Monday 3 July 2017

Book Review: Olivier Peru / Sophian Cholet - 'Zombies, A Brief History of Decay'

'Zombies: A Brief History Of Decay'

I’ve never been a big fan of "Z fiction". Movies, books, video games… Not the type of content I’m used to enjoy, that’s it, but that doesn’t mean I’m not capable of see something good when it is in front of my. This comic was really good for sure.
'Zombies: A Brief History of Decay' is a graphic novel full of drama and emotions. Writer Olivier Peru isn’t afraid of playing with your feelings and killing every single character you start to like. It’s carnage at it’s primal look.

The story presented is far from being the most original: the world is about to end by the hands of the zombies, and human race is trying to survive the best way they can. Groups are formed, families search for each other, Friends try to protect themselves… I think you get the idea.
However, Peru plays with your feelings with no shame, putting all of his characters in different situations that make you wonder what is wrong with him, why wouldn’t he let things be just a little happier, but the truth is that life is not that pretty in these kind of situations, humans are not that simple, and 'Zombies...' is, first of all, a very human story.

Don’t expect to find a main character, they all have their own time and space in this comic, and each of them has something to add to the general plot. Because of this, depending on what kind of reader you are, you can either get lost among so many of them or see a bigger plot taking place on its pages. I must say I’m between both possibilities, ending with a love-hate relationship with this story.

What surprised me the most (besides the fact that this guy seems to be very friendly to have created something so cruel) is that even if you don’t fully understand everything in the beginning, the story is so light and fluent at that point that you just keep going on, page by page, until you’re so deep in this wretched world that you won’t stop until you’re done with it. 

To say that the illustrations are perfect and match the plot is just not enough. Graphic, no censorship allowed and with a visceral style, artist Sophian Cholet and colourist Simon Champelovier take all the risks to create a world as interesting as this story, working (almost always) with small panels that still have enough space for the dialogues and narrative. 

I had a problem with this at first, as I strongly prefer the art to tell the story by itself, but with so many words and so detailed graphics, I felt overwhelmed more than just once. As I said before, this is not my kind of reading, and neither the style I’m used to in comics, but once you get into it, things become more enjoyable.

The last thing I have to say is a big thank you to the publisher for this ARC. I’m sure as heck will be keeping an eye on both the company and the author!

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