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8493612iZombie Volume 1: Dead to the World
Author: Chris Roberson
Illustrator: Mike Allred
Pages: 144
Synopsis: She’s a  zombie and lives in a graveyard. Her best friends are a were-terrier and a ghost, there’s some paint-ball loving vampires sucking people dry, and she’s got a mummy chasing after her. This graphic novel comprises the iZombie comic book issues #1-5.  If you missed them, here’s your chance to dive in and see if it’s a series you will enjoy.  If you’re coming because of your love of The CW T.V. show, we’ll get to that.

I’m just putting this out there.  The goth in me loves zombies.  The geek in me loves graphic novels/comic books.  The T.V. nut in me loves this genre of show.  There was pretty much no way I wasn’t going to enjoy this.

I don’t really have a lot of money to invest in comic book subscriptions.  I just don’t.  I wish I did, but I can’t. I mostly attempt to stay out of the comic book stores for this reason, so I sometimes miss ingenious new series until someone tells me about them.

Like The CW making one in to a TV show.  Seeing a preview, I knew this was a must tune-in series and from episode 1 I was hooked. Absolutely hooked. A friend gave me this graphic as a birthday gift, but I wasn’t sure what to expect. I shelved it, wanting to enjoy the rest of Season 1 before checking out the comic due to possible spoilers.

Forget spoilers. Pretty much the only thing the show has in common with the book is the name and the fact the protagonist is a female zombie.  It does get the brain-donor’s memories downloading in to her brain, but after that it deviates pretty quick. For instance, in the show it seems like half of her town are undead, but they are only zombies. They are less paranormal and more a science experiment gone wrong. In the comic, there’s tons of paranormal beings.

I think the TV Show went the right route. Making it limited to only zombies for now let’s you get into the mystery o what created them. This makes for a great backdrop and long-term story.  Turning it into a police procedural gives you a plot device that’s easy to follow and allows for some interesting “psychic” moments from our zombie heroine.  Screen adaptations  have certain barriers that are more difficult to cross.

With the comic version, you get the same element of Zombie Girl wanting to help the dead who’s brain she’s eaten, but she’s not solely eating murder victims. She works as a grave digger, so she just eats whomever she digs up after burial.  (Morbid much? It’s a zombie themed comic after all!)

I love the paranormal world dynamic. It adds a different element, and of course I love other urban fantasy books that mix it up with a variety of creatures.  I also like that this story hearkens back to the older zombie-lore that reasons brain eating came from wanting to know what the brain-owner knows. It wasn’t all Romero shuffling and mindless monsters hell-bent on the Apocalypse.

That said, if we are going to end up with this breed of zombie, I might need to update my Zombie Survival Plan.

–Lady O