Braaaaains: Digesting Zombie Comics

This past weekend I had a sudden, inexplicable craving to feast upon human flesh. My skin developed a deathly pallor, and my vocabulary was reduced to grunts and moans. Lumbering through the streets of Seattle, I found thousands of kindred spirits, all dragging through neighborhoods, leaving blood and carnage wherever they trekked. Hapless onlookers quaked in fear, as we reached for their delicious meaty arms; their tasty, squishy brains.

I am talking about the Fremont "Red White & Dead" Zombie Walk, which was the biggest recorded zombie walk ever to occur. Among the 4,233 names registered in the Guinness Book of World Records is the name "Molly McIsaac", and I could not be more proud to have been part of the massive mob of people that lumbered down the streets, groaning for brains. This was only the second annual Red White and Dead, and both years a new record has been set. Last year's title was taken from us by London, so we went above and beyond this year and snatched it back… and yes, it was VERY bloody.

Zombies are obviously a huge part of pop culture right now, something that has really blown up like a rotting corpse in the last ten years or so. Comic books are no exception to this fascination with the living dead, as there are many great titles on the shelves these days. If you are a zombie fanatic, such as myself, you have probably already picked up the following titles. However, for those of you that haven't, here is my guide to some of the best zombie titles you can currently find at your comic shop.

The Walking Dead

Something a lot of stories in the zombie "genre" don't really explore is the effect that such a catastrophe would have on the human psyche. The Walking Dead does just that, with the zombies appearing more as background noise, a constant agitator that slowly drives groups of survivors into madness. It is a character study, not a comic about blowing up dead things.  The Walking Dead is a poignant study on the fragileness of our minds, all perpetuated by the apocalypse as brought on by zombies. 

The zombies themselves are the slow, lumbering zombies that George Romero brought to life with his classic films. They have taken over most of society, leaving few survivors struggling to make sense of what is happening around them, to adapt and make the best of what they are given. It is a comic about ordinary people doing extraordinary things in the face of extinction to their species. 

Marvel Zombies

While at first the subject matter may seem kitschy and silly ("your favorite super heroes… in ZOMBIE form!") Marvel Zombies is actually a very good run of comics. It takes the central themes of superhero comics (nobility, purity, good) and turns it completely on its head.

A virus has transformed all of the superheroes into a non stereotypical kind of zombie, as they still retain a fragment of their personality and wit… but they also hunger for flesh. Watching Spider-man do a 180 and begin to chow down on the people he has always protected so staunchly is half amusing and half nauseating. It is a clever little storyline, and if you enjoy alternate storylines with a twist… and zombies with super powers, then you should probably pick up this book. 

(And if you like Marvel Zombies, pick up Marvel Zombies: Dead Days TPB. It has a slightly different storyline, and in my opinion Robert Kirkman's writing really improves in it.)


Fragile is an inspired  foray into a little explored storyline: it is a comic told from the POV of the zombies, instead of from the humans.

In Fragile, the humans are the villains, casting a whole new light on what could have been a mediocre story if not for this setting. It touts itself as a "love story", but that aspect is not actually explored as much as it could be. The two main characters ARE in love, but they don't delve into the intricacies of it. However, there are some interesting characters, including a one armed zombie supermodel. The art is completely beautiful, and there is lots of om nom nomming of brains. 

Dead West

There is one thing I love almost as much as zombies, and that is SPAGHETTI WESTERNS. I was raised on movies like The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly and I have been devouring Red Dead Redemption lately. So I couldn't leave Dead West off of this list, which combines these two things into a conglomerate of AWESOME!

With zombies caused by a Native American curse because the White Man are acting like such dicks, the pages are full of sweet shootouts, bounty hunter cliches, and lots of other good ol' wild west themes. The art is chaotic and looks great, albeit it can be a little hard to follow at times from a story telling point of view. Rob G. works with straight pen and ink, which in a world where most comics are colored, is a little refreshing. Dead West is like George Romero and Clint Eastwood had some sort of black and white love child.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

I've heard Pride and Prejudice and Zombies described as "tea cups and terror", and I would say this a pretty accurate description of it. In a truly genius move, author Seth Grahame-Smith adapted Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice into a bloody, regency era romp. The central themes of the novel are still present: Elizabeth Bennet is still incredibly independent and intelligent, and she still falls in love with Mr. Darcy. However, the pages are speckled with ultraviolent zombie madness, the victims of the "strange plague".

Originally a novel but now adapted into a great looking graphic novel with art by Cliff Richards and adaptation by Tony Lee, it is just as awesome as the book itself was. However, if you're not familiar with the work of Jane Austen, you may find yourself a bit bored in parts, as her stories are very slow moving… even with zombies involved.

Now, go out there and eat some brains. 


Molly McIsaac points her camera at everything, rides unicorns, and enjoys fictional characters with green hair. You can stalk her to your heart's content on Twitter, where she talks about her various misadventures.


  1. i’m a pretty big fan of Boom Studios’ Zombie Tales: Death Valley. I figure it deserves a mention since nobody seems to know it exists.

  2. If you like Marvel Zombies 1 or 2, definately try 3. If you didn’t like 1 or 2, definately pick up 3. Fred Van Lente writes an incredible Machine Man story that features Jocasta and he travelling to the Zombieverse in search of a cure. Horror, hilarity and sweet, sweet robot love abound.

  3. The extended Marvel Zombies volumes by Van Lente are indeed fantastic. The current volume features Aaron Stack and Howard the Duck searching different zombie infested realities for a cure. It’s wonderful.

  4. I second on the Marvel Zombies love. The 3rd, 4th, and 5th volumes by Van Lente (and others) have been really great to read. Better then what Kirkman did in the first two. Love the idea of Fragile though, definitely giving it a try.

  5. I finally started reading The Walking Dead 3 weeks ago. I had 5 trades and the issues up through 66 waiting for me to get off my ass for a while. That stuff is like crack. I really expected that part of the press on it was part hype, but I am a believer in that series. Tore through everything and am desperately waiting for TPB 12 this month. You are spot on. The Zombies are not the real threat in TWD. The survivors are.

  6. Huh, I go on ONE trip and literally all hell breaks loose. = Oh well. Win some, lose some.


    Now if I can only win some that’ll be true….

  7. Don’t forget Boom Studio’s 28 Days Later

    This is a fantastic zombie story.

    Doug Dorr

  8. anyone remember Zombie World ?

    Dark Horse way ahead of the curve.