I’ve been writing a lot about zombies lately, so I was going to change it up this month and write about some great comics I’ve been reading. But then I read this strange review of the new Netflix Original Series, Santa Clarita Diet, (SCD) from Esquire by a woman named Katie Van Brunt, and frankly, it demanded a response.
In my last update, I outlined the many reasons I think you should be watching the CW’s iZombie series. Since he knows how much I like the show, for Christmas Mr. Menace decided to give me the iZombie omnibus – all 28 issues of Chris Roberson and Mike Allred’s series packed into one (admittedly pretty hefty) volume. He’d read the entire series as it came out, and was curious to hear my take on it as a fan of the show. So after the holidays, I dove on in.
iZombie is based on the comic book of the same name by Chris Roberson and Mike Allred, who provides the gorgeous opening credit art, but apart from the primary conceit about how zombies work — that they absorb the personalities and memories of the previous owners of the brains that they eat, and if they don’t eat brains, they lose all intelligence and humanity — they couldn’t be more different.
The original comic was chock-full of other sorts of monsters — vampires, werewolves, and ghosts — and was a meditation on Emerson’s concept of an over-soul. iZombie, the show, is a police procedural about a zombie medical examiner with the punny name of Liv Moore who uses her brain-connections to solve murders. It sounds goofy, when you describe it like that, but trust me, the concept works. Mind you, I’m not sure if this show is totally “hidden,” but since I know so few other people watching it, I’m calling it.
In the pattern typical for showrunner Rob Thomas (no, not that Rob Thomas — though the Season Two finale makes great use of the connection), who previously helmed Veronica Mars and Party Down, iZombie seems to be critically acclaimed and enjoys a rabidly loyal but very small fan base.
As someone who hopes to see it last long enough to get a satisfying conclusion, here are five reasons you should be watching this show.
Last week, Cartoon Sara was kind enough to share her comprehensive and well-researched list of favorite Christmas Specials. This got me thinking about some of my favorite holiday themed comic books and stories. Limited a bit by availability (as in online and in my house), here is a quick sample of just some of the comics out there for those of us in search of a bit more holiday (and in some cases I use this term loosely) cheer.
Spoiler Warning: Consider this my Op-ed piece, and it does contain spoilers if you are not totally up to date on Season 3 of The Walking Dead TV series, or haven’t read past the prison/Woodbury in the comics.
While my love for The Walking Dead show has never reached my love for the comic, I certainly had times when I have liked it, even enjoyed watching it. But frankly, those times are becoming fewer and farther between. For AMC, this show has been a boon. Not that AMC is any slouch when it comes to compelling dramas (Mad Men, Breaking Bad), but The Walking Dead has shattered previous viewing records. There is even a show that is entirely centered around fans, some affiliated with the show, some not, discussing, speculating and otherwise swooning over recent show happenings (The Talking Dead). That said, by the time season 4 rolls around TWD will be on its third show runner, the most notable loss being Frank Darabont, whose first season run has definitely been my favorite. Despite all this internal churn, the show remains very popular with both people who are fresh to the material and those who read the comics. It is however, becoming less popular with me.
Like the other ladies, I am going to share 3 things I am reading/have read. Also, you will note I am posting a day early so you can go out and grab these books for reading during your post-Thanksgiving food coma!
Locke & Key
Plot– After the murder of their father, the Locke children and their mother move back to the Keyhouse, the family estate located in Lovecraft, Massachusetts. There Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode soon discover that keys of Keyhouse hold their own powers, and that Keyhouse itself is the home (prison?) of something even more sinister.
Why you should read it- Why shouldn’t you??? Suspense, fantasy, mystery….excellent storytelling and beautiful illustrations. Joe Hill creates his own mythos with the keys of Keyhouse ( the Head Key is horrifying and covetous at the same time) and Gabriel Rodriguez’s art is rich and lush. Make sure to spend some time with the cover galleries in the back of each trade paperback-I got the very affordable and very nicely done hardcovers (they come with a build in bookmark-so classy!). The Goog started reading this series first and suggested it for Comicazi Book Club. It was a huge hit, with many people, myself included, quickly picking up the next book to continue the story. There are currently 5 trades out. I believe the 6th TPB will be the final of this story (the issues for the final arc have just become available, so if you can’t wait, you can get those). Though word is there will be a 7th, which looks at the the larger universe that has been created, there are a lot of stories in Keyhouse.
Bonus– There was talk of a television series. A pilot was shot but Fox never picked it up. For funsies, you can see the trailer that was shown at the 2011 San Diego Comicon here. AND…This just in…There will be a movie trilogy!