Night of the Living Dead: Aftermath Vol.1
Author: David Hine
Art: German Erramouspe
Publisher: Avatar Press
Publication Date: 2013
Night of the Living Dead: Aftermath, takes place nine years after the outbreak of the movie and is written by experienced comic writer David Hine, who takes the story into the usual graphic novel territory of tits and gore, removing any semblance of Romero’s movie or style leaving it related in name only. Now I don’t know if this was the decision of Hine or part of his brief from Avatar (as Escape of the Living Dead is in an identical from the same publishers) but it gives the story the ring of a cheap cash in, when on its own, separate merits its strong enough to stand on it’s own or perhaps link it with the Escape of the Living Dead franchise.
The artwork is done by German Erramouspe and it is fantastic, the detail and gore is spot on in the full page images and no doubt what fans of the genre who read this blog are after, with many iconic images such as the zombie Elvis feeding frenzy, while the specific story panels are clear yet bloody allowing for easy reading.
Being a volume one rather than a standalone story, we do not get any story resolution but can make out a key story arc within the six contained chapters, which is halfway through and a fair length as this story is not strong enough to endure like The Walking Dead series.
Set in 1977, nine years after the fateful events of the film (and one year before events in Dawn of the Dead) the story begins with quite risque imagery as a bald female zombie oddly ch0oses to go down on her victim, although all is not as it seems as it turns out she is very much alive and the lead singer for the LA-based zombie worshiping punk rock band ‘The Creeping Dead’ who gets caught up in a real zombie outbreak…with hilarious consequences. Fleeing to escape the undead, she she heads to the zombie free Las Vegas to meet up with her father, little does she realise that the zombie threat has increased and soon every major west coast town and city declares martial law.
From here the sub-plots start to sneak in featuring a cheating husband who is also a zombie insurance salesman(!), an elderly couple on an anniversary trip and of course, a down on his luck gambler amongst others with these characters being thankfully more hit than miss but do somewhat make the overall story a little disjointed in parts as they are sometimes crammed into interwoven stories or situations although thankfully the gambler, Vic Fargo gets treated to a few extra pages detailing his backstory and his journey to Vegas and the real reasons why he needs to win big.
Overall this is a solid if unspectacular first volume, doesn’t need the Night of the Living Dead moniker but irregardless if you can pick it up for a decent price it is worth it for the strong artwork and average story, and the strangest quote I have read about the sound of the zombie apocalypse; 3/5
“It sounded like a horde of arthritic old men beating off in an abattoir”