"High Fructose Zombies #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Potent Press
Written by David Phillips
Illustrated by Sarah Braly
2012, 28 Pages
Comic released on October 11th, 2012
You've heard for years that sugar will rot your brain, but what if it turned you into a zombie? Indie comic creators David Phillips and Sarah Braly have shown us what might happen if candy bars led to the sugarpocalypse in High Fructose Zombies. Set in the town of Sweetooth, the huge and slightly scary Yumzy Corporation is planning to open up a new theme park. It already owns most of the town, so why not expand? To promote Yumzy Land, it’s giving out new Snakatak bars, but only two per customer. Any more and the results can be...well, really bad.
Clea Brown is an angst-filled teenager in Sweetooth. She wants out of this place and away from the controlling hands of the Yumzy Corporation. Her father died in a vat of molten chocolate, so she has a grudge against the candy company. When the Snakatak bars get distributed and people start turning into zombies, Clea is the first one to take action. Armed with an oversized lollipop, she's prepared to behead any weirdo that comes her way.
I love candy. I also have yet to get tired of the zombie craze that's currently sweeping current pop culture, so putting these two things together is a no-brainer for me (HAR! HAR!). High Fructose Zombies is a unique spin on the undead mythos. Unlike some of the most popular stories in the genre, it puts the origin of the zombie plague front and center. There's no mystery about it. You start with the problem. Clea and her giant lollipop are the solution.
Admittedly, there's a sense of satisfaction in watching Clea brutalize the douchebag rich kids that live in the neighborhood. Despite hearing that they can only take two Snakatak bars, they grabbed handfuls and now they're undead. These are probably the same type of guys that don't use their turn signal and carry their keys on a carabiner because they need more room in their pockets for their journal
There's a thinly veiled message in High Fructose Zombies. The Yumzy Corporation is evil and they only sell foods that are bad for you, from the aforementioned Snakatak bars to donut burgers and cheesy butter bagz. Meanwhile, Clea only eats organic food and jumps at the idea of an organic store opening up in the area. It doesn't get preachy though. I understand organic food is better for you, but I kind of want to eat a donut burger now.
Sarah Braly has a slightly cartoonish art style in High Fructose Zombies. It definitely fits with the tone of the story. This isn't a serious drama like The Walking Dead. This is a fun comic about zombies created by candy bars. You can't have everyone wearing their business faces. The art direction is great too as there are often panels that are literally dripping with sugar and candy coated goo. Yumzy has infected not only the town of Sweetooth, but the actual pages of the comic too.
I would love to see this book in color. This is an indie title so it makes sense that it's in black and white. However, I think Braly could really make the panels pop with color. Things would be very bright and vibrant in Sweetooth, almost to a sickening level.
High Fructose Zombies is a comic that stands out in a sea of other stories about the undead. It provides a definite reason for the zombie plague and puts the main character in a position to kick ass and put an end to it. I could easily see this translating into a video game too. Who wouldn't want to play as Clea, swinging a giant lollipop around to crush the heads of douchebag zombies?
To learn more about High Fructose Zombies, you can check out my interview with artist Sarah Braly from New York Comic Con or check out their website.