COMIC BOOK REVIEW: ZARJAZ 22 / AUTHOR: VARIOUS / ARTIST: VARIOUS / PUBLISHER: FUTUREQUAKE PRESS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Zarjaz, the 2000AD fanzine, launches into its 22nd issue with a glorious wraparound cover of Chopper the surfer flying through the Australian landscape, cutting across the front page with a huge grin on his face. It’s an expression of delight that’s sure to be matched by anyone reading the contents.
From the outset, it’s clear that this is something special, crafted not only with skill but with great love and respect. Writers and artists alike clearly relish their source material, taking pleasure from creating the eight short tales. While none of them fit officially into 2000AD canon, each is a worthy addition to the characters involved, playing on their strengths and playfully manipulating reader expectations. It’s a tough call, but the standout story is a MACH 1 / Shako crossover that will thrill any reader who can recall the originals.
That’s where Zarjaz works so well; it emulates rather than imitates, bringing to mind the early issues of 2000AD, and contains the same dry wit that has made the comic consistently appealing over the years. Art styles vary, but the quality is consistently high, perfect accompaniment to the tales being told, all of which have captured the essence of the characters beautifully.
More than a blast of nostalgia, Zarjaz is a showcase for both established and emerging storytellers, all of whom have added a new dimension to familiar faces, their enthusiasm shining from every page to create a fanzine that is a joy to read from start to finish.
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