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Showing 1-9 of 9 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 17 reviews
TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 16, 2014
That quote above is lifted from the blurb on the cover of Faith Erin Hicks' original 2004 web comic, Zombies Calling, and it should've been plastered on the graphic novel as well, because it's catchy, son. Indie web comic historians are hip to that the graphic novel is a 112 page expansion on that original 15 page web comic. Hicks is one of my quirky indie faves. She's done more polished stuff since - this graphic novel, published by SLG in 2007 - was her first venture into print.

Our key character is Jocelyn (her pals call her "Joss"), an enthusiastic college co-ed attending London University, southern Ontario, Canada. When not fretting about her crippling student loan, she nurtures two obsessions: all things British (love her Union Jack tank top - that she never takes off) and zombie lore. When she gets called out for her fascination with zombie cinema, Joss is quick to point out that zombie films "teach us valuable life lessons like what to do when confronted with an invasion of zombies, especially when you're wearing three-inch heels."

Oh, her college flatmates mock. Ah, but who do they turn to when London U falls prey to a zombie infestation? It falls to Joss to guide her friends to survival with the aid of a change jar, a spork, and The Rules of Zombie Movies. The original web comic essentially plays off that Buffy/Bollywood cliché about the regular guy who, when attacked by vampires or zombies or a mob of thugs, instantly transforms into a badass ninja type. For the graphic novel, Hicks, who writes and illustrates, delivers a bit more story development. But it's still a skeletal plotline. Joss's hipster cool flatmates - goth chick Sonnet and oblivious, semi-pervy dude Robyn - get more character treatment. We even get an explanation for why and how of the zombie uprising.

There isn't much in the way of sub-text. If you're anticipating a dark, bloody yarn with heavy social metaphors about mass consumerism and the decay of society, this isn't for you. It's an absurd, tongue-in-cheek zombie tale with a whiff of parody and a sense of self-awareness. There's even a foray into sweaty nerd territory as Joss makes a dig at fast-moving zombies.

3.5 out of 5 stars. Zombies Calling, in tone and in visual aesthetics, reminds me of Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim. I like how Hicks draws facial expressions. Even back then, her style crackled with vivid life. If I had one complaint, it's that her zombies all looked alike, like old dude zombies with body ulcers. I do recommend Zombies Calling, because it's fun, but with the caveat that it's a fluffy read, a new writer/artist's exercise in getting her feet wet in the biz. If you want to read Faith Erin Hicks at the top of her game, glom on to The Adventures of Superhero Girl or The War at Ellsmere or Friends with Boys.

The last few pages of the graphic novel offer a peek at early sketches as well as thumbnails of three potential cover concepts, complete with Hicks's giving us some background detail.
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on April 8, 2010
I was searching for zombie graphic novels on Amazon one day. There really aren't many so after a few minutes of searching I found one that interested me. My wife gave me an allowance to spend on books, I know, what a bummer. But I did find a used copy of Zombies Calling for a more than fair price. I saw it, bought it and now I've read it.

Joss has an obsession with zombie movies. She's watched every walking dead film imaginable. She's studies them so well that she created the `rules' of zombie movies. It was just another typical day in Joss' frat house. She has spent most of her time there with her friends Sonnet and Robyn. They're not obsessed zombie fans like Joss but none the less they love having her as a friend.

Joss stepped out of the frat house for only a few minutes, and within those minutes her dreams have become reality. Zombies have invaded her university's campus. She manages to escape and makes her way back to Sonnet and Robyn.

Of course when Joss tells her friend they don't believe her, until they are face to face with the undead. Joss uses the zombie rules that she has collected from movies in order to save herself and her friends. When they decide to ignore the zombie movie rules they find themselves in big trouble. If the rules can't save them now, then who else can they turn too?

Zombies Calling, is a wonderful little graphic novel. It is a very short book but it will hold your interest until you reach the end. I would have considered this more of a children comic book if it wasn't for the group's brief virgin talk. The plot was well thought out but it was lacking in the suspense department. There was little to no action, but in the few action scenes the fighting was entertaining. The zombies illustrated in the book are brilliantly drawn. They do look very cartoonish but this is a cartoon comic that is what I expect them to look like. The zombies were after brains, not really the type of zombie I like to read about. No one was even eaten by the zombies so that was a little bit of a let down. Someone has to die in the story, right?

This graphic novel was a fun read. I do recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and inexpensive zombie comic. The price is just right for what you're getting and it's very entertaining with superb Illustrations. I will give Zombie Calling a fair 3 Undead Heads out of 5.
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on September 19, 2011
A common complaint about zombie stories is that the characters never seem to know anything about zombies. This is obviously for a reason: so that the characters will have no idea what they're up against and have to figure out how to protect themselves against it. But this story, set on a college campus in Canada, is based around a anglophile student who knows everything about zombie movies, knows the rules of a zombie outbreak, and thus knows exactly what to do when the dead start crashing through doors and windows. She has a goth girl and a virginal guy as her companions who, of course, aren't buying any of it, but as the protagonist shows that she really knows what she's talking about, you have a zombie story that finally acknowledges that other zombie stories exist at all. It's really about time.

In other words, our hero is who you're pretty sure you'd be if the zombies did actually rise.

It's a small comic, drawn reasonably well, with fun characters and a solid story, and it's worth having. I'm glad I have it in my extensive collection, and you'll be as well.
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on May 1, 2014
I love Hicks work. This is a cute story to read while you're waiting around or just need light reading. Though I felt the story lacked something.
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on February 8, 2015
Another lovely book by Hicks.
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on August 25, 2014
Really like it.
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on May 24, 2009
loved it actually.
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on June 3, 2014
The cover is better than the book. The book it self wasn't a good read at all. I won't waste my time
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on November 26, 2010
I had to read this graphic novel for one of my college courses. I was a bit disappointed with the lack of creativity and quality of this book; the novel's binding fell apart the moment I had opened it. I thought this book would be unique and would be set apart from other zombie stories, but it was merely a poor attempt of satire.
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