Zombies are so much fun. Of course, they can be threatening in a constantly tense setting, but there are so many other ways to portray them. While always maintaining some kind of danger, as the lasting impact of a failed encounter with them is still terrifying, you can discover the excitement in the chaos they set off. The first time I realized that was while I watched Dawn of the Dead by George Romero. A movie with a lot of stakes, but that lets you enjoy those little bits of peace inside an 80s mall. The second time I felt that was while reading Zombie Date Night.
From the very first page with our protagonist and his grandmother, you know the creative team created something great. There are few times I laughed out loud so much as I did with Steve Urena’s writing for the grandma. The comic is filled to the brim with colorful and instantly recognizable characters, like a paranoid conspiracy theorist with a chainsaw for leg, put into crazy and over-the-top situations. Fortunately, to accompany such fun characters, we have great art and colors Sergi Doménech and Joshua Jensen respectively. It’s an art style that works very well with the 80s aesthetic the comic is going for, feeling stripped out of a B movie from the same decade.
Another great achievement comes from the lettering by Anthony Rella, who manages to perfectly capture every extravagant and exaggerated action we see. In a story with so much slashing and crashing and biting, the lettering helps make every violent encounter even more distinct and even reminiscent of old pulp comics.
But it’s not all excessive action here. Although it does fill a lot of it. I think it’s very clever how Urena presents the history of this world and the origin of the zombie breakout, leaving some clues in the characters’ dialogue but never giving a concrete answer yet, making the reader as clueless and lost as the people in the story, left only to theorize what might have caused everything. The romance teased by the title is well developed, showing the growing bond between two people that go from being on a date to surviving in a zombie apocalypse, making you wonder how will it be affected by everything else. It doesn’t feel rushed or out of place between all the dismembering. Even when you find the romance aspect of the comic in the most unexpected places possible, it feels like a great idea.
Zombie Date Night understands the fun there is to have in horror and promises to spread it like a disease. If you like the sound of that, I cannot recommend you enough to pick up and support this great comic.