Thursday, January 6, 2011

Best comics of 2010: No. 9: i, zombie

I don't much get zombies.
Dawn of the Dead was great social satire in its day (the Romero version, that is). Walking Dead has its moments, and I enjoyed the couple episodes of the AMC series I've seen to date. If I Am Legend is a zombie story and not a vampire story (I see it as a bit of both), that one has merit on many levels.
But most of the best zombie stories are about the people surviving them, not about the zombies themselves.
I mean really. How much personality can you have if you can be accurately described as brain dead?
And I like Mike Allred enough. Red Rocket 7 was fun, the Nexus/Madman crossover is a longtime favorite, his run on X-Statix was intoxicating goofiness, and I adored his work with Neil Gaiman on Metamorpho in Wednesday Comics.
But this book is something special.
With Chris Roberson writing, Allred is giving us a wild romp through monsterdom with a touch of of Generation Tech (or whatever the media term is for the current generation) wit.
A cadre of twenty-something monsters holding it together in the so-called "real world". Among them, a ghost, a zombie (an annoyed young woman who works as a gravedigger), and a were-terrier.
The zombie abosrbs the sentience of the deceased after her feast. This makes her privy to the thoughts of a killer.
The killer, in turn, informs her of the way monsters work. In a fascinating issue about how ancient Egyptian religious concepts of the fractured soul result in different types of monsters, creatures and supernatural beings, a larger narrative is begun.
In the larger narrative, this gives our zombie heroine, Gwen, cause to rethink her actions.

But hey, right after that, it's the origin of Scott (Scottie?), the were-terrier!
Also on board are Dixie, the waitress at their all-night coffee hangout, Nemia the vampire, a blond ghost whose name I can't find at the moment, and a couple rather cyncial and capable monster hunters.

Tomorrow: paint, tag and old men, as we hit Part I of Best of 2010, No. 8