Sunday, April 7, 2013

Dead Anyway

Please note that this is the rough draft for a review I wrote for Please check out the final draft of the review here.

Dead Anyway: Stories From the Zombie Apocalypse is a collection of short zombie-themed stories in comic form. I believe the most apt word to apply to this book would be "potpourri." Fifteen artists contributed to this work, and each contribution is about as different from the rest as you can get.

The artwork is easily the biggest draw for this book. It's quite varied and most of it is highly stylized, which I like. I mean, I'm no artist, and I've never taken a dedicated art appreciation course, so I'm in no position to give any real critique of the artwork and can only talk about it in the most general terms... But I like almost all of it. There's cartooney stuff, infographics, somewhat realistic art in grayscale, stuff that looks like it was made while the artist was dropping acid, and all sorts of other artwork.
The actual stories themselves, which is what I normally look at, are actually kind of weak, for the most part. (At least, in the chapters that actually have stories, not all of them do.) This is mostly because they're all so short. Some of them manage to get away with it and are pretty entertaining despite their brevity. But those are the exception. Normally this would be a killing blow for me and I wouldn't recommend this book, but I have to take this book in the proper context and that context is the art. The book was put together by two artists with a bunch of their artist friends. It's an art showcase more than a storybook, and because of that, I can forgive the relative weakness of the stories. Also, I have to admit that which stories are considered good will probably vary from person to person, much like how which art styles are considered good will vary from person to person. But again, the art is the main reason you would want to read this book. I only enjoyed some of the stories, but I enjoyed almost all of the chapters.

Bottom Line: Whether you like the stories themselves or not, the artwork alone makes this one worth getting. It would make for some nice light reading on your iPad or a great coffee table book for any zombie enthusiast.

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