High Five! Comics

28 Days Later: Horror Comics Don’t Have to Suck

Posted on: September 12, 2009

At first, I was iffy about Boom! Studios’ 28 Days Later comic. On one hand, this film is totally on my list of top ten horror films. On the other, something about a movie-themed comic just screams “Caution: Bullshit Ahead.” I skipped the book when it came out. Oops. Now the fuckin’ book is sold out everywhere and I’m probably gonna have to spend more than I want for my own copy.
Anyways, I’m gonna say it right now: don’t bother reading this book if you haven’t seen 28 Days Later. It’s basically a telling of what happened to Selena post-rescue at the end of the film. She’s bummin’ out hard in a refugee camp in Norway when Clint Harris, an American war journalist, comes along asking her to escort him and his team (who we are barely introduced to) back to the still infected London by way of not infected Scotland. Spoiler alert! Scotland ain’t so not infected and everybody is thoroughly fucked.
I think I love this book. And I love it for two reasons.
First, it promises to answer a question that’s bothered me since I saw 28 Weeks Later and said, “Wait… So what the fuck happened to Jim, Selena, and Hannah?” Despite the fact that the only real mention of Jim or Hannah is a flashback to the tunnel scene from the first movie, I was pleased as fuck to see that the first film’s story continue and I was elated when I saw that Selena, a total badass in the film, was a major character.
Second, I’m totally digging on both the pacing of the book and Declan Shalvey’s art. The pacing & art helped the comic achieve the same mood of Danny Boyle’s film, especially the “oh shit” reveal of the two infected Scotsmen. Pacing-wise, despite the lack of intense action scenes in this first issue – the fight between Selena and the infected was over almost before it began – 28 Days Later managed to establish Selena as both a veteran of the fight against the infected and as a character to definitely be watched.
Overall, this is a comic I’m going to start pulling as soon as I can find my own copy of issue #1 (Hey Mark Waid, any chance this’ll just, um, “fall off the truck” in Long Beach?). 28 Days Later is poised the be a worthy follow-up to the film and a fucking great horror book (and I don’t even generally like horror comics!). Recommended drinking? A stout British beer – the kind you have to go spelunking for in a fancy liquor store.

At first, I was iffy about Boom! Studios’ 28 Days Later comic. On one hand, this film is totally on my top ten horror films list. On the other, something about a movie-themed comic just screams “Caution: Bullshit Ahead.” I skipped the book when it came out. Oops. Now the fuckin’ book is sold out everywhere and I’m probably gonna have to spend more than I want to get my grubby paws on a copy.

scotsmenAnyways, I’m gonna say it right now: don’t bother reading this book if you haven’t seen 28 Days Later. The book is the story of what happened to Selena post-rescue at the end of the film. She’s bummin’ out hard in a refugee camp in Norway when Clint Harris, an American war journalist, comes along asking her to escort him and his team (who we are barely introduced to) back to the still infected London by way of not infected Scotland. Spoiler alert! Scotland ain’t so not-infected and everybody is thoroughly fucked.

I think I love this book. And I love it for two reasons.

First, it promises to answer a question that’s bothered me since I saw 28 Weeks Later and said, “Wait… So what the fuck happened to Jim, Selena, and Hannah?” Despite the fact that the only real mention of Jim or Hannah is a flashback to the tunnel scene from the first movie, I was pleased as fuck to see the first film’s story continue and I was elated when I saw that Selena, a total badass in the film, was a major character.

selenaSecond, I’m totally digging on both the pacing of the book and Declan Shalvey’s art, both of which helped the comic achieve the same mood of Danny Boyle’s film, especially the “oh shit!” reveal of the two infected Scotsmen. Pacing-wise, despite the lack of intense action scenes in this first issue – the fight between Selena and the infected was over almost before it began – 28 Days Later managed to establish Selena as both a veteran of the fight against the infected and as a character to go ahead and get yourself invested in again.

Overall, this is a comic I’m going to start pulling as soon as I can find my own copy of issue #1 (Hey Mark Waid, any chance this’ll just, um, “fall off the truck” in Long Beach?). 28 Days Later is poised to be a worthy follow-up to the film and a fucking great horror book (and I usually don’t even like horror comics!). Recommended drinking? A stout British beer – the kind you have to go spelunking for in a fancy liquor store.

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4 Responses to "28 Days Later: Horror Comics Don’t Have to Suck"

I haven’t seen 28 Days Later and I found, reading this issue, that it didn’t really matter. I got the gist.

Also, I agree with you on the art, although, at first I wasn’t sold on the colours and style, but the zombie killings at the end there won me over.

I too will be adding this one to my pull list just to see what happens. I wish you best of luck finding a copy. Hopefully you do not have to pay through the nose. Cheers!

So I’m all about zombies, and 28 Days/Weeks Later is a franchise I like, so I’m going to keep reading this, in spite of its obvious faults. I want to know what happened to Selena and the others too, and I agree the art is really, really solid. I enjoyed issue #1 as much as you did.

But really, this is a LOT like practically every other comic book tied to an existing, successful media property. It’s totally reliant on the preexisting world/characters as is, without really adding anything original to them. I mean, the AV Club is right when they pointed our that the plot of this book is just “Aliens”- which was original when James Cameron did it in 1986, but has since been retread and awful lot.

Again, I’ll read it, and I’ll probably enjoy it, but I’m expecting that same kind of hollow-feeling “enjoyment” that I get every time I check out an entry to the Star Wars expanded universe.

[…] folks who’ve decided to fill in the gap are BOOM! Studios, the heirs apparent to the “Good Licensed Property Comics” crown. I know, I know, it seems like I just keep singing their praises but, hey, shut up, […]

[…] Walking Dead stood peerless in the 2000s. The book starts from a simple question: “What if every zombie movie you’ve ever seen didn’t actually have to end?” Series creator Robert Kirkman anchors the […]

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