Here's a fun little zombie story I really liked which I wanted to review for quite some time since I read it.
Comic title: The Last Resort
Art by Giancarlo Caracuzzo
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Published by IDW
Lineup One shot
Format: Trade Paperback collecting the mini-series The Last Resort #1-5.
The Last Resort is a little graphic novel that collects a mini-series imagined by the awesome writing duo of Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray.
In my eyes, they're to comics what Tarantino and Rodriguez are to the cinema. Their story telling relies heavily on characters' interaction with a tone inspired by pulp serials mixed with different other genres.
They're always able to manage turning the simplest or dullest pitches into full guns a-blazing action-packed very engaging story. Their characters are always full of life and charm. Their dialogues sharp.
They are behind the fantastic Jonah Hex/All-Star Western series for DC Comics. I truly recommend Jonah Hex for any fan of good comic books/western/stories!
Anyway, through Last Resort, they wanted to make this big fun tribute to old 1970s zombie exploitation films. In comic book form.
What's it about?
The Last Resort follows a group of stereotypically diverse characters that find themselves crash landed on a paradisaic tropical island under a zombie infestation.
The story jumps from one group of characters to another as we turn the pages.
None of these characters are hero material or what you'd call a good main protagonist, they're all flawed in their own way.
Someone's cheating on their other half, two crude junkies are trying to get away from it all, someone's looking for a missing family member... Well, the pilots and their crew are the only truly "good" people aboard actually. But will they make it to the end?
All these people find themselves in one big Caribbean paradise turned nightmare as their plane crash during the storm and they find themselves in the middle of a biological disaster. The zombie outbreak happened earlier in parallel to the characters' introduction.
Will these passengers put their differences aside to survive the day? And can't they escape or at least prevent this infestation from spreading outside the island?
Last Resort is a very fun page turner. It is inspired by the recent zombie-invasion in pop culture these last few years. It's mostly inspired by all these movies made this past decade and the video games as well. From Romero's Land of the Dead to 28 Days/Weeks Later, the film I Am Legend or even the game Left 4 Dead.
These are clearly not your grandfather's zombies. These flesh eating monsters are fast, closer to rage-infected people than the old supernatural undead or voodoo possessed men.
The story was written and created by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Grey. It's sort of a crossover between a disaster movie and a zombie flick.
It's quite very R-Rated, the story takes fun in showing all these various non-Comic Code kind of things. Characters smoke, are having sex and being despicable to one another.
It was beautifully illustrated by European artist Giancarlo Caracuzzo. Again, Palmiotti and Grey love to pick all sort of talents on their projects (such as Jonah Hex), usually bande dessinée cartoonist that never got a chance to shine on US comic books. Caracuzzo's art has this watercolor tone that is a bit rough around the edge but really suits the mood of a zombie story perfectly. His art is simple but really stunning on the more chaotic scenes.
The entire series got these cute cover pin-ups by Darwyn Cooke. While complexity different from what is expected inside the book, it really gives a tropical tone to the whole story.
Overall, it's a really fun story. The tropical island is an appreciated change from the usual post-apocalyptic setting in these kind of tales.
Don't let the cover art fool you, that's some mature content right there! But with what in mind, it's a really entertaining over the top celebration of all things Z-movies. With plenty of gore, sex and tension! The story does give us a false happy ending before closing on a very bleak epilogue. There's a very satirical tone in the whole book.
I'm sure this would have made a great movie (but it would have probably ended up a bit generic in the translation).
Think of it as a sort of Lost meets The Walking Dead.
Speaking of which, this might not be Kirkman's Walking Dead, but it's still very engaging. A nice break from or a filler in-between two trades.
Coincidentally enough, a game was released a year after this book, you'd even think it's actually based/inspired by Last Resort, however it's totally unrelated to this book. Dead Island. If you like one, I'd recommend you check the other. Really worth it!
I give it: