Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Last Blood (yet another webcomic)

So, sorry about the small review last week. Portal 2 had kind of taken over my life for a week.
So, to make up for it, I present to you Last Blood. This is another zombie apocalypse webcomic, though it's a bit different from the others I've reviewed so far this week.
It takes place about a month after a zombie walks out of the ocean and attacks the people there. (I might be wrong on the timeline... it's been a while since I've actually read the comic.) In that short amount of time, apparently a small group of people in nowhereville America has become the last group of humans on Earth. How do we know that they're the last humans? Some vampires show up and tell them so. You see, the vampires are trying to protect humanity, since if humanity dies out, vampires have no food supply. Oh, it wasn't all the zombies. Apparently there was also a nuclear war, which didn't help matters any, but the long and short of it is that they're a couple of dozen humans with a handful of vampires all holed up in a schoolhouse facing off against millions, if not billions, of zombies.

 I have a bit of a complicated view of this comic. The story was engaging at first, but towards the climax I felt it kind of petered out and the final explanations were a little... I dunno, it felt a bit anti-climactic. Which is too bad, since there were some pretty amazing crowning moments of awesome. The main characters are... okay. Interesting enough, I suppose, but I cared very little about them. I mean, I didn't want them to die, because that would suck, but that's the only reason. The most interesting character was a minor character who is a vampire that is pretty much completely insane. In the end, the characters didn't make me want them to win because I cared about them as characters, so they kinda failed in that regard.
The art gets a lot better as the story goes along, but it does kinda start out not that great. It's not bad art, mind you, it's just that I'm really glad it gets better.
Beyond that, though, what I find most interesting about the comic is its parallel to the evolution of zombies in zombie apocalypse fiction, and I wish for the life of me I could figure out if it was intentional or not. I'm pretty sure it is, though.You see... well.... massive spoilers below, so read at your own risk...

Okay, so it turns out that when a vampire goes without feeding for too long, they turn into an intelligent zombie, and anyone they bite turns into a mindless zombie under the control of the the vampire that (ultimately, in the case of mindless zombies biting people) created them. This parallels the fact that the first instance of a zombie apocalypse was Richard Matheson's I Am Legend, where the world has been overrun by vampires. (Note: one of the main vampire characters is named "Matheson." Hmmmm... coincidence?) The modern idea of a "zombie" started with George Romero's Night of the Living Dead. Much later in Last Blood, the zombies start running. Much like more recent zombie apocalypse movies, such as 28 Days Later and Zombieland. From a literary point of view, I find it quite captivating. I jsut wish that the story was otherwise more interesting.

End of Spoilers.
As of now, probably the most disappointing this is that it seems that the creators still want to continue the story, but there are months, sometimes as much as 8 months between updates. It makes it kinda hard to enjoy the comic when you have to wait two years to get five pages. Robert Jordan wasn't that slow.

Bottom Line: It's an interesting take on the zombie apocalypse, especially if you are well versed in the differences between a zombie apocalypse and a regular zombie horror movie. Go ahead and check it out, you just might like it more than I did.

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