Here we are. Back again like a particularly tenacious zombie. You think you’ve put us down and boarded up all the windows and doors, but we still manage to shuffle our way in to bring you more of the horror comics that we love—and to eat the living.
We’ve been talking a lot about zombies on the podcast recently, from the Conversationalists in Pontypool to the work of Tom Savini and Resident Evil. Something that came up in our discussion about Pontypool was the idea of the zombie subgenre being saturated and we questioned if there’s anywhere left for the zombie shuffle to?
The answer is, of course, yes—but you probably need to bring something new to the table.
Dead Day from Aftershock Comics does just that.
Any modern comic which deals with zombies, to some extent, (un)lives in the shadow of The Walking Dead. The comic series and the AMC series have both been behemoths which have crossed over into mainstream consumption. Dead Day is a different beast, maybe more akin to the wonderful (and cut short too soon) BBC series In the Flesh. We're looking at a world in which zombies have (sort of) been accepted into society.
The first issue (released in May this year) introduces us to the Haskins, a normal family in normal suburbia, preparing for the normal annual holiday: Dead Day. And what happens on Dead Day, I hear you ask? The dead rise. Some to see loved ones, some to have a good time, while others are looking for revenge.
This is an intelligent, refreshing approach to zombie fiction from writer Ryan Parrott and artist Evgeniy Bornyakov. One that I strongly recommend you take a look at. Obviously we’re in the early stages in the life of Dead Day, but there is a huge amount of promise in the concept, story and characters.
One of the aspects to Dead Day which has grabbed me so much is that there is a definite feel of something building—no hordes of zombies descending on the Haskins (yet)—and that patient approach to storytelling means I think we could be in for something brilliant. The focus is more on family drama—the relationships and dynamics between characters (the same way Hereditary is a family drama…)
Plus, the goat bit. Not saying anything else.
Next up, I’m passing the reigns back to Matt and…
Remember to support your local comic book store. We got our copy of Dead Day from our personal favourite: Chaos City Comics. If you have any recommendations of comics that you think we should be looking at, get in touch and let us know.