COMIC BOOK REVIEW: MAX BROOKS' THE EXTINCTION PARADE – VOLUME 1 / AUTHOR: MAX BROOKS / ARTIST : RAÚLO CÁCERES / PUBLISHER : AVATAR PRESS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
The zombie genre has shambled its way through the media for some time now, infecting other subcultures until its overwhelming stench is everywhere. Zombie stories have become so common that even saying that they’ve been done to death feels like a cliché. It takes a true talent with star quality to get jaded horror fans interested in yet another tale of this ilk, and one of the few people who can pull this off is Max Brooks.
The Extinction Parade is the tale of a worldwide rise in the walking dead (called the sub-dead here) told from the point of view of vampires. The vampires consider themselves to be the top of the food-chain and have seen isolated incidents of zombie attacks throughout history. Being inhuman monsters, they’ve never given it much thought; for them it’s just a thing that happens, like tornadoes or earthquakes. Even when the sub-dead start taking out major population centres, the decadent vampires sit back, taking the opportunity to devour what’s left of humanity. Brooks is a master at building worlds so he can tear them down, this is a world that feels real and plausible and yet at the same time is utterly fantastic.
The author takes his time with the story here, he makes sure that the reader appreciates how truly horrible and self-centred the vampires are. When they finally realise how bad things have become it is almost too late, and how they deal with these revelations is cleverly done and very interesting. Raúlo Cáceres is the right artist for this work. His highly detailed art is both gory and beautiful. Caceres delights in drawing the most handsome people he can and then having them brutally dismembered. This is a horror book and those who don’t like lots of visceral detail should stay away. It gets messy, and it gets messy very early on. The Extinction Parade is a must-have for fans of zombie apocalypses, likely to delight the most jaded of readers.