28 Days Later: Horror Comics Don’t Have to Suck
Posted September 12, 2009on:
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.
Anyways, 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.
Second, 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.