"High Fructose Zombies #3" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Potent Press
Written by David Phillips
Illustrated by Sarah Braly
2013, 27 Pages
After seeing the outskirts of it for two issues, Yumzyland is revealed in all its sugary glory in High Fructose Zombies #3. Clea, one of the few sensible people living in the town of Sweetooth, is heading into the bowels of the beast that is the evil Yumzy Corporation, in an effort to put a stop to the big wigs behind Snakatak, a candy bar that's been turning people into zombies. She's not alone though. She's joined by her friend Patti, her old chemistry teacher Mr. Brimley, and his assistant Linus. But can they get through the cavity-inducing layers of this massive amusement park to get to the nougaty center that holds the evidence they need to shut down this monstrosity?
High Fructose Zombies has been a fun ride so far. This issue amplifies things in a big way. Previously we just saw things around Sweetooth like the fast food joint that Clea worked at (which was also owned by Yumzy if I remember correctly). The new amusement park, Yumzyland, was certainly mentioned and I knew it was going to be something major, but nothing could have prepared me for what it actually was. It's like Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory on crack. From the looks of it, every single thing in the park is made of candy. Judging from some of the people that work there, the employees might be a little sugar-coated too.
The park is broken up into different sections such as Devourland and Treatz Town. Artist Sarah Braly provides some brief glimpses of the layout before breaking into an impressive panel spanning two pages that shows the massive park in full force. I need to get checked out for diabetes after seeing that.
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This issue opens with a drill instructor giving last minute pointers to the Easter Brothers in an effort to prepare them for a large opening day parade. Things get crazier from there as Clea and team sneak into the security offices to search for evidence of the dangers of Snakatak. Of course, it's only a matter of time before the candy bar gets out to the public and chaos ensues.
Clea gets a chance to really kick some ass this time around. She's been seen brandishing a huge lollipop before, but now we find out where that came from and how she puts it to good use. Seeing her pluck the oversized candy off the wall is like Indiana Jones picking up his signature whip. It just feels right. There are also some nice touches with the character. For example, she makes sure to take her glasses off before getting into a fight. That just makes sense.
Issue #3 also stands out a bit from the previous two as it is in color. This has been something I've mentioned in reviews for the other issues and I'm glad that it was added in here. A story about an evil candy corporation with a giant amusement park sounds like the kind of topic that would look great in vibrant colors. Braly did not disappoint here. Those panels I mentioned before showing the full Yumzyland? They look absolutely gorgeous in color.
High Fructose Zombies takes the idea of sugar rotting your brain to a whole new level. It works along the same lines as great tales of the genre like Dawn of the Dead using the zombies as a metaphor. This issue doesn’t feel preachy about healthy food choices. Instead, it uses the insanity of a huge baby double fisting ice cream cones while spewing out chocolate milk as a ride called “Pie Hole Plunge.”
High Fructose Zombies can be purchased in digital or print formats via the comic's official site.