Cave Pictures Publishing 2019
Written by Billy Tucci
Illustrated by Ethan Nicolle
Coloured by Ben Glibert
Lettered by Simon Bowland
After the ancient staff of Lilith, mother of the damned, reanimates the dead, country boy J.B. and his estranged upper-crust wife Anne must come together to stop the zombie hordes and save the people of Appalachia! In this issue, the true origins and power of Lilith's staff come to light and the zombie outbreak begins!
I have to say that this is one of those crazy stories that just makes you incredibly happy. What Billy is doing here is pretty spot on amazing and it makes me feel like it’s a film adaptation for one of those low-budget horror films, the kind that find their way to horror channels on Roku or Svengoolie. It strikes all the right notes when it comes to horror blended with comedy which for me is one of the best reasons around to be reading this.
The way that this is structured is fantastic! The overall ebb & flow of the story and how we see the information revealed is so well done, not to mention so much damn fun. This ties intricately into how the characterisation is done as well. The opening is that perfect way to showcase that characterisation and how it decides which way the story is going to go. Neil for example pricks his finger when Anne interrupts him this sets off the chain reaction of his actions that carry throughout the entire book. It really creates the perfect catalyst for the downward spiral that will follow the entire run and I couldn’t be any happier about it.
Give Billy all props here because how we see the characters introduced and drawn into the thick of things is extremely well done. It isn’t just the main characters either it is the entire setting of folks in this town that are now what we’d consider cannon-fodder for the undead. You have to have a decent sized population in a zombie tale after all otherwise it would be just a few of them running around and where would the fun in that be? So I am utterly impressed with the way the book is coming to life before us. This is the issue where everything changes and this is great because the way the pacing is in this story isn’t something goes quickly or rolls along instead it really really is just kind of perfectly done.
Normally this kind of new age cartoon style work isn’t something I am terribly fond of. However in this setting with this kind of story it fits. We get a great amount of emotion coming from the characters faces and facial expressions. Yes I wish there was some more intricate use of the varying weights of the linework and yes I am one of those snobbish kind of art lovers but to be frank and honest I think this couldn’t have been done any other way and work as well as it does. Also the creativity and imagination that on display here is phenomenal and if you need proof see that full on mouse or rat pinned down. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a very good, solid eye for storytelling. I am even impressed with the way backgrounds are being utilised. As an added bonus the colour work here is sensational.
This is one of those impressive tales that combines mythology and the supernatural to create one of the more unique variations on the genre. This is fun, offbeat and completely different than what you are going to find anywhere else.