"Dead of Winter #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Oni Press
Written by Kyle Starks
Illustrated by Gabo
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on September 13th, 2017
Dead of Winter already had a lot going for it since it’s a zombie comic based on a hit table top game series and the main character is a dog named Sparky. If that’s not enough to pique your interest, I got something else for you. This issue introduces a drunk mall Santa and a deranged police officer villain.
Writer Kyle Starks does a great job balancing the terror of a zombie apocalypse with laugh-out-loud humor. There are genuine moments of terror that are offset by moments of levity. This can be seen with Ruckus in the police station as he tries to talk his way out of imprisonment by this menacing cop that is clearly broken and crazy.
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This cop will send shivers down your spine. Artist Gabo’s depiction is terrifying to look at. The man is wearing traditional police shades with one lens missing, revealing a never-blinking eye with a pinprick pupil. He shows no real emotion on his face, half scarred by a horrific burn. His helmet has a huge dent in the top, which makes me question his mental capacities. He’s like a bizarre version of the cop from Stephen King’s Desperation.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a zombie comic without the undead. They are an ever present force in Dead of Winter, even with more pressing terrors awaiting the characters. What makes them scary is their numbers. You know that things are getting real when a huge group of zombies start funneling into an enclosed space, leaving people without an easy exit. Gabo shows this in a very overpowering fashion to the point where you almost feel claustrophobic reading this book in certain segments.
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Gabo’s art style is a perfect fit for Dead of Winter, complementing Starks’ witty dialogue well. This goes both ways too, as Starks has some great dramatic moments that are softened by the slight cartoony quality in the artwork. There are some things that cannot be diminished though, like hitting a dog. You want to know how I can tell the cop is a real bad guy? He hit Sparky. F that guy.
Dead of Winter is like a comedy version of The Walking Dead and it’s just as fun as that sounds. How great would it be if every so often Rick Grimes cracked a joke or commented wryly on the ridiculous series of events that led to his current predicament? Plus, have I mentioned the dog? His name is Sparky and he wears a cape. What more do you need here?