The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

Zombie Tales Volume 4: This Bites (Review)

So I waded into the pile of Zombie media we have to review and picked up the fourth collection of Zombie Tales, entitled ‘This Bites’.

Appropriate enough, on the whole.

This volume has a number of acclaimed writers slumming in the field of Zombie-bashing comics, including one, Kim Krizan, who’s been nominated for an Oscar for screenwriting (best known for Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, for which she got the Oscar nom). Also included is a one-shot from Alex Medellin, well known in the comics world for Mr. Stuffins, as well as a slate of other authors and artists. Zombie Tales, being an anthology, consists of wildly varying styles, settings and stories. There is no cohesive world that all the ‘tales’ play out in, which affords a great deal of latitude in the precise type of Differently Animated being lambasted.

Generally lambasted, at least. There are a few bright spots amidst the low points. “I Sing the Body Putrescent, or Zommy Dearest”, deals with the issue of Zombie labor and the unequal opportunities afforded the Differently Animated, even as it perpetuates some negative stereotypes; the artwork is also quite charming. “Zombie Come Home” could have been a beautiful tale of the friendship between a boy and his Zombie, if not for an unkind ending that seems tacked on to fill an anti-Zombie quota. “Population Control”, drawn by the aforementioned Mr. Medellin, seems to blur the line between cannibalism and Zombiism; I’m not sure if admitting that humans can have a problem with tasty people-meat too is a step forward for Zombies; lest we forget the Donner party and South American soccer teams though, we must admit, living people eat people too.

The final story in the entire collection is the only unabashedly kind portrayal of Zombies, concerning a group of Zombies who, with counseling and a pharmaceutical treatment of some sort, have gone on the wagon, so to speak, no longer eating delicious human brains. We at the ZRC commend this sort of responsible behavior, from Zombies or humans; non-consensual brain-eating is wrong. Likewise we can give a cautious, but approving thumbs-up to “The Mixed Up Zombies Who Started Living and Became Incredibly Strange Creatures”, written by Ian Brill, drawn by Toby Cypress and lettered by Marshall Dillon. Good show, all, for showing that even in the den of hate that is Zombie Comics, from Boom! Studios, you can publish a pro-Undead work.

I was legitimately surprised by The Mixed Up Zombies, as well as Zommy Dearest. How rare it is to find, at least in the world of comic books, an even slightly benevolent treatment of those members of society without a core body temperature. Yet here, in Zombie Tales, widely known as a competitor for Worst Zombie Bashing Institution (currently duking it out with Fred Van Lente’s shop at Marvel), we are starting to see cracks in the facade, and compassion for our Undead brethren seeping in.

It’s a great sign.

About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.


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