Zombies! Feast (Graphic Novel)


If you have read any of IDW's comic/graphic novel renditions of zombie lore, then you know the basic gist of this one. They like random one-liners, colorful gore, shallow characters and a pacing that generally outruns the reader, leaving a few jarring gaps in story-line logic.

This graphic novel plays out like a fast paced indie movie on the zombie genre, the sort of thing you would find direct-to-DVD at your local video store, would purchase, and would overall enjoy watching with friends on a Saturday night with a couple of beers and some takeout. The story does not stop, does not breathe, and generally rushes along at full tilt to a point that you have to stop focusing on it. It takes about fifteen minutes to read (I feel bad for those that got in monthly installments) and you seldom care enough about any character to get bogged down by sadness as the body count hits the roof. In fact, I am pretty sure the average character dies either in the corner of a panel or slightly off panel, the story already moving on.

This style of storytelling will make or break it for you. Either you will enjoy the constant running with gore, with "story" scenes mostly suggested instead of inked out; or you will not. Almost all other considerations are mute until this is considered.

The best part of Zombies! Feast is that it deals with a very intense "dog eat dog" environment. For a number of reasons, your typical zombie situation is more about shaky teamwork than self-interest. This one reverses that. I like shaky teamwork, but variety is the spice of life.

The worst part of the graphic novel is the back-and-forth art styles. There are two (more?) artists working on this. One deals with more of a standard style and the other with more of a gritty style. I like the gritty, but either one would have worked if they did not alternate. As it was, you sometimes had to stop and readjust to which character was which. There is one person that I am not quite sure who she was, but I think I know.

Other complaints: the scenes jump (as said above). Most cases, it was easy to deal with it. In a few, I had to flip back and forth to figure out what just happened (and formulate theories, since sometimes it doesn't help you to find out). A pet peeve of mine was the "I've seen zombie movies" sort of shout out. This is valid, but it seems to jar with zombies being real. "I've seen zombie movies" is the sort of cliche you want to use when you are mixing up the genre, as in the case of Return of the Living Dead.

Gore is high, but if you are into zombies it will not be a problem. Language is the same way. Humor is of the dark kind. Action is fun, but never real consistent (and, when it does get more consistent, copies themes largely from The Walking Dead). I would recommend borrowing it instead of buying it, but if you are a zombie nut, like me, then you have already went and bought it and are moving on, never mind the reviews.

Written by W Doug Bolden

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