So often within the zombie world, we focus on the bad and the drama. We wonder how—or even why—people could survive in such a bleak, bleak world.
During our initial dive into Double Take’s comic universe, an expansion upon the world created by Night of the Living Dead, we focused on the imprint’s more dramatic offering. But surviving in a world full of mind-munching zombies can be funny, too.
Now while all the books seem to embody a light and funny attitude, several titles seem especially geared toward the funny, while still telling an interesting story set in the fictional Evans County, Pennsylvania. The first 3 issues of these stories and others can be read for free at Double Take’s website.
Through these very funny titles, Double Take really captures its expanded universe ethos, including fake ads and a letters page called Coast to Coast. They also include recipes which usually consist of two ingredients: 1 item of food (i.e egg roll, hamburger, meat pie etc.) and 1 slice of pizza. You’re then instructed to wrap the food item in the slice of pizza. It’s added “silly” things like this that make you feel like you’re in on a joke with a team of creators that are truly having fun.
Home Vol. 1: Lighter than Air
This would rank as my favorite book from Double Take so far. The conceit is somewhat of a switcheroo. The Foster family appears to be a typical 1960’s television family (think Leave it to Beaver). They’re all well-spoken, often quoting bible verses. From the beginning you get the sense that something is off about the Fosters.
That suspicion is confirmed when, during a trip to town, Paul and Claire Foster’s son Kevin is bitten by a zombie at Beekman’s Diner. They rush to University Hospital, where the doctors discover that Kevin is different and begin to dissect him. Luckily, the come to the rescue. In a daring car chase, eldest Foster child Linda and her boyfriend Tim rescue Kevin, and return to the Foster Family Farm. They head for the hay silo, which—plot twist—is actually a spaceship.
The Fosters are secretly aliens attempting to fit in on Earth. So, they head for the next town where hopefully the story is continued for a second volume.
The artwork is consistent throughout and the book is filled with fun running gags, like Linda and boyfriend Tim, typical hormonal teenagers, always sneak off to “do it” but get interrupted every time. Tim must have the bluest balls in comics’ history.
Remote Vol. 1: Dead Air
As a lifetime Howard Stern fan, any stories about radio DJ’s immediately catch my attention. And that’s what Dead Air is really about. During the zombie attack on Evans County, Samantha Stanton is stuck in her radio station, and the show must go on. She remains on the air and puts her zombified crew back to work, training them to push buttons and do small jobs for “yum yums.” As the hours pass, her ratings keep increasing, probably because she only has competition from two other radio DJ’s: a rock DJ and a Christian radio show.
The longer Samantha stays on the air, the raunchier her show becomes. Unsurprisingly, this upsets the Christian radio show host Virgil, who rounds up a posse of Hard Right Conservative Christians to march an attack on Samantha’s radio show. Their offensive succeeds, but I won’t spoil how Samantha survives. Though it’s a fun journey, the artwork seems a bit inconsistent from issue to issue, a detail that might smooth out with a second volume.
Dedication Vol. 1: Checked Out
Dedication is set in George’s Grocery Store which has been featured prominently in other titles. It’s a pretty light fare about how the store is run in the face of the ghoul outbreak. The ghouls barge into the grocery store after hours, eating poor George out of house and home. But this is a zombie universe so expect the unexpected: The teens working for George acquire super powers.
George switches gears and attempts to capitalize on the ghoul outbreak by buying up all the stores in town, forming his own conglomerate, making huge profits as a result. (A nice continuity touch: They play Samantha’s radio show from Remote: Dead Air throughout the story.) As bad as the ghouls are, the true monsters in this narrative are the humans. The regular non- customers are legitimately more of a pain in the ass than the zombies.
This book boasts the best cover art of all the Double Take titles and the artwork inside is great as well. The coloring really stands out, making it that much more enjoyable.