Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween Spotlight: Zombie Comics

Every year before Halloween, I put together a list of some specific sort of monster so people can get in the mood for the holiday and read some ghoulish comics. Last year it was vampires. Before that, werewolves and witches. This time around, it's zombies. Now, there are a hell of a lot of zombie comics out there, so this is only a sampling, but this is a good place to get started if zombies are your thing...
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The Walking Dead
Robert Kirkman's extremely popular book is very character-focused, and explores not only the darkness of zombies, but the dark side of humanity in a world besieged by a zombie plague. I highly recommend this book, but it takes a few volumes to really get good.
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Zombie Powder
This is an unfinished manga series by Tite Kubo, creator of Bleach. It follows a small group of people on a quest to find The Rings of the Dead, twelve rings that together, can resurrect the dead, but individually, drain the life force of those who touch it.
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Escape of the Living Dead
This five issue mini-series from Avatar Press is a sequel to Romero's Night of the Living Dead, but ignores his subsequent films.
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The Mammoth Book of Zombie Comics
A collection of zombie comics and short graphic works, this anthology boasts stories from the likes of Steve Niles, Vincent Locke, Hideshi Hino and more.
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Marvel Zombies
An extremely popular superhero-horror comic mini-series that's spawned a few sequels, has carried over into other Marvel titles such as Ultimate Fantastic Four, and crossed over with Army of Darkness. The book follows a parallel universe to the Marvel Universe, where a zombie plague has transformed hero and villain alike into superzombies! It sort of reads like a dark comedy featuring Spider-Man and friends. Weird, but a hell of a lot of fun. Read my review here.

Tokyo Zombie
This is a horror-comedy manga about two factory workers who may have inadvertently started a zombie plague while trying to cover up the accidental murder of their boss.

Marv the Zombie
An on-line comic, this is a comedy in the form of a comic strip. Check it out here.

Dead Eyes Open
In this world of zombies, the monsters are still conscious and relatively "alive," and fight for human rights. The story follows a psychologist who keeps his office pretty frigid to keep his body from decomposing and losing clients for what he is.

Warren Ellis' Blackgas
Some sort of chemical is released from the bowels of an isolated island during an earthquake that transforms everyone on the island who breathes it into a flesh-eating monster. The sequel to the original mini-series picks up directly where the last one left off. Read my review here.

Zombie
This is a Marvel MAX mini-series following a bank heist where the robbers and their captives suddenly find themselves in the midst of a zombie invasion.

Biohazard
This is from the early 90's. A chemical released during an explosion at a biotech company results in the reanimation of dead flesh. Fast-forward five years and some military survivors are bunkered down in a makeshift base to keep the undead out.

Bogus Dead
An anthology of humans striving to stay alive after a zombie infestation. There are 42 short stories in this book, between one and four pages long, from talent such as Megan Kelso, Paul Lyons and Matt Shultz.

Toe Tags
DC Comics somehow coerced George A. Romero himself to write this mini-series, illustrated by Tommy Castillo. Featuring a cute ass-kicking heroine, her boyfriend and...an elephant?

Tomie
This manga sees high school zombie girl Tomie as quite the force of nature in disturbing tales by master horror artist Junji Ito. She can make men fall in love with her, possess people with her hair...and she always comes back for more.

Containment
Zombies in space! A malfunction to cryogenic sleep pods aboard a NASA ship transforms most of the crew into zombies.

Black Sun, Silver Moon
This manga series is about a boy who begins to help the local priest to pay off some of his father's debts. Included in his tasks is cooking, cleaning...and helping to destroy the zombies that rise from their graves!

Zombies vs. Robots
Ashley Wood and Chris Ryall bring us the story of robots and zombies fighting over the last surviving human baby.

Daybreak
Daybreak follows a few human survivors during a zombie plague as they scavenge for food and try to survive. The zombies are never seen in this art comic by Brian Ralph. Review here.

Tales of the Zombie
A Marvel horror title in the 70's featuring super-strong zombie Simon Garth, with villians like Brother Voodoo. This title resurrected Garth from a story from 1950, pre-Comics Code. Simon Garth went on to appear in a few other Marvel Universe titles as well, including Spider-Man and Daredevil.

Zombie-Loan
This manga follows a girl with Shinigami eyes, who is able to see a ring (invisible to other people) around a person's neck when they are marked for death. The rings grows darker as death closes in on them until it's black and they die. She soon notices two boys in her class with black rings around their necks who are amazingly enough, alive. It turns out that they made a deal with the "Zombie-Loan" office to hunt down zombies for them in return for their lives.
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Remains
Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) pens the story of a nuclear incident that sees the victims die...and rise again as zombies. Featuring a blackjack dealer and a topless dancer.

Zombie King
Frank Cho does zombies in this Image Comics tale of a pharmaceutical company's breakthrough drug that can mend bones and reanimate dead cells.

Zombies Calling
Faith Erin Hicks' zombie tale is about a girl who's plain out-of-luck. But when zombies attack, she seems to be the only one who knows how to survive - by following the rules of zombie movies, of course!
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Reiko the Zombie Shop
A manga that follows a necromancer-for-hire who raises the dead so people can say goodbye to their loved ones.
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Raise the Dead
A mini-series from Leah Moore and John Reppion with some nice art in a character-focused zombie apocalypse book.
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High School of the Dead
A group of high school students and the school nurse try to survive a zombie plague in this manga series. Great title.
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Zombie Hunter
A violent manga about an ex-race car driver who hunts down and kills zombies.
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Zombie World
A reanimated priest from an ancient cult unleashes a zombie plague unto the world to sacrifice Earth to his dark gods.
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Last Blood
A group of vampires protect the last surviving humans of a zombie plague! Great premise.

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