“Fanboys vs. Zombies” was supposed to be a look into the geek mind: a group of friends go to San Diego Comic Con (otherwise known as mecca is some circles.) While there, something amazing happens around them, something most geeks discuss in length — a zombie outbreak.
But to me, the first issue felt like high school bickering, name-dropping and a bit of a mess. I am not alone.
According to Spencer Perry from shocktillyoudrop.com:
On paper, it sounds like it has potential to be one of the coolest forays into the geek lifestyle that one could think of. … ‘Fanboys vs. Zombies’ perpetuates the most ludicrous of nerd stereotypes that is almost unreadable.
Like Perry, the reader is aware that the comic is supposed to make fun of geeks, a tongue-in-cheek outlook. But it isn’t done well. I feel like as we met the characters, the writer, Sam Humphries, tried to geek us out as much as possible. I was glad I knew a lot of the geek references, but it might be a bit too far reaching for those not in tune yet.
Also, I felt like the drawings didn’t match the “age” of the characters. They look like college kids, yet in once reference, it is mentioned that a character is 14 years old. Either the joke is the guy is lying, or the artist didn’t get that they need to not have as much facial hair and ripped muscles (and ginormous boobs on the girls.) When I was 14, I was still awkward, trying to grow out my bangs and begging my mother to let me wear eyeliner.
The beginning also tries to set us up and give us background about a feud between friends, but that was extremely confusing as the characters were introduced simultaneously and other hidden gems were dropped — all at the same time! It could just be me, but I need a moment to process before I jump to another dimension, thankyouverymuch.
Oh, and then the zombies come, conveniently via disgusting hot dog (now glad I don’t eat meat.) As we see the zombie form, we jump to more teenage bickering and then all of a sudden, the WHOLE convention has been turned into a zombie playground. How did this happen? Obviously, one zombie bit another zombie, etc., etc. but as we have learned from past zombie theories, the turnover isn’t THAT fast! Plus, we didn’t even see how it really unfolded, which was a disappointment.
I did mention earlier about the age of the characters, but otherwise the art, done by Jerry Gaylord, was good. The details were great and the characters really came alive on the page. The letterer also did a great job, and I loved some of the techniques.
I have to say, this is my first comic that I will not recommend. I feel like first-time readers might not get some of the geek references (unless you have watched a bit of “Big Bang Theory”) and the storyline is a bit mangled.
I’m sorry, Boom! Studios; this one bit the dust for me.
Comic Book Wednesday showcases a variety of visually based books that fit into this wide category, to give a taste of this other form of reading.