Friday, October 26, 2007

Savage Brothers: Review

Story by Andrew Cosby and Johanna Stokes
Art by Rafael Albuquerque

Is your mom a zombie? Sis? Dad?! Who you gonna call? Savage Brothers!

Have an undead loved one that needs retrieving?Call Dale and Otis Savage--they'll hop in their Ford F-150, bring'em back, or put 'em down. But when they get hired to retrieve a zombie scientist who holds the key to the supernatural apocalypse--are they selling out the human race? And when did the Savage Brothers start making bid decisions like this? And who is the mysterious guy with no body they call...The Head!?!? Anybody got some more barbecue.

Bonus: FEAR THE DEAD - Michael Alan Nelson's complete guidebook to the wondrous world of the undead, as seen through the eyes of one survivor of the Zombie Apocalypse! Featuring art from tons of today's terror titans!

I never had the chance to read the single issues of Savage Brothers so the TPB was my first exposure to this story. These days, it seems as if there are zombie stories aplenty in the comic book world. From Kirkman's Walking Dead and Marvel Zombies to Wormwood Gentleman Corpse and everything in-between the undead are everywhere. Honestly, as much as many of these books are well done I have been getting a bit tired of zombies. But Gwen, you say, how can anyone get tired of zombies!?! Alas, as much entertainment as zombies can bring, I have to say that I've been a little burnt out. Then, I read Savage Brothers and my joy in undead rampaging was renewed!

As much as the zombie apocalypse has almost become a stereotype in comic books (movies too I guess) this book adds a new and fun element to the setting: zombie bounty hunters. Dale and Otis Savage make their 'living' hunting down zombies for people who wish to put a loved one to rest - except it's hard to tell zombies apart. Pretty much the brothers make their way through the apocalypse as con artists and yet their characters still manage to be somewhat endearing.

The premise of this story is that Dale and Otis get hired to retrieve a specific zombie, but as soon as they get a hold of him living people start shooting at them. Along the way they rescue a stripper who's about to be sacrificed by a head in a jar who seems to lead many of the zombies. The three of them have to survive the undead, the Head and the people who hired them in the first place all the while trying to figure out why the zombie they have captured is so important.

The thing I enjoyed the most about this story was the characters. They are all somewhat shallowly developed (as the comic books isn't a lot of time to develop characters) and yet somehow this makes them work better. Honestly I have a hard time imagining a funnier scenario than rednecks and a stripper trying to reverse a zombie apocalypse. The humor is bordering on slapstick and is almost as much fun as bad pirate jokes. Also, the idea of a virgin stripper fighting zombies... honestly I couldn't stop laughing at the absurdity while reading this story.

The art is somewhat loosely done but it works for this type of story. I found it easy to follow, good at facial expressions (especially on the zombies) and very nicely laid out.

My major complaint about this TPB was the follow up story. It was depressing and dark and didn't seem to work with Savage Brothers at all. I didn't think it was the best choice to put these two stories together. Fear the Dead wasn't bad as much as it was misplaced. It was an interesting idea with some very nice horror-style artwork, but it certainly brought my mood down after reading Savage Brothers. It may have been better to leave Savage Brothers by itself and make it a small $10 book.

Overall this TPB was a good time. If you enjoy a good zombie book you should definitely check it out!


  1. That does sound like a fun premise.

  2. And I have to ask - been meaning to for a while - I know that Jim must be "Pops" but is Lee "Sparky" or "Princess"? =D

  3. well, I originally thought that Lee was Sparky, but after seeing the shirt he wore to the Baltimore comic con I'm thinking he's Princess...

  4. I could totally see Jim nicknaming Lee "Princess" =D

    That's why I had to ask.