I, Zombie #1 (Vertigo; w: Chris Roberson p/i: Mike Allred)
I really enjoyed I, Zombie #1, but then I find it difficult to control my emotions when presented with the art of Mike Allred. From Madman! to Red Rocket 7 to especially especially ESPECIALLY his run on X-Force (which morphed into X-Statix thanks to whiny fanboys (and girls)), I can't get enough of his luscious lines. So yes, I'll admit it: I was predisposed to like this book on some level. Lucky for me, the story is intriguing enough that I won't be coming back solely for the art.
Gwen Dylan is a gravedigger...and a zombie. She's tasked with eating a brain once a month lest she degenerate into one of those zombies- you know, the kind that stand around going "muhhhh" and attempting to eat people. So, after her shift Gwen digs up someone she's just buried and munches on a foul, mouldering cerebellum. When she does this, she absorbs the memories of the deceased (duh, that's just science)...and they're not always pleasant. Sometimes the dead person was murdered to death, and to quell the images in her head, Gwen must solve the mystery and find the killer.
Zombie Nancy Drew? Yes, please. In I, Zombie, the small town of Eugene, Oregon is home not only to zombie gravediggers but vampire paintballers, go-go girl ghosts, and "wereterriers". All drawn by Mike Allred. I'll say it again: yes, please. And the first issue, at least, is only a buck! YES, PLEASE.
We Will Bury You #2-3 (IDW; w: Brea Grant, Zane Austin Grant p/i: Kyle Strahm)
Here's my review of WWBY #1 to get you up to speed.
WWBY #2 picks up right where the first issue ended, as lovers Fanya and Mirah find themselves confused and surrounded by the living dead on the streets of New York City. They've got to figure out what's going on, find a way to get to safety, and work through the little issue of, you know, Fanya having killed Mirah's husband. As the voices on the radio insist that America's hearty "can-do" spirit will see the country through the crisis, reports leak through that Europe and Asia have fallen to the strange plague as well. The smart writing and social commentary present in the first issue continues here, and man- artist Kyle Strahm has really amped up the gore as the zombies decimate the population of New York. The last page alone is worth the price of admission.
In WWBY#3, the girls find themselves at Coney Island, holed up with the sideshow freaks and a few military-types. When one is faced with the a zombie apocalypse outside the window, an inevitable question arises: do you fortify the building, or look for an escape route? What's the best way to ensure the safety of the group? Fanya, who fled war and revolution in her native Ukraine, says that "It all ends sometime. You just have to know how to survive." Man, there's only one issue of this mini-series left. I'm kind of dying to find out if Fanya and Mirah will survive. Stupid zombies, always ruining everything!
Night Business #1-3 (Traditional Comics; w/a: Benjamin Marra)
I'd hope that all I would need to do to convince you to pick up Night Business is to post the cover for issue #3. So here.
If that's not enough, then watch this.
If you're still not convinced, then know this: I had more fun reading Night Business than I've had reading comics in a long time. The story- a violent tale of a knife-wielding slasher killing strippers throughout the city- is set in 1983. This is no faux-retro bullshit à la the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, however- it's as if Marra found some vintage comics in a time capsule and decided to publish them himself. These books reek of the 80s in the best way possible, and I found myself glancing at the cover several times to reassure myself that these are put out by Traditional Comics and not, say, Malibu or Now. Though it's black & white on newsprint (YES newsprint), it feels like teal & magenta in neon. From the art to the language, from the clothes to the names, from the punches thrown to the tough-guy attitudes, from the nipples bared to all that fucking hair, Night Business is exploitation perfection.
In my dreams, somehow Night Business will come out as a movie (straight to Vidmark VHS) in 1985 and all of the strippers- every last one of them- will be played by Linnea Quigley. The tough-as-nails detective, of course, will be played by Christopher George. Go to Traditional Comics and get these. What more can I say?