"Hollywood Zombie Apocalypse #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Zenescope Entertainment
Written by Ralph Tedesco and Joe Brusha
Illustrated by David Lorenzo Riviero
2014, 44 Pages, $5.99
Comic released on November 5th, 2014
There's probably a bad joke to be made that if zombies attacked Hollywood, no one would notice because there aren't any brains in that town anyway. Why else would Firefly get canceled? Ralph Tedesco and Joe Brusha have created a literal undead invasion with the parody comic Hollywood Zombie Apocalypse. I use the term "parody" loosely because there's really nothing funny about this book.
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The story picks up with an Avengers-like film preparing to shoot a read-through of the script for some unknown reason. The actors are all in their costumes too, which is also something that never happens. Then, due to a strange seaweed diet, the cast of another film all turn into zombies and start eating everyone. Now unknown actor Michael May (who has been cast as Captain Liberty in this film, even though no one has ever heard of him) has to try and survive with the remaining cast members as hordes of the undead beat down their door.
This wouldn't be all that bad of an idea, but aside from Michael, the characters in Hollywood Zombie Apocalypse are all real actors. Tom Cruise, Kevin Hart, Selena Gomez, and Dwayne Johnson are among the folks that appear in the book, obviously without their knowledge because there's no way that any of them would sign up to be a part of this. The fact that real people are used is lazy. Instead of creating all new characters, the writers are relying on cheap gags, practically winking at the reader when Justin Bieber cowers in fear. It also wouldn't be that bad if Tedesco and Brusha had actually done any research on these people. They're portrayed as gross caricatures of Hollywood stereotypes. Cruise is so into his role that he will only answer to his character's name, even though he's not actually a method actor. Dwayne Johnson is shown as a bumbling strong man who can't even open a bottle of water on his own. One could argue that this is a parody comic and these are all supposed to be jokes. I'd buy that if there was anything actually funny within these pages.
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The one saving grace of Hollywood Zombie Apocalypse is David Lorenzo Riviero's artwork. It's solid and the likenesses of the actors is very close to reality, with the possible exception of Gomez's cup size, which has been heavily inflated. Riviero's pencils have a Greg Land look to them, which works because this is Hollywood and everyone is bright and shiny and always smiling. There are some Easter eggs hidden within the zombie shots too. I spotted Storm from the X-Men and I'm sure there are many more I missed.
Hollywood Zombie Apocalypse is an unoriginal mess filled with cheap jokes and lame pot-shots at celebrities. It coasts by on the name recognition of the stars without any real substance.