If there’s one scenario worthy of being classified as ‘counter-culture’, that has motivated sci-fi and horror writers into a frenzy of creation over the last four decades, the zombie apocalypse has to be top of that list. No other fictional genre has such deep roots in contemporary cultural consciousness. The danger with the popularity of this genre could see it doomed to mediocrity or worse when excellent comic book titles like Tim Seeley’s Revival get overshadowed by the mountain-high pulp that is the zombie carcass.
Wausau – Population 38,426
Unlike the seemingly never-ending draft of zombie-infected story-lines available in print and film, Revival treats the reader to something a little more unexpected. You’re Among Friends collects the first five issues concentrating on the events immediately after Revival Day; a day which saw those who died in Wausau, Wisconsin rise up to their daily activities, look for loved-ones and even become criminals.
Central to this rural noir drama is the Cypress family. Officer Dana Cypress is a member of the Rothschild Police Department and it’s with her that we first discover the extent to which those that have revived now demand and stretch the local law enforcements resources. Characters, locations and events are thrown carefully at the reader so that there’s enough time to soak up the twists and turns that this often dark story produces. It’s not only those that have revived who are causing the drama in Revival – the reader is privy to the central strained Cypress family dynamic with Dana’s father the Sheriff of Rothschild and a sister(Martha) that is full of youthful determination.
The effect on the community and how it copes with the increasing media and governmental interest is also laid bare. Acts of freeloading, religious fevour and opportunism are never very far away from the revivers and ultimately these first five chapters show humanity at its worst. This is powerful stuff indeed.
Revel in the Revival
Revival’s strengths lay in it being produced by an excellent writer in Tim Seeley and the composed and often haunting artwork of Mike Norton. Jenny Frison also shows an understanding and interpretation of the most important moments in each issue, which are represented in her stark cover art.
The balance of wordy panels often are intersected by moments where Norton gives the reader something just as dramatic without text being used. It’s this balance between highly effective artwork and a story that never leaves the reader questioning a character’s motivation that allows it to shine. Revival points to how comic books can have both juicy story and art that can still breath without any of the sacrifice.
Worth a read?
There’s a sense that with these three together creating this comic book nothing should stop Revival becoming as important to modern comics as The Walking Dead has fast become. Go and get to this title while it is still fairly young. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Revival – You’re Among Friends is available from good comic stores and online retailers. We paid for our own copy.