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Zombies CallingZombies Calling (SLG Publishing), Faith Erin Hicks.

First things first, she’s wielding a spork on the cover. A spork! (I must’ve seen that cover a dozen or so times before realising)

I’ve been reading comics on and off for probably 20 or so years, but there are (embarrassingly) few artists that I could easily recognise at first glance. I’m happy to say that Faith Erin Hicks is definitely one of them: her style is refreshingly different, and more interesting for it.

It’s safe to say that there was some hype attached to Zombies Calling when it was released, and it’s easy to see why. Comparisons to Scott Pilgrim are fair, but only because Faith Erin Hicks and Bryan Lee O’Malley are both young, intelligent and depressingly talented. Beyond the passing stylistic resemblance, I see a much stronger similarity in the self-aware storytelling, and the detail of their characters: young, intelligent and filled with pop culture, much like their creators.

I think I’ve been avoiding all things zombie since reading a few issues of The Walking Dead.. it was certainly very compelling, but there’s a sadistic quality that makes it difficult to enjoy. Zombies Calling is like the other side of the same coin – a much lighter touch, thoroughly readable, and yet still maintaining many of those zombie-movie conventions in a playfully self-referential way.

SLG has a great 15-page preview. If you like what you see, you should also check out Ice, Faith Erin Hicks’ semi-regular web comic (currently up to page 185).

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