The best zombie-themed comics

The best zombie-themed comics

The zombie is one of the most used figures in post-modern literature and cinematography. His origins, linked to the voodoo religion, were quickly reabsorbed in the Western world, passing from a mere figure linked to folklore to a supernatural myth. The concept of "living dead" is the distortion of the Christian concept of the final resurrection in which cannibalism is a "pagan eucharist": corrupt bodies are opposed to the intact bodies of Catholic beliefs while the assumption of the flesh (and of the brain in many cases) becomes a desperate attempt to assume vital energy and therefore a yearning for survival.

With these premises obviously not even the comic has been able to resist the call of the genre which, codified in purely horror field, in reality it has found interesting declinations also in science fiction, superhero and even humorous fields. So here are some tips, designed to please different types of readers, related to the vast production of comics starring zombies!

5 zombie-themed comics

iZombie by Chris Roberson & Mike Allred The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard The Black Smurfs by Peyo I Am a Hero by Kengo Hanazawa DCeased by Tom Taylor , Trevor Hairsine & Stefano Gaudiano

iZombie by Chris Roberson & Mike Allred

With iZombie, Vertigo series by Chris Roberson and Mike Allred from 2010, forget pandemics, viruses, infections, magic and curses . The protagonist is in fact Gwendolyn "Gwen" Dylan, a seemingly normal 20-year-old who works as a gravedigger in the cemetery of Eugene, Oregon. Apparently normal because in reality she Gwen is a zombie and once a month she has to eat a brain to keep her rationality intact.

This peculiarity of hers also brings with it a small contraindication: by eating the brain, Gwen also absorbs memories and personalities of the deceased. Accompanied by the ghost Ellie and the terrier-werewolf Scott / Spot, Gwen tries to give peace to these people by solving mysteries, delivering messages or simply respecting their last wishes. However soon Gwen will find herself at the center of a love triangle that actually hides a possible supernatural apocalypse!

iZombie is one of the last flickers of the great Vertigo. The original series of just 28 issues is a crazy mix of Lovecraft, the universe of Universal's classic monsters, films such as Desire to Win and the Addams Family. In short, a zombie series in a highly pop sauce thanks to the surreal pencils of that genius who goes by the name of Mike Allred.

The series was published in Italy in 4 volumes, later also collected in a slipcase, by RW Lion. If you are lucky and with a little effort, you will be able to find them in second-hand or in some well-stocked comics shop, otherwise you can easily retrieve the omnibus (containing the whole series) in the original language. A very nice TV series that you find on Amazon Prime Video was also taken from the comic series, very loosely.

»You can buy iZombie Omnibus (in English) on Amazon.

The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

After experiencing a golden age in the 70s and early 80s, zombies suffer a slow and inexorable decline interspersed only with some exceptional creative ideas (see the Resident Evil saga in the videogame field) except to resurrect in the early 2000s with The Walking Dead or the Image series written by Robert Kirkman and initially designed by Tony Moore and then by Charlie Adlard.

Rick Grimes, deputy sheriff of an unspecified county in Kentucky, is wounded on duty and ends up in a coma. Some time later he wakes up in a hospital bed, but the world has definitely changed. He struggles to escape from the hospital where walking corpses try to attack him moved by a cannibalistic voracity, Rick realizes that the world has plunged into a zombie apocalypse like that of horror films. Thus begins his journey to find his wife Lori and son Carl in a devastated America where survivors try to maintain a semblance of civilization.

Robert Kirkman is credited with infusing new life into a genre considered outdated by building a series that inevitably starting from the classic topoi of the narrative with zombies as protagonists evolves into a study on sociability, civilization and human nature. It is one of the most original mainstream series ever born in the field of American comics. The series consisting of 193 original albums was published in Italy by saldaPress in various formats including our own bonellide using the black and white of the series that is well suited to the main format of the comic in our country. The advice to recover the series more easily, however, is to opt for the compendiums or paperback volumes that contain about 50 issues each.

»You can buy The Walking Dead Compendium 1 on Amazon.

The Black Smurfs of Peyo

That of the zombie is a figure that belongs to different folklores while the idea of ​​linking it to apocalyptic scenarios is certainly linked to the great epidemics which, starting from the late Middle Ages, are also well documented in the history books. But what happens when the typical topoi of the genre are used out of the horror context or more simply realistic? The answer is Peyo's Black Smurfs!

Yes you read that right! The Little Smurfs also experienced their own personal zombie apocalypse even in their very first solo story (published in 1959 and then reassembled with some tweaks for the volume edition in 1963) when their creator Peyo forces the village to a real and own siege.

In fact, Lazy is bitten in the woods by a particularly annoying fly, after having felt ill, the Smurf transforms: he loses his wits and speech, turns black with a mean look and grinds his teeth, emitting only the towards "gnap". After discovering the cause of the dangerous mutation, Papa Smurf tries to find the antidote but the epidemic expands rapidly because Lazy has, in turn, bitten another Smurf, starting a dangerous chain of infections. Obviously there will be a happy ending but not without some moments of real tension!

Peyo anticipates by a few years not only George Romero and his The Night of the Living Dead but also that drama, not to say horror in a broad sense , which today is a fundamental component in children's literature but unthinkable at the end of the 1950s.

»You can buy The Smurfs - The integral 1 on Amazon with The Black Smurfs inside.

I Am a Hero by Kengo Hanazawa

Not even Japan has been immune to the revival of the zombie genre and among the various themed proposals, including fan service and bizarre reinterpretations, I Am a Hero by Kengo Hanazawa certainly stands out.

Hideo Suzuki is 35 years old, he is the assistant of a famous mangaka but he can't make it. He has a great story in mind but he can't put it on paper plus he has a really weird relationship with his girlfriend who doesn't help him. In short, he is obsessed with his disappointments and insecurity but everything changes when an epidemic turns a large part of the population into zombies! Armed with a rifle, Hideo escapes from his home and embarks on a journey in search of other survivors ending up in the midst of strange conspiracies and dark machinations.

If The Walking Dead used zombies as a sociological metaphor, I Am a Hero la it uses as a psychological and deeply intimate metaphor. The protagonist's insecurities are amplified in an increasingly tense and paranoid-dominated climate in which nothing is never what it appears.

The manga has inspired various spin-offs and a live action film. In Italy it was published by GP Publishing and completed by J-POP and is made up of 22 tankobons. Unfortunately, some of these, especially among the former, are officially sold out and you will have to move to used or well-stocked comics.

»You can buy the spin-off I Am a Hero in Ibaraki on Amazon.

DCeased by Tom Taylor, Trevor Hairsine & Stefano Gaudiano

In this personal list of zombie-themed reading tips, a superhero variation could not be missing, or DCeased by Tom Taylor, Trevor Hairsine & Stefano Gaudiano. Tom Taylor reinterprets the classic zombie apocalypse, immediately revealing its cause and linking it to one of the most powerful "artifacts" of the DC Universe.

The contagion passes through television screens and devices connected to the internet and, in a world full of people with superhuman abilities, having such dangerous zombies considerably lowers the chances of survival.

In this scenario a handful of heroes try to find the cure and give humanity a little glimmer of hope because even in an impossible scenario, heroes are always heroes. DCeased is not, like other similar experiments, a simple elseworld or a story designed to ride a fashion but on the contrary Tom Taylor builds a story with a high adrenaline rate and capable of immediately breaking into the imagination of readers so as to become a de facto a stand-alone franchise that has already given birth to a spin-off focused on villains and a second miniseries.

Buy Justice League: Il Chiodo Edizioni Completa.

»You can buy DCeased on Amazon.

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