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'68 Review by Kelly Jones

Monday - May 16, 2011

As many of you may have noticed zombies are everywhere these days. Being a collector of comics and horror movies, I am very pleased that these two genres are combining to bring me and many others, I am sure, pure bliss. Whether its The Walking Dead, Marvel Zombies, iZombie, or 68 there are so many awesome choices out there. Anyone who is into zombies or who has been alive for the past 43 years is at least somewhat familiar with the classic that started in all, George Romeros amazing Night of the Living Dead. The brilliance of this film speaks to me on many levels. Romeros classic takes place in Pennsylvania in 1968, a time in this world which is iconic for everyone, even for those, myself included, who were not even thought of yet.

Mark Kidwell and Co. step up to the plate with an answer to a question I have pondered many times. If the dead were rising in a small town in Pennsylvania in 1968 what was going on in the rest of the world? First published as a one-shot by Image in 2006, 68 quickly gained a cult following. From the amazing storyline to the wonderful dark stylings of Nat Jones and Jay Fotos, this book really is a supreme combination of talent with a ridiculously a strong concept. And then, four long years of wanting more.

Finally the wait is over. The boys are back with an amazing four part mini-series. The first installment (And if you go chasing rabbits&) of this gore filled treat begins with a journey deep into the jungle of Vietnam. Zombie stories always possess a frightening dialogue of social commentary and shine the light on the demise of the human condition, but when you add the complicated issues of Vietnam into the mix it takes you to a whole other level. I found myself feeling very deeply for Yam, a young Chinese-American Soldier whose platoon views him more as the enemy than as one of their own. When the sarge sends in Yam (little Charlie) to inspect a tunnel, I slowly began to slide to the edge of my seat (I am not a fan of small spaces) and my palms began to sweat. I had to put the book down for a moment to wash my hands, yes; I am that big of a geek, before I could continue. I frantically turned the pages to see how my new friend would manage to survive the rotted arms pulling at him through the dirt and the carnage that awaited him in the chamber. Yams mental condition was not faring well at the beginning of this story, but I feel somehow, the road that awaits him will revive his spirit as well as his will to survive.

I am very pleased to read a zombie comic that is taking it back to the beginning. The time in which this comic takes place is a very intense time in our recent history and I am so excited at the chance to read the next three issues. Hardship, Hallowed Ground, and Jungle will definitely be ending up in my collection, not to mention any of the amazing variant covers I can get my hands on. If you are a fan of zombies, human nature, gore and blood, or maybe even just that time period, I say give it a shot. You will be pleasantly surprised.

Smelly Kelly Jones enjoys consuming massive amounts of comics, horror, metal and pizza. She is fond of collecting kitten art and contrary to her name has adequate hygiene. She also loves to talk about wolves.


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