Daybreak - a zombie graphic novel starring YOU

DaybreakYesterday I reviewed a realistic and unusual novel called Dead Inside: Do Not Enter: Notes from the Zombie Apocalypse. Twenty-four hours later, I figure it's time to review another zombie book. This one is a graphic novel called Daybreak, by Brian Ralph. He's a "professor of sequential art" at the Savannah College of Art and Design, but don't let his academic title scare you off. His 160-page novel is a creepy look at a day in the life of people who are scratching out a miserable existence in the aftermath of a zombapocolypse.

Ralph cleverly presents the story as if you, the reader, are living in this grim, horrid wasteland. Each panel is angled from the perspective of the reader. The characters talk to you. Here's the first page:

IMG 1749

Your companion in this story is a young one-armed man who discovers you staring in a field of rubble and takes you under his remaining wing by inviting you into his hideout. He has good intentions, but since this is a zombie novel, things quickly go to hell. And while the threat of zombies is ever-present, the real trouble comes from another source. I won't spoil the story by telling you what happens.

Ralph's fine storytelling is matched by his textured, deceptively cartoony artwork. After reading Daybreak (it's a fast read), I went back and studied the panels so I could soak in the backgrounds and linework. I missed Ralph's earlier work, the award-winning Cave-In, and now I'm looking forward to reading it.



  1. I’ve read this. Some pretty interesting points, though I can’t say the ending was unexpected. It’s a lovely idea, but I found the art style didn’t aid in the idea of being immersive

    1. Yeah, I can’t really see myself falling for the novelty when the art style is so abstracted. I guess I would ask the author why he felt he needed to go that route if his story and art are solid.

  2. And for a minute I was afraid this would be about the zombies stealing all the McNuggets or something. ;)

  3. So this is second person!  I’ve never actually read anything from that perspective

  4. totally innovative story telling.  I’ve heard it described as a “Ralph-person Shooter”

  5. So, zombie books are sorta kinda like Chinese food but the periodicity is not one hour but 24?

  6. This is a superb series, probably my favorite comic ever. The artwork is enthrallingly beautiful, and done with such care that it utterly rewards rereading. There are all these amazing details and clever jokes kind of hidden throughout. And the characters are realistic but likeable. 

Comments are closed.