Sunday, September 19, 2010

Those Dead Sure Do Get Around

The Dead, or living dead, or animated corpses, or unconsecrated, or zombies, or whatever the kids are calling them these days, sure do get around. Zombies are everywhere you look these days. There are nazi zombies, female man-hating zombies, and you have zombies in America, England, etc. With so many zombies how does one find the stories that are worth while, not the ones that have gratuitous violence with a sprinkling of naked chicks? I have luckily found two comics which are both based on novels and both wonderful. The first is a graphic novel version of "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" and the second is a companion graphic novel to the "World War Z" universe, "The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks". I have read "Pride and Prejudice", seen the movie, and read a graphic novel version; however, the comic "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" is by far my favorite version to date. Unfortunately, I have yet to read the book "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" (which I can only assume to be equally as good). "World War Z" is also on my list of books to read, but until then "The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks" will have to do. If you are looking for fun with Zombies and comics, these are the way to go.

The "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" graphic novel is adapted by Tony Lee and illustrated by Cliff Richards. Originally written by Jane Austin and Seth Grahame-Smith, I cannot comment on how well the story translated from text to comic, but I can comment on the final comic product. The graphic novel is hilarious. Imagine that ever slow part of “Pride and Prejudice” is changed by adding zombies. The whole Collins-Charlotte episode is improved by the minister’s wife is slowly decaying into the undead. Instead of a stuffy battle of words between Lady Catherine and Lizzy, it is a battle to the death with swords. There is never a moment that I wished there were not zombie hordes roaming England. The Bennet sisters are greatly improved with their newfound zombie fighting skills. The excessive violence is what Jane Austin needed in her original. The art was well done, with unique shading that reflected the darkness of the world and the characters in this new version. I must say that overall "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" is a vast improvement.

"The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks" is written by Max Brooks, the zombie expert who brought the world "World War Z" and "The Zombie Survival Guide." “The Recorded Attacks" is a well thought out addition to the mythos that Max Brooks had created. Spanning from prehistory to modern day and the outbreak that caused World War Z, the presence of Zombie’s in the world is clear. The story telling is fresh and a nice blend of myth, plausible history, and zombie-tastic fun. Avatar Press takes care of the illustrations, which are plenty gruesome and just realistic enough that at times I want to turn my head away. The story telling and images work well together to create an interesting tale.

So, if Zombie is on the menu, instead of a hack and slash Zombie IV film, try one of these comics. They will not disappoint.

Sharpening her Machete to fight undead hordes,
J.R. West the Raccoon