Wednesday, April 19, 2006

MAKE MINE MANGA: The Abandoned VOL1 - review

This week I'm taking a look at Tokyopop's OEL manga, as there are a lot of creator's projects in the line that I'm anxious to check out!
Here's today's book:

Title: The Abandoned
Volume: 1
Creator: Ross Campbell
Publisher: TokyoPop

STORY:It's a zombie book. You know, a core cast, confronted by a suddenly undead world closing in on them? I love zombie stories, most any of them, and while just playing with all the toys of the genre is incredibly fun in-and-of-itself, another zombie-based comic book gets a lot of praise, yet starts off with a plot straight out of 28 Days Later, The Abandoned however, feels like a fresh take on the mythos. Instead of a setup merely yanked from a zombie film, we're treated to some slight twists that make things more fun, like the fact that our central character Rylie is a zombie movie fanatic, or that the infection itself is age specific. All the while Campbell grounds the story in a believable southern setting, with a cast of young, attractive, yet real-world characters. He really brings this world to life.

ART: Campbell and/or Tokyopop have treated this manga to a unique red pallette, to both accent the carnage that always looms, and also work wonders with the artists water colored washes. It's truly a treat for the eyes, with scenes coming to life, full of mood and tone, helping to propel and enrich the story, and Campbell's linework is unique, expressive, and a lot of fun. Also, his storytelling is incredible, with body language and expressions putting you there with the cast!

OVERALL: I'm in love. This is a great work on so many levels. It has heart, emotion, and amazing zombie action. With film, zombie carnage can be a chore to pull off, with artwork, or Campbell's abilities, it's powerfull, in your face, and utterly convincing. While this book is not for everyone, those who can't handle the gore for example, it is for an audience outside of zombie fandom, as the tale is always told with style and plenty of feeling.


You can also check out my two previous TPop OEL reviews, A MIDNIGHT OPERA, or EAST COAST RISING

I hope to be able to do a review for Felipe Smith's MBQ Volume 2 here in the next couple days too. I've been dying to get my hands on this book, as I absolutely loved volume one's crazy characters and situations rendered in some of the sharpest art currently being laid to a page! I'm just waiting on my Borders special order to come in (as my LCS didn't hook up my preorder!!! urgh!!)...

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