iZombie Volume 1: Dead to the World
Writer Chris Roberson
Art by Mike Allred
I love hipsters (there, I finally said it)!
At the end of the day, those beanie-wearing, butt crack-exposing, PBR-swilling smart asses love them some comics and zombies. And guess what? So do I. (Wait…am I a hipster?)
Apparently, writer Chris Roberson and artist Mike Allred have figured this out as well. Their Vertigo series iZombie shows equal parts appreciation and disregard for its “alternative” audience and the horror genre.
A professional grave digger out of Eugene, Gwen’s job isn’t ideal but at least it puts food on the table…literally. Y’see, to her knowledge, Gwen is the first and only totally aware and fully functional zombie.
At night — once the condolences have ended and while the dirt is still fresh — Gwen satisfies her brain cravings by digging back up the recently departed for dinner. It’s her way of cheating her basic zombie survival needs, making her a zed with a heart (er…compassionate, I mean).
When a couple of still-living Eugene residents start missing, Dylan starts to suspect that another ghoul may not be playing by the rules. Gwen fires up the Mystery Mobile and investigates. Little does she realize that the real answer to her own after-life anomaly is part of the crime.
With iZombie, Writer Chris Roberson (Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love, Book of Secrets) invites all the traditional horror movie archetypes on board, injecting them with copious amounts of chic. Just when Gwen’s story seems to be stumbling into a house of horror cliches, Roberson uses her and her entertainingly ostentatious surroundings to undercut the seriousness.
All this trendiness is complimented by Mike Allred’s recognizable pop art approach. I’ve always found something slightly neurotic yet mesmerizing about Mike Allred’s work (check out his stuff on Madman or X-Statix). Here, the artist’s oddball style fits perfectly with the creep crawly world of Eugene, OR.
With a cast of characters that includes a werewolf, a shagadelic poltergeist, paintballing vampire sluts, and an intriguing update of the Mummy, iZombie has quite a few subplots to crawl through before it hits its stride. Fortunately, once the book stumbles through all the introductory stuff its cool factor kicks into high gear.
iZombie won’t convert any hipster haters into American Apparel models but (let me warn you) you may feel a bit chichier for it.