Printed Perversions: Zombie Chuck (2011)
No, it’s not an alternative reality version of the television series (though that’d be pretty cool). Today’s Printed Perversion is about an altogether different Chuck– one that has more in common with Marvel’s seemingly excommunicated dead teenager (Mort the Dead Teenager) than any Nerd Herd employee.
Equal parts monster/zombie horror and sci-fi adventure, Brian Fyffe’s (http://www.fyffo.com/) self-published Zombie Chuck #1 is an outrageously simple and fun book that brings to mind the best of Jay Stephens (Tutenstein, The Secret Saturdays) with a stylization and storyline that would lend itself well to just about any format– especially animation. Despite its all ages aesthetic, though, Brian instills Zombie Chuck with more than a few Easter Eggs for hardcore horror fans like references to Night of the Living Dead, Plan 9 from Outer Space, and (unless I’m mistaken) Stuart Gordon’s From Beyond in the from of a parasitic “head worm,” all of which are mixed with an ample serving of Shaun of the Dead. It’s a fun combination that broadens its appeal without losing younger fans.
Fyffe introduces a lot of information in this first issue, jumping straight into the “zom-com” goodness within the span of the book’s first 5 pages. The result is a little disorienting at first, making it a little hard to connect with the book’s two protagonists, Chuck and his (girl)friend Lily, but over the course of the book’s 30 pages Fyffe does manage to make the characters endearing while setting the stage for future issues (the next issue due this Halloween features werewolves).
As if such a great indie book wasn’t enough, Fyffe also included a few extra goodies for me to hang around the clubhouse including a Zombie Chuck t-shirt, buttons, character cards that form a mini-poster, and even a collectible Chuck figure (all of which are available in his shop)! It’s honestly one of the best packages I’ve ever seen from an indie creator, much less some of the coolest merchandise I’ve received yet. You can bet I’ll be ordering the second issue this October to see if lightning strikes twice with this undead hero and his “Girl Friday.”