Brain Candy: Not So Dandy

iZombie Volume 1: Dead to the World: written by Chris Roberson; illustrated by Mike Allred (2009-2010; collected 2010): Breezy, fun DC Vertigo series about the adventures of Gwen Dylan, reluctant zombie, and her natural and supernatural friends.

Gwen looks relatively normal most of the time, but she needs to eat human brains once a month to avoid turning into a more standard shambling, drooling zombie. As she doesn’t like the taste of brains, this is something of a drag. At least her job as a gravedigger gives her easy access to the gray matter she needs but doesn’t crave.

And at least she has friends, most notably Ellie, a young woman/ghost who died some time in the early 1960’s, and Scott, a were-terrier. Gwen gets stuck trying to figure out who killed the owner of the brains she eats near the beginning of this collection — the memories of the deceased transfer to her, though understanding them can be something of a chore. And there will be other supernatural problems to face as well, including mummies and vampires and monster-hunters.

Roberson keeps things light without getting glib, and Allred’s art is, as always, a clean-lined pleasure. It’s funny that more straightforward, ‘traditional’ comic-book art continues to thrive in the Vertigo line while the ‘mainstream’ DC line gets ever murkier and ever more over-rendered and buried in a slop of full-process colour. So it goes. Recommended.

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