We all know the theories about 2012 by the Mayans and other sources; this book by Don Roff and Chris Lane brings their readers into the world of January-March, 2012. Think of it as a rendition of “zombie apocalypse”; the book takes the backdrop of such an event where a sickness has made the dead rise to once again walk the earth. It brings the reader to the supposed pages of a manuscript or a journal if you will about the year that the contamination took place.
Robert Twombly is a medical doctor who becomes trapped in the hospital he works in when an outbreak of a mysterious worldwide infection that began around January 7, 2012. Twombly catalogues his experiences and observations with the undead, his stay with other survivors as he tries to find any signs of civilization that takes him on a journey. He catalogs his day to day experiences at a time when such experiences aren’t kept. This is his story…
“Zombies” doesn’t exactly offer anything new but it does make the most of what it’s got with its medium. The illustrations are pretty gruesome and the way they are executed may appear to be ‘pretty’ for something that is supposed to have been taken from a manuscript. The writing itself is also pretty simple and uses simple words as if it was being written as “one of us”. For some reason, the script exuded something quite eerie and it does somehow convey the helplessness of the situation in a world mostly inhabited by the undead.
I liked the way the book brought the scientific deductive reasoning into the mix much like zombie-maestro George Romero’s “Day of the Dead” and some subtle touches of "Dawn of the Dead". The book discusses scientific findings/observations in bringing the disease to exposition. The signs of the disease are fleshed out and I liked the way they were broken down. The source of the infection is a little more creative and I have to say, it was one of the book’s best assets because of its simplicity. I also liked the way it got into the rules of the undead; ‘fresh’ zombies tend to move a little quicker than the truly decomposed ones and the time of being ‘zombified’ plays a strong factor. The shot in the head isn’t quite as easy this time around, as this shot requires a perfect bullet to the frontal lobe; and yes, blunt solid objects and sharp axes may prove more useful by their ability to simply remove the head.
The book also elaborates the ways to kill the undead as well as the potential natural demise by way of carrion eaters. (Although the question whether animals can carry the virus isn’t exactly answered). It also gives the zombies some character as with the one by the river who was just starving that it began to bite its slightly fresh arm. Some zombies also have their own social order although they are brain dead, they retain several residual memories. I know most movies portray the zombies as not ‘preying’ on one another, well; this book has the guts to question what if?
Our main protagonist meets up with several survivors and they represent the different aspects of society. I liked the way the group of yahoos (who were just simply enjoying the massacre of zombies) was brought into the mix, as they represent the questions if humans should indeed retain control of the earth. There is a lone woman who gets along by traveling with no clear answer to what her goals were. Humanity is limited to ‘pocket’ groups who try to re-establish themselves. They begin by protecting and isolating themselves but these zombies know how to stage a ‘siege’ in a manner that was very intriguing. Zombies exhibit small amounts of intelligence, enough to overrun and spring traps, but again, it all depends on how long they were ‘turned’.
If ever, zombies do attack in the future, this book may prove to be a good guide. It sets the groundwork in which one should be able to survive a holocaust by moving around and not staying in one spot. “Zombies” may have the clichéd factors in its script but it does manage to bring about some compelling notes about the undead. It is also brings forth certain aspects of loneliness, hopelessness and helplessness; the writing is able to bring these things into exposition and captures the right mood. This graphic novel isn’t at all scary but it is interesting enough to be added to the zombie fan’s collection.