REVIEW: THE OTHER DEAD / AUTHOR: JOSHUA ORTEGA / ARTIST: QING PING MUI, MIKE SHOYKHET / PUBLISHER: IDW / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Given the shambling horde of zombie stories on the market, the competition to produce something memorable and unique, whilst still featuring moving corpses, is pretty fierce. Some, like The Extinction Parade and The Walking Dead, have gone for the darkest possible route whilst others have gone in a sillier direction. The Other Dead falls firmly into the latter category, owing more to the splatter-punk and gory zaniness of films like The Evil Dead and Redneck Zombies than anything else.
The plot is charmingly dumb. A bunch of wannabe teenage rock stars botch a magical spell intended to give them superstardom. The result is that animals begin to rise from the dead and start to attack humans. The first victim of this disaster is none other than former American Vice President Dick Cheney. Pretty soon the entire state of Louisiana is under threat and President Obama leaps into action, vowing to save the beleaguered state. Meanwhile, one of the failed rock stars drags his family and friends from disaster to disaster, because that’s how these tales are meant to work.
This book has it all: crazy rednecks, adorable-but-wise children with terminal illnesses, pole-dancers, an axe-wielding President of the United States and of course, undead rhinos. If all of that sounds daft it’s because it is. The Other Dead is not a heartfelt examination of the human condition that uses undead critters as a metaphor for something; it’s simply fun and serves as a timely reminder that horror stories don’t actually have to mean anything.
The artwork is gorgeous throughout with every gory detail lovingly tended to. The narrative does have some nicely scary moments, after all this is horror book and plenty of red ink has been used in its production. This is balanced by some great scenes that are genuinely amusing whilst never trying to be wacky.
The Other Dead is a refreshing change of pace for those sick of grim and gritty horror. If you like your gore mixed with dead-pan humour and ridiculous action scenes, then you’ll adore this.