While we’re all around on our thumbs waiting patiently for the return of The Walking Dead next season (I say “all” because, well, who isn’t?), the search for some good ol’ zombie stories can be a bit cumbersome. The new series iZombie is a guilty pleasure and not a bad replacement, but I fear it might grow old real quick as the storyline seems limited. Both of these works originated from the pages of comics (TWD from Image Comics by Robert Kirkman and iZombie from DC by Chris Robertson and Michael Allred), so it makes sense to return to the pages of graphic fiction if you really want to find something worthwhile in the brain eating world.
It didn’t take long to strike gold with So…I Survived the Zombie Apocalypse and All I Got Was this Podcast from Dark Horse Books. Having been published in November of 2013, it’s surprising to have taken this long to discover it. A large list of contributors is credited for this one. The story was written by Chris W. Freeman, and Korey Hunt while Jonathan Appel joined the two as the creators. The book’s art is by Richard Bonk, rbeAndrew Mangum, Alan Kupperg, Anthony Diecidue, and Jerry Beck. Other names listed are Thomas Chu for colors, Kel Nuttall provided the letters and Melike Acar delivered the eye catching cover you see on the left. I feel the mention of all of these names is important because the book is so well done. Do yourself a favor and look them up.
In the crumbling face of a Zombie Apocalypse and perhaps the last living person on Earth, Mara Mitchell clings to humanity by maintaining a podcast with the hope that maybe, just maybe somebody else out there will catch her show and she will no longer be alone.
Mara also tends to a small garden in her fenced in yard, a subject she often references in her show as well as her narrative daily life. After a snake bite forces her to venture into town for medical supplies, our hero discovers that the hordes of zombies are all female because they’ve eaten all of the males.
With hopes of finally making friends and just becoming one of the girls, she goes back outside her “compound” baring gifts, only to discover that the world outside her fence is just as violent and twisted as she thought it was. And in some cases, it is even worse. It turns out that the zombie women can be just as awful as the girls she remembered from days before the apocalypse and being singled out from the crowd can be painful both physically and mentally.
The story has a lot of hidden meanings that gives readers a lot to think about. The social inadequacies found in modern society can still be found in an apocalyptic world, it just looks different with all of the blood and gore thrown in.
Mara often talks about her garden with the naïve passion one might hold for a pet. It seems like caring for the plants is a way for her to believe that life can still rise from the soil. But just like the thorn covered plants, the living should always defend themselves if they hope to survive.
So…I Survived the Zombie Apocalypse and All I Got Was this Podcast is a pleasant little surprise for anyone looking for some Walking Dead filler over the reruns of summer. It has just enough thought behind it to make it a good read and the visual artwork makes it worth the price of admission alone.