iZombie: snappy, sassy supernatural comic

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.

iZombie: Dead to the World


  1. It’s about time! I was beginning to think that nobody in the west was even going to try and do anything actually interesting with zombies, rather than just continually remake the exact same thing over and over.

  2. If I learned anything in college it is that the THC content of most Eugene residents brains make her a pretty high zombie.

  3. I truly do not understand the appeal of zombies. Vampires are bad enough, but the undead? Yucko.

    1. Vampires as we consider them in most stories are undead too. Unless you’re talking about living people with porphyria (formerly porphyric hemophilia), which is a different matter (and not what we really consider vampires).

      Now, as for their appeal, zombies are a great literary metaphor for impending, inescapable doom. Also, they’re the monster du jour. I’m sure in a couple of years werewolves will be back in style (since we sort of went through mummies in the mid 90s).

      I’ve been meaning to pick up some new graphic novels, and this one looks pretty whiggy. We’ll see when the Amazon box arrives.

  4. One more vote for zombies over vampires. I would much rather watch “Zombieland” or “Sean of the Dead” than that “Twilight” drivel.

    I am usually a Leslie Nielsen and Mel Brooks fan, but I hated “Dracula: Dead and Loving It.” OK. The “Underworld” series wasn’t bad. Still, zombies are more fun.

  5. I read the first three or four issues of this monthly before dropping it. The art is great, but the writing was just “okay.” The story just plodded along when it needed more energy. It’s a decent series that deserved to be great.

  6. Cory, could you PLEASE stop posting these reviews the day AFTER I go to Powell’s?

    Still… I shall add this title to my list. It sounds great, as are the other titles that you’ve turned me onto: Walking Dead and DMZ.


  7. I’ve just illegally downloaded the first 2 issues and I’m ordering the trade online.

    That’s my comic habit nowadays in case anyone is taking notes on marketing and stuff.

  8. Great review, but I’m surprised there isn’t more of an emphasis on the artwork done by Michael and Laura Allred of Madman/X-Statix fame – it’s absolutely superb! Michael and Laura produce some of the slickest and most appealing comic art today, IMHO. You can check out their work at http://www.aaapop.com/

  9. Zombies have been played out for literally years now.
    Next you’ll be sharing a link to some “awesome” skull.

    (Yeah. Yeah. I have my own blog. Thanks.)

  10. Zombies is teh aw3som3z because they signal the end of the world as we know it, irreversibly. The dead are walking – what could be more bizarre? Birds speaking? Gravity reversing itself at will?

    The dead walk: game over. Life no longer has meaning.


  12. I thought iZombie was all about the folks that get all excited about the latest junk from Apple Inc.

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