Chris Roberson Dead to the World (iZombie)

ISBN 13: 9781401229658

Dead to the World (iZombie)

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9781401229658: Dead to the World (iZombie)
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Told from a female zombie’s perspective, this smart, witty detective series mixes urban fantasy and romantic dramedy.

Gwendolyn “Gwen” Dylan is a 20-something gravedigger in an eco-friendly cemetery. Once a month she must eat a human brain to keep from losing her memories, but in the process she becomes consumed with the thoughts and personality of the dead person – until she eats her next brain. She sets out to fulfi ll the dead person’s last request, solve a crime or right a wrong.

Our zombie girl detective is joined by a radical supporting cast: her best friend Eleanor, who happens to be a swinging ’60s ghost, a posse of paintball blasting vampires, a smitten were-dog and a hot but demented mummy.

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Review:

Alex Carr Reviews iZombie for Omnivoracious

While fans of AMC’s The Walking Dead gnash their teeth in anticipation for the second season, Vertigo offers a surprising new take on the zombie genre this month with iZombie. Written by Chris Roberson and with artwork by cult favorite Mike Allred, Volume 1: Dead to the World is a significant tonal shift from most zombie comics on the market. It’s told from the perspective of a female zombie named Gwen Dylan, whose undead existence comes with a great twist: in order to maintain the pretense that she’s alive, Gwen must consume human gray matter once a month or else her zombie instincts take over. Along with the brainy aftertaste comes selective memories from the deceased, and Gwen is cursed with flashbacks that are not her own. It’s a tough gig, coupled with a job digging graves (bright side: her day job provides those necessary late-night snacks that she reluctantly craves), and the irony is not lost on her:

This is, by the way, totally some kind of symbol for my entire existence. Digging holes in the morning, filling them up in the afternoon, and sneaking in at night to dig ‘em back up again. Over and over. Like that guy in the Greek hell who rolled a big rock up and down a hill all day. What was his name? Syphilis? Something like that, anyway. Whatever. Seriously, though, I’d switch places with the dead Greek guy in a second.

Gwen’s best friend, Ellie, is a lonely ghost stuck in 1960s fashion, but she wears it well. Her melancholic state is just as interesting as Gwen’s predicament, and Roberson develops both female characters with an easy-going, natural manner, giving iZombie a refreshingly frank attitude. When Gwen’s oblivious coworkers ask her to join them after work, she off-handedly dismisses them: “I’ve got to wash my hair, or something suitably girly like that.” Even undead, Gwen is too cool--a graveyard hipster, hiding her secret under a thick coffin liner of aloofness.

Once Gwen cracks the latest cranium and devours its innards, however, she uncovers a murder mystery that threatens to spoil her detached routine. She, Ellie, and their were-terrier pal, Scott, form an askew Scooby-Doo alliance to solve the case, and along the way they cross paths with a sorority comprised of vamping vamps, a pair of strange men in white coats, and a Hugh Hefner-esque mummy who might hold more answers than Gwen imagined.

Mike Allred’s pop art leanings imbue iZombie with a sly, ever-smirking temperament. His characters inhabit a canvas that’s instantly recognizable as his own: bold, unblended lines case characters who seem partially aware of the comic panels that frame their stories. They knowingly pose, at once a part of and removed from their backgrounds. The artwork is muddier than Allred’s Madman series, yet not as sharp-edged as his X-Force/X-Statix run. The paperback collection includes over ten pages of sketchbook material from Allred, and it’s fun to see his pencil-work before it gets handed off to his wife, Laura, for coloring.

Seattle fans of Chris Roberson can catch up with the writer at this weekend’s Emerald City Comicon 2011, to be held in the Seattle Convention Center. The official website has the full list of attendees and events, including panel discussions with creators and publishers, a list of comics vendors, a map of Artists Alley, and Q&As and autograph sessions with media guests. It’s an impressive batch of comics celebs, and I have my backissue checklist already queued up on my phone.

--Alex


About the Author:

Chris Roberson's writings include the novels Here, There & Everywhere, The Voyage of Night Shining White, Paragaea: A Planetary Romance, X-Men: The Return, Set the Seas on Fire, The Dragon's Nine Sons, End of the Century, Iron Jaw and Hummingbird, Three Unbroken, and Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War II, and the comic book series Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love. His short stories have appeared in such magazines as Asimov's, Interzone, Postscripts, and Subterranean, and in anthologies such as Live Without a Net, FutureShocks, and Forbidden Planets. Along with his business partner and spouse Allison Baker, he is the publisher of MonkeyBrain Books, an independent publishing house specializing in genre fiction and nonfiction genre studies, and he is the editor of anthology Adventure Vol. 1. He has been a finalist for the World Fantasy Award four times--once each for writing and editing, and twice for publishing--twice a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and four times for the Sidewise Award for Best Alternate History (winning the Short Form in 2004 with his story "O One" and the Long Form in 2008 with his novel The Dragon's Nine Sons). Chris and Allison live in Austin, Texas with their daughter Georgia.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780857682512: Dead to the World

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ISBN 10:  0857682512 ISBN 13:  9780857682512
Publisher: Titan Publishing Company, 2011
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Book Description DC Comics, United States, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Written by CHRIS ROBERSON Art and cover by MICHAEL ALLRED iZombie is flat out my favorite new title this year. The main cast is really fun and have solid voices, and the recurring set pieces give the series a welcoming feel, more like a favorite TV show than a typical monthly. -CBR/COMICS SHOULD BE GOOD The first five issues of this smart detective series that mixes urban fantasy and romantic dramedy is collected, with a story from the HOUSE OF MYSTERY HALLOWEEN ANNUAL #1. Gwendolyn Gwen Dylan is a 20-something gravedigger in an eco-friendly cemetery. Once a month she must eat a human brain to keep from losing her own memories, but in the process she becomes consumed with the thoughts and personality of the dead person - until she eats her next brain. Gwen sets out to fulfill the dead person s last request, solve a crime or right a wrong. Our zombie girl detective is joined by her best friend, Eleanor, who happens to be a swinging 60s ghost, a posse of paintball-blasting vampires, a smitten were-dog and a hot but demented mummy. On sale MARCH 16 * 144 pg, FC. Seller Inventory # AA99781401229658

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Book Description DC Comics, United States, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Written by CHRIS ROBERSON Art and cover by MICHAEL ALLRED iZombie is flat out my favorite new title this year. The main cast is really fun and have solid voices, and the recurring set pieces give the series a welcoming feel, more like a favorite TV show than a typical monthly. -CBR/COMICS SHOULD BE GOOD The first five issues of this smart detective series that mixes urban fantasy and romantic dramedy is collected, with a story from the HOUSE OF MYSTERY HALLOWEEN ANNUAL #1. Gwendolyn Gwen Dylan is a 20-something gravedigger in an eco-friendly cemetery. Once a month she must eat a human brain to keep from losing her own memories, but in the process she becomes consumed with the thoughts and personality of the dead person - until she eats her next brain. Gwen sets out to fulfill the dead person s last request, solve a crime or right a wrong. Our zombie girl detective is joined by her best friend, Eleanor, who happens to be a swinging 60s ghost, a posse of paintball-blasting vampires, a smitten were-dog and a hot but demented mummy. On sale MARCH 16 * 144 pg, FC. Seller Inventory # AA99781401229658

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