The folks at FUBAR Press started with a simple but powerful dream. And is not America built upon dreams and the strength of character to turn those dreams into reality?
Their dream was to bring American history and zombies together into one comic book. They have produced a number of titles exploring the importance of zombies in American history. At New York Comic Con the folks behind FUBAR — Jeff McComsey, Jeff McClelland and Steve Becker — convinced me to pick up American History Z. With every purchase they would draw on the front page your zombie of choice. I chose Jeff Davis, who along with Toombs and Rhett I would cheerfully consign to the lowest levels of hell.
At 395 pages this is a heavy tome. Dimensions are smaller than a standard comic, but larger than a paperback.The stories are short, however, between 8 to 9 pages. They start with the first English Settlement in American, and finally explains that colony’s disappearance. It was zombies. Several stories involve the Native Americans using the undead to protect their land. And King George? That evil bastard used zombies as well, which is why Paul Revere’s mid-night ride didn’t go exactly as you were taught. The stories span US history up to the 2008 election. The last story, basically a one joke punch line is called “Hope and Change (Into a Zombie)”.
The art is all black and white. The stories and the art remind me of that classic B&W comic from the 1960s and 1970s, Creepy.
Most of the stories aim for horror. Several use “zombie” as a metaphor and a few are funny. A very mixed bag. Since the stories are short, the book can be picked up from time to time, or binged in one sitting. For those people who goonce or twice a day to a particular room to meditate, this book is perfect. For those five to 10 minutes of alone time, American History Z is a fine companion.
Once you get through this volume, you can go back to check out volumes 1 and 2. Volume 1, entitled European Theater of the Damned, addresses the role zombies played in World War 2 in Europe and Volume 2 addresses the Pacific Theater of that war. Silly, perhaps? Well, maybe zombies are being played out, but that is the charm of this series. They toy with the idea, so don’t take it too seriously. If you love zombies, then this series is for you. If you are just done and view zombies as overexposed as vampires, might want to give it a pass. But if you are on the fence, jump over and take a chance. American History Z is a light and diverting read particularly for those 5 minutes of “meditation room” time.