"Spring: Sink or Swim" Trade Paperback Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Double Take
Written by Jenn Sodini, John Flynn, Bill Jemas, and Charlotte Greenbaum
Illustrated by Derlis Santacruz and Jethro Morales
Colored by Marta Martinez and Sandra Molina
2016, 120 Pages
Trade paperback released on September 28th, 2016
The dead are returning to life in Evans County, Pennsylvania. The beautiful Lake Mitena is not exempt from such carnage, however the lifeguards and visitors have other mysterious elements to keep them busy. There's an alien spaceship in the water for some reason and it's unclear what, if anything, it has to do with the zombie apocalypse.
I wish I had a clearer explanation for the events of Spring: Sink or Swim. While the undead are beginning to walk around Evans County, a handful of swimmers have an existential experience with a spaceship. The only real connection the two items have is towards the end of the trade paperback where some returning lifeguards are mistaken for zombies for a hot minute.
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It's one thing to have mysteries and intrigue in your story, but it's quite another to have a series of seemingly random events loosely thrown together, which is what Spring feels like. If there was at least some semblance of an explanation put together by the end of this five-chapter story, it would give the appearance of some meaning. Instead, it's a confusing path as characters leap from one element to another without any real motivation. It's as if a number of plot threads exploded and never came back together to form a cohesive arc. You can imagine how important something like that is when you're creating an entire universe with this and nine other titles at once, all of which are spinning out of George A. Romero's classic Night of the Living Dead.
The artwork in Spring is clean and well detailed, although it suffers from a similar issue that Home did, in which some images look like they were blown up to a larger size. This loses some of the fine lines and makes them look a little blurry. The interior of the spaceship is breathtaking and filled with wonder. This would have been interesting to explore on its own, without the need of the zombie tie-in.
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The colors are also spot-on with the book, giving a retro feel while also delivering a futuristic quality when needed in the alien vessel. They're bright and full of life, which is interesting given the subject matter.
Spring: Sink or Swim has the makings of an amazing story, but is crushed under its own weight. Mixing aliens, zombies, and co-eds should be a recipe for a fantastic horror tale. It provides little to no explanation for any of the characters' actions aside from swimming. Everyone can agree on their love of swimming. I'm still working my way through the other Double Take launch titles, but I'm off to a rough start. I want much to like these books as on the surface, they have everything I love. They're just falling short.