Review: iZombie #12

Published on April 12th, 2011

It was kind of a small week for comic grabbin’ for me this last week. But, I’m pleased to say one book that I’ve been enjoying for the past year or so made its way, as usual, into my hands. And seeing as how I haven’t done a review of iZombie yet, and because it’s sort of a stand-alone issue I figured, “What the heck!”

izombie12iZombie never blows me away, but it’s a fun read. It’s a definite turn from the zombie/ghost/monster/etc.-genre. The series takes place in Eugene, Oregon where zombies, ghosts, vampires, were-animals, and other spooky-ish beings exist; albeit, it’s all “on the DL” as the kids like to say. Usually, the stories involve the main character, Gwen Dylan, as she tries to solve mysteries and problems that involve her friends Scott (jokingly called Spot when he transforms into a were-terrier) and Ellie (a go-go dancer from the ’60’s who now spends most of her time as a ghost in the local graveyard). This time, we get a glimpse into Ellie’s past and find out what happened to her and how she came to be Gwen’s best friend.

Most stories/plots that include Ellie depict her as a ditsy, young girl that might make people think, “Has this poor girl never been out of her own house?” Issue #12 shows us that question isn’t too far from the truth. In fact, her childhood, adolescence, and young adult years were spent very sheltered and allows the audience a different, more emotional side to Ellie. What I like most about this issue is that it never breaks from what readers already know and love about Ellie. It never becomes melodramatic, and it keeps that naive nature about one of the main-supporting characters that gives Gwen her own strengths and keeps her in-check.

This issue featured special guest artist Gilbert Hernandez of Love and Rockets fame. I missed the regular artist, Michael Allred, on this issue. When I was taking classes at CSUN, I took a course called “Comics as Literature” and one of the required readings was Love and Rockets. From what I remember of L& R, Hernandez’s art then resembled more of what Allred had been doing on iZombie already. I could definitely see some similarities in Gilbert’s work then and on this book, but I can’t say I was thrilled by what he did with this issue. One exception to that would have to be the first page which was a quick intro in homage to the Casper comics, or even those Red, Green, Blue funnies in the back of Hulk books. It was a cute way to start the book. That’s right, I said “cute.” Chris Roberson’s scripts are just fun and imaginative. This simple yet involved monster-ish world he’s helped create is always believable no matter who’s drawing.

It’s good to have fun and get away sometimes!

Sam Taylor