Zombie Tales #11 Review

zombietales_011a_3Proving again that the number of tales starring the undead is limitless, BOOM!’s latest issue of its zombie anthology offers another diverse trilogy of zombie action.

Kicking things off is a Civil War adventure in which the forces of the South are cut off and facing certain defeat, until a surprise turn of events gives them a much greater advantage. The weary General is called to witness a dead child who is raised to life thanks to the witchery of a slave woman. This gives the South an edge in battle and they use the corpses strewn across the battle field one more time. Writer Ralph Soll and artist Unai give this nice tale with a twist a great approach, with an easy pace and suitably grimy art, reminiscent of Kyle Hotz.

The second short story is the conclusion to the 2061 saga, by writer Kim Krizan and artist Jon Reed. The central conceit of this mini-epic is that zombies are mutated cannibals and are now running earth. Humans are mere pets in this new society and live primarily as slaves and gladiators for their undead masters. It could easily be a mini-series by itself, especially with scarily amusing touches such as humans in a meat market, or in cages below “1/2 Off Veal” signs.  In this finale a group of humans manage to escape from the gladiator pit, leading a makeshift revolt which causes the zombies to shuffle off. They are then chased outside of the city, thrown off a cliff and into the heart of a nuclear reactor. That’s when things get slightly confusing. What appears to be the leader of the human army throws herself into the zombie filled pit because “if it comes into contact with normal particles it will spark a reaction!” Um…okay. Well, that’s what happens which then in one last moment of “what the?!” the horde of zombies appear to travel through space and time to 2061 B.C. It’s a rather stifling end to what has been a grand concept.

The last story, entitled “Population Control,” is written by Bryce Carlson with art by Axel Medelin Machain. Set in the town of Adler Creek, it centres on two life long friends amidst a dwindling population. Jules and Benton eventually have a disagreement about staying in their hometown or leaving, with the survival of both sun scorched men on the line. So they do what best friends should always do – make sacrifices for the other one.

The art in this issue is similar between all three stories. It’s not highly polished, but it works in the zombie context. This issue is not the best of the series, but as a whole Zombie Tales is always a pleasant surprise in this era of comic book decompression. Instead of long, drawn out epics lasting years, BOOM! wisely give us a snack-sized alternative.

For a preview of this ish, go here.

Paul Sizer Art

I interviewed writer/artist Paul Sizer about his latest project B.P.M for the first issue of Extra Sequential, and he continues to belt out great work. Below is a pic of Loo from Paul’s graphic novel, Little White Mouse. If you want to see more of his work, head on over to his site or his sweet DeviantART gallery.

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If you happen to live near Michigan, you might also want to check out the man himself, as he takes part in a panel for Michigan comics. Details below.

Michigan Comics: Mirth, Mockery, and Mayhem From the Tri-Coastal State show at Eastern Michigan University. Paul will also have 3 pieces that will travel with the show when it goes on the road.
Here’s the info for the event:
March 31- June 5
Michigan Comics: Mirth, Mockery, and Mayhem From the Tri-Coastal State
University Galler
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Reception: Tues., March 31, 5-7 p.m.

“Michigan artists and writers have created a significant body of cartoons and comics that is distinctive for its quality, inventiveness and variety. Unprecedented in its singular focus on the accomplishments of Michigan artists, this exhibition will be comprised of editorial cartoons, gag panels, comic strips and comic book art by fifty contemporary creators in the field, providing viewers with a opportunity to see the actual artworks instead of viewing them as reproductions in newspapers, magazines and books. Included in the exhibition are works by Dave Coverly (SPEED BUMP), Cathy Guisewite (CATHY), Jim Starlin (WARLOCK) and Mike Thompson (DETROIT FREE PRESS).”

Panel Discussion
Tues March 31, 7-8:30 pm. Student Center Ballroom B
Moderated by EMU professor, Dr. Richard Rubenfeld, this symposium will feature a panel of comic professionals, including Dave Coverly, creator of SPEED BUMP and Paul Sizer creator of B.P.M.

X-Men Noir #4 Preview

Now I can’t say I’ve been following this series of Noir titles from Marvel. Basically these different mini-series recasts familiar characters,  like the X-Men, Spider-Man and Daredevil in the world of noir films and books, ie, a world filled with tough talking gangsters from the 40s and 50s. This title seems to be getting good reviews though, thanks to writer Fred Van Lente and the moody artwork of Dennis Calero. The conclusion to the X-Men reinterpretation goes on sale on March 11. By the way, if you don’t know how to pronounce noir (“nwar”) or what it is exactly, go here.

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