Comics Review: Fanboys Vs. Zombies #2

Fanboys Vs. Zombies #2
Written by Sam Humphries
Art by Jerry Gaylord
Ink Assists by Penelope Gaylord
Colors by Nolan Woodard
Letters by Ed Dukeshire
Covers by Humberto Ramos, Hary Randolph, AlE Garza, Zombie King Arthur Suydam
Cover Colors by Nei Ruffino, Blond
Created by Ben Silverman and Jimmy Fox
BOOM! Studios
Release Date: May 02, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

A few years ago, a circle of five friends attend Comic-Con International: San Diego, nickname themselves ‘The Wrecking Crew 4 Lyfe,’ and vow to return every year together. Flash forward to today, they’ve all come to the Con but jealousy and competitiveness have torn them into factions. All of a sudden, folks that thought they were suffering from Con-rot, that feeling of weariness and nausea most of us have when we’ve spent way to much time on the floor of a Con, have become flesh-eating zombies.

By the time we get to Fanboys vs. Zombies #2 the Wrecking Crew 4 Lyfe are among the few survivors left at Comic-Con. Now one of our heroes, Rob, is fixated solely on rescuing a celebrity crush. On top of that, the convention center has been rigged as a disaster relief center, built to withstand bombs and hurricanes, trapping them inside. And worst of all, they’re facing off against a horde of zombie D&D Cosplayers.

So, this is a pretty silly comic book, but it’s also an incredibly fun one, it’s written all over the creative team. One of the co-creators, Ben Silverman, is a credited executive producer on a number of TV shows, including a little known sitcom called The Office. The art is by Jerry Gaylord who veers even its gory action towards the Saturday morning cartoon-ish and playfully drawing his cast in various, unique body types. It’s written by Sam Humphries of Our Love Is Real and Ultimate Comic Ultimates fame, who keeps it heavy on adventure, comic industry in-jokes and interpersonal drama, and light on just about everything else. When the characters almost nonchalantly transition into the zombie plot twist it feels more like gleeful wish fulfillment then existential terror.

Zombie stories are one of the richest horror sub-genres, like a tree that branches out into varying sub-sub-genres, etc. as it evolves. Reading this comic I was trying to find a trajectory the book fell under that made sense to me. Certainly there’s traces of 1978’s George A. Romero-directed Dawn of The Dead, what might just be the seminal zombie movie, where survivors of a zombie apocalypse hole up in a shopping mall and fall into consumer pratfalls while the undead are banging away at the front door. And then there’s 2004’s update of sorts in Shaun of The Dead where director Edgar Wright incorporated humor and used the plot as an excuse for an everyday slacker to re-examine his own values. Fanboys vs. Zombies adds a meta-level to those stories by talking directly, it suspects, to the very audience reading the comic book. I suspect this wink-and-a-nod Zombie type story might be a dead end, there’s not much further you could push the premise then this story, but it’s a fun segue so far.

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