Staff: J Wright
Great characterization and art but lacking in the story department.
So zombie comics are never really my thing. I should say that before I get too far into this one (UnDead End). I feel our media is supersaturated with the comic and I never really got bit by the fad. Sure Walking Dead is fun and Shawn of the Dead is probably in my top 50 favorite movies but the whole genre as a whole has kind of worn thin on me. So I’ll be reviewing this one in an objective fashion to try to keep from relying on that.
First off the art is downright gorgeous. It’s the right blend of gonzo, realistic, detailed, and colorful that it really stands out. The cover doesn’t do much to allay my fears that this will fall into the “generic zombie” format however. Three teen to twenty somethings (a girl, a good looking guy, and a fat guy with glasses) looking concerned as zombies surround them. Composition wise it’s pretty cool and I dig the almost Scooby-Doo Show/ Scott Pilgrim style backdrop and punky logo. Very telling. I also want to point out that the art on this is DETAILED. A lot of artists kind of leave background characters to the wayside but the cover features about a dozen zombies and they are all in dynamic poses with a lot of detail put in.
As we get further into the comic, the facial expressions really sell it and they continue the punky art style from the cover. The whole thing is rendered in very vibrant color and it combines to make a cohesive aesthetic. They do a great job at illustrating motion and I alway feel engaged- even in the slower scenes thanks to their use of exaggerated motion.
The lettering is spot on, even when I zoom in the font remains clear and legible. I know it’s a small thing but it always separates the bad comics from the good. Like the character designs, dialogue, color pallet, and cover, the font fits right in and is an asset rather than a detriment.
The characters are immediately identifiable and relatable. The dialogue is very real world and I can dig the depth and complexity they put into even a pizza delivery guy. A lot of times it’s not about how “awesome” your character is but how human they are. Having a guy worry about a birthmark and whine about being sick and not wanting to go to work is far more compelling than the normal run-of-the-mill “tragic” backstory I see week after week.
So while the characters are well developed it seemed like they kind of forgot to bring along a plot. Like I really like the characters and almost wish they were in a more interesting story. Each scene, as soon as you read the first few lines, kind of know where it is going. Yeah, the dialogue is enjoyable but it has all been done before and feel really derivative.
Overall this is a really well written comic with beautiful art that falls victim to it’s premise. It’s genetic and doesn’t exactly explore new territory. Geeky under-achieving nerd dude finds himself, his fat friend, and a love interest stuck in the middle of a zombie outbreak (stop me if you’ve heard this one before…) However, don’t let that stop you from checking it out. The artwork and dialogue really make this a standout and if nothing else read it for that. This was a pretty solid comic, to the point where I think maybe I should give the zombie genre another shot!