Wednesday, April 4, 2012

iZombie : A Hipster Comic Book That's So Cool That You Don't Even Know About It Yet

    Good day to you and thanks for perusing our thoughts at Comical-Musings.  Always glad to meet a new friend and might I say that you are looking particularly handsome/beautiful today.  Anyways, Comical-Musings typically serves the purpose of pointing people to good comic book series for consumption or offering opinions on other comic book related things.  This simple fact prevents us from "breaking" news or even talking about something "cutting-edge" very often, but the simple truth is that you seem to enjoy what we offer and so we continue on.  You might be surprised to find that today's bit of enlightenment that I have for you is very "cool."  That word is not often associated with comic books, but iZombie earns the term handily.




    iZombie is a monthly ongoing comic book series that has been published since 2010 by DC's popular Vertigo imprint and is written by Chris Roberson with illustration by Mike Allred.  It was nominated for an Eisner (comic book Academy Award) in 2011 for best new series and deals with the particularly supernatural adventures that occur in Eugene, Oregon.  The story is technically in the "Horror" genre, but it is so much more than that.

The main cast of characters in iZombie consists of:

Gwen Dylan:  The main protagonist finds herself undead (zombified) and able to maintain a semi-normal existence as long as she occasionally consumes brains.  Gwen is partially looking for purpose in her second life, but will take love, fun, or adventure if it comes to her.




Ellie:  A ghost from the 60s-70s, Ellie is cute and naive, but figuring out how to work the angles of being a ghost.  She brings a sympathetic ear and a helpful ethereal hand to Gwen while trying to find excitement after being detached from her bland former life.



Scott:  Not everyone gets to be a sexy werewolf a la Taylor Lautner and Scott finds himself a nerdy programmer/gamer by day and a slightly embarrassing "were-terrier" when the moon is full.  We're talking Scottish terrier.  It's not even like he scours the rooftops looking to dine on flesh or anything.  He plays Xbox in boxers and fur.  Scott can't hide his attraction to Gwen and even has difficulty hiding his...problem from his friends.



    These friends slowly begin to understand their positions in their existence and we find a large group of supporting characters flooding in around these three.  The stories are thick and relational with a lot to latch on to.  I found myself almost lost on all of the plot lines and this is the one thing that I would caution you on.  Roberson lays many stories down and if you aren't paying attention, you could get lost.  The good news is that if you wanted to just frivolously pick up something and read it, Hulk would have been your choice, so you should know what you are getting into.  Also, it's still a pleasure to wander through beautiful places even if you are lost and Eugene, Oregon is a beautifully spooky place in Roberson's hands.

    In a brilliant story-telling device, iZombie isn't interesting because of how undead everyone is, but because of how alive they all are.  You feel real emotion off of every character and dialogue is rarely wasted.  iZombie might be feeding off the popularity of the genre, but it is very tongue and cheek and feels innovative.  Chris Roberson is very subtle in the way that he writes and Allred's art is beautiful and purposeful.  His graphic style and bright color pallet can often make you forget that you're reading a zombie story.  It is cartooning at it's highest form and I have been a sucker for it since he revolutionized X-Force in 2001.

Subtle, Emotional, Impactful

    I truly recommend this book to anyone looking for something different as it re-ignited my passion for reading comics recently.  I had no idea what I was getting into and now that I do, I want to share it with you.  Hopefully, you find it as captivating and take a monthly vacation to the graveyards of Eugene, Oregon with Chris, Mike, and myself.  iZombie is available in issues at your local comic book store for $2.99 a pop and if you want to catch up on the story, the trade paperback collections are available for $8.99 at Instocktrades.com.

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