What's a girl to do?! Gwen Dylan digs graves for a living, her best friend Ellie is a girl from the 60's who happens to be a ghost, and her other friend Scott is of the furrier persuasion, a.k.a Were-Terrier... kind of an off shoot of a Were-Wolf. Add to that mix one "hot" Mummy, a pack of Vampire ladies who run a paint ball game in the woods, and a pair of Vampire Hunters. Wow! Oh, I forgot... Gwen is a Zombie, but a kind of Zombie hybrid. She's not all stiff and stumbling around with her hands out stretched, but she does needs to eat human brains once a month to maintain her "being normal".
iZombie: Dead to the World is the trade paperback of the first 5 issues of the comic iZombie plus House Of Mystery Halloween Annual #1. It's 144 pages of a great story, published by DC Comics and Vertigo. First the artwork though... Michael Allred is talented! The characters are well drawn with wonderful nuances to really bring the characters to life; expressive and detailed. Not only are the characters drawn well, but the backgrounds are fully fleshed out, making the whole scene interesting to look at. And all of this adds to the great story, which is both complex and well developed.
The story centers around Gwen, who we learn early on is a Zombie and who works during the day as a grave digger. In these first 5 stories that make up the first tpb, iZombie: Dead to the World, we don't learn Gwen's background, but we learn of her anguish as she must eat a human brain once a month to keep her memories alive and be "normal". She chooses her "victims" as the recently departed that she happens to bury the morning before. What happens when she does "eat", besides her utter revulsion to it, is that she becomes possessed with the last thoughts of the dead person, and must fulfill their last wishes; which may mean "righting a wrong" or solving their murder as is the case in Gwen's first "possession" in Dead to the World." The other stories that are woven together are those of "the murderer", the vampire ladies who are seductive looking as well as deadly as they run a paintball game deep in the woods outside the city, the handsome and aloof mummy who wants to teach Gwen more about her "new" self, and his leopard companion, and finally the good guys who know about the vampires terrorizing the city and aim to rid the area of them. There is some dead-pan humor, romance and mystery layered within the story, which keeps you turning the pages. It's an intelligent take on the whole zombie scene and I really enjoyed it. I loved the story with all the different subplots that are all inter-related, and as I previously said, the artwork was great.
I don't mind a zombie or two on my reading plate, or a vampire here and there either. This is the start to what I hope is a fun series. If you enjoy graphic novels, enjoy a host of fun, "flawed" but engaging characters living out their lives in a great story, give iZombie a try! It's a step up from your everyday zombie novel, and you'll be dying for more! And if you are, iZombie: Dead to the World collects the first five individual issues of iZombie, but as far as individual issues are concerned, issue #12 is due to come out April 6th.