iZombie: Dead to the World is the first collection of Chris Roberson and Michael Allred’s smart, sassy supernatural thriller comic about a crime-solving zombie gravedigger and her cadre of supernatural pals. Gwen Dylan, the titular zombie, is an attractive, twentysomething artist who can’t remember how she ended up dead (or undead), but she’s determined not to end up a shambler. So she leads a “normal” life among the living as a gravedigger, burying the hapless residents of Eugene, Oregon by day and digging them up once a month by night to (reluctantly, it must be said) eat their brains. So long as she gets her monthly helping of the grey stuff, she goes on being normal, sensate and in control.
It’s not easy being in Gwen’s situation, but she has good friends — a go-go-booted ghost of a swinging chick who kicked off 40 years ago (and is struggling to understand the modern world, all malapropisms about “inner-nets” and so on; a were-terrier with an unfortunate crush on her; and the waitress at a local mob-owned coffee shop who mercilessly critiques the paintings Gwen is moved to execute after feasting on brains. Because when you eat a dead person’s brains, you get that person’s memories, and if those memories include (for example), a murder, well, you have to solve the crime to get them out of your head again.
Supernatural Eugene hosts many spooks and haints beyond Gwen and her pals — there’s a gang of hottie vampire ladies who run a paintball gym where they can easily separate loners for a little bloodplay; an ancient and mysterious living mummy, and, of course, some monster-hunting dudes (including one stone fox whom Gwen can’t help but fall for).
Basically, this thing writes itself from here: you’ve got all these attractive, clever monsters and revenants and such, the business with the brains, and the op-art stylings of Michael Allred and it makes a fabulously entertaining package that’s fun and spooky and surprising. I’ll certainly be getting the future volumes of this one.
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