories in Zomnibus Volume 2. The government has been experimenting with a drug that’s supposed to make soldiers ├╝ber-fearless and inhumanly tough. But a mutant virus cultivated in these experimental soldiers escapes from an off-shore research facility to a Caribbean island resort filled with hopeful vacationers. When a plane full of unaffected humans is forced to crash-land on the island things go from spooky to downright terrifying quickly. Not to mention the body bag full of primo ganja and the rabid monkey-zombies?

      “We Will Bury You” the final story in the anthology is set amongst the flappers and mobster of the 1920’s and while interesting (and creative) in concept the story is not as fleshed-out as the others here. (Yikes! Will the zombie puns never end?) The alternate universe concept is clever and unique and the setting is a world waiting to be explored but the story itself is a bit stiff and the characters needed to be developed a little more for my taste. While this could have come off as mobsters (“we’ve got Thompson machine guns”) versus zombies (“we’ll eat all your flesh off”) it devolved instead into an intricate chase scene leaving it less of a story than it potentially should have been.

     File with: Zomnibus Volume 1, The Walking Dead, Marvel Zombies, The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks, World War Robot, Zombies vs. Robots, post-apocalyptic fiction, zombies, Zombie vs. Robots: This Means War! (prose), World War Z, and “hello cruel worlds.”

(About) 4 out of 5 brains

The Alternative
Southeast Wisconsin

Additional Reading:

Zomnibus Volume 2 Amazon Page

Zomnibus Volume 2 Bookish Page

Brian Lynch Wiki Page

Jimmy Palmiotti Wiki Page

Brea Grant Wiki Page
(She played Daphne Millbrook on the NBC TV series Heroes!)

Artists Websites:

Dave Crosland

Giancarlo Caracuzzo

Kyle Strahm

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