Saturday, August 18, 2012

Revival #2

Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Mike Norton

I don't need to tell anyone that zombies are the thing right now, having squarely replaced vampires in the collective Western consciousness (not that that means people have stopped flooding the world with vampire entertainment), and it's cool to find someone who is doing zombies so differently from everyone else.

In Tim Seeley's town of Wausau Wisconsin, the dead come back to life, but they are just as they were before dying.  These are not shambolic, brain-munching walkers of Romero or Kirkman stories, but are the neighbour you've known for thirty years, going about their usual business.  Except for the old lady who went nuts in a horse barn last issue...

What makes this series work is that it's not about the revivalists, as they're called; no one is fleeing them and trying to survive.  Instead, Seeley is looking into how stuff like that would affect a town.  The whole area is under government quarantine, in an effort to keep the issue from spreading, but aside from that, people are expected to go about their lives.

Our main character is a female cop, whose little sister recently became one of the revived.  They are both trying to keep this a secret from their father, who is the town's sheriff.  We get a good handle on both sisters this issue - Dana suffers from her father's poor opinion of her, and when she can't find approval from him, she finds it from random men that she meets in bars, even when that means she has to leave her son home alone.  Martha, who the father worships, is no less miserable, and her recent brush with death leaves her looking for the type of extreme sensation that can only come from picking a fight with an angry drunk lady.

Seeley drops some other things into this issue.  There's a guy going around performing fake exorcisms, and strange noises in the woods.  All the elements of a strong gothic horror series are coming together perfectly in this book, and Mike Norton does a terrific job of emphasizing the normalcy of small-town living, while still creating a sense of dread.

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