Thursday, August 22, 2013
"Hey lover boy. How bout a kiss?"
Zombies are good at two things: causing mayhem and eating people. It's just about everyday that the two objective intersect and that's really all they need to do. Sometimes, zombies need a little more motivation to get into the world and that motivation makes for interesting reading in Zombie Tramp #1 from Action Lab Entertainment.
The first issue is written and illustrated by Dan Mendoza with letters by Zen.
The solicit for the work advertises Janey Belle as Hollywood's hottest, high-priced call girl. That is, until she was bitten by a zombie, consequently turning her in a zombie as well, all at the expense of her looks. Now, she roams the halls of Georges Brothel as part of a legend. Things are going swimmingly for her as far as zombies go, but her routine is interrupted by a unique offer from a young girl named Morning.
As far as origin stories go, Mendoza has definitely offered up quite a unique tale in Zombie Tramp #1. Janey Belle is perfectly content to channel her anger at being dead into ripping apart curious wanderers. What's more is the premise behind the series seems plausible enough, with Janey's motivation to help Morning anchored by her desire to look beautiful again. The issue does lack something of an explanation as to why Janey is the only zombie around. What's more, little is made of the original zombie who turned her.
It's easy to see how the work would devolve into another post-apocalyptic book if more zombies were present and it's clear that Mendoza wasn't going for such a world. Another drawback of the book is that it's plagued with typos. It's possible that the copy reviewed was just an early copy, but someone could stand to go back over it all and look for all the grammatical errors in the book, primarily surrounding punctuation. Outside of those two issues, the story itself is pretty humorous in tone and doesn't take itself too seriously.
Mendoza's art is where the issue excels. It's got a mature cartoon feel to it, illustrated primarily in black and white. There are splashes of color to emphasize certain events in the book. While the bulk of these accent colors are red for the blood, there are other small pops that really help the look. The art pulls no punches in its sex and gore though, with Janey a curl of hair away from being topless and arms joining limbs in mid-air. Endowing Janey as physically as Mendoza does could give pause to some readers, but it makes sense considering her previous role.
Zombie Tramp #1 is a book that targets a unique audience. If you're a fan of zombie books, this is definitely worth a look. If you're into books that are very tongue in cheek and can handle some sex and gore, this is a book that you should add to your list. It's not for everyone though, so keep that in mind going in. Having said that, the story is intriguing enough that it warrants reading the second issue, but the issue could stand another edit or two.
Zombie Tramp #1 should be available soon under the order code AUG13 0916.