Monday, January 28, 2013

19. The Golden Twine by Jo Rioux

The Golden Twine by Jo Rioux (US) - (Canada)
Cat's Cradle: Book 1

Pages: 112
Ages: 9+
Finished: Jan. 21, 2013
First Published: Aug. 1, 2012
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Genre: MG, graphic novel, fantasy, Canadian author
Rating:  3/5

First sentences: "Miaw!"
"All right, Igor. Out you go."

Publisher's Summary: "To most, Suri is just an orphan in a traveling caravan. But Suri is determined to prove she has the mettle of a monster tamer. When she unknowingly takes something valuable from a caitsith — a cat monster — she will have to quickly harness her powers ... if she even has them!"

Acquired: Received a review copy from the publisher through Netgalley

Reason for Reading: Several reasons: the story sounded cute; I'm a fan of the publisher; and I'm always looking for new-to-me Canadian graphic novel authors/artists.

This is a fun children's story which I would recommend for about ages 7-12.  I don't usually give an ending age but I don't think the story will hold the interest of those much older.  I found the story cute but would not be likely to read much further.  That said it will be a fun romp for the intended ages.  The story starts off with the reader being plopped into a situation not knowing quite much as to what is going on, giving us a mysterious aura as we figure out who the bad guys are, what the monster is and Suri's intriguing character proves to be more complicated than she first appears.  I did quite enjoy the illustrations and with the cat-theme carried over in the shape of the eyes of the characters.  I also thought the mouse names of other characters to be clever as well, such as Suri, which is a play on the French word "souris" for "mouse".

Saturday, January 26, 2013

18. Binky Takes Charge by Ashley Spires

Binky Takes Charge by Ashley Spires (US) - (Canada)
Binky (#4)

Pages: 64
Ages: 7+
Finished: Jan. 19, 2013
First Published: Sept. 1, 2012
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Genre: children, graphic novel, humour, cats, Canadian author
Rating:  5/5

First sentence: "It all starts today"

Publisher's Summary: "Binky the space cat has been promoted to lieutenant. He's now in charge of training the next generation of space cadets. But then he meets the new space kitten — who isn't a kitten at all! Is someone trying to pull the fur over his eyes? Binky and Captain Gracie need to figure out the new cadet before the next alien attack! ."

Acquired: Received a review copy from the publisher through Netgalley

Reason for Reading:  Next in the series.

This series is for children but I read it solely for my own pleasure. The "Binky" books will appeal to cat lovers of any age.  Binky Takes Charge is just as enjoyable as any other book in the series.  Typical cat behaviour is spoofed but in a respectful way that makes cat owners smile and nod their heads.  Binky has the shock of his life when his new trainee turns out to be a puppy and he turns to neighbour cat Gracie for help in these unusual circumstances. Usual fun story and fantastic art style.  I look forward to the continuation of this series. A great read for any age from the recommended 7+, younger as read alouds and much, much older as gifts for the consummate cat lover.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

15. Grim Leaper by Kurtis J. Wiebe

Grim Leaper: A Love Story to Die For by Kurtis J. Wiebe. Art by Aluisio C. Santos (US) - (Canada)

Pages: 120
Ages: 16+
Finished: Jan. 12, 2013
First Published: Nov. 27, 2012
Publisher: Image Comics
Genre: paranormal, fantasy, horror, humour, Canadian author
Rating:  5/5

First sentence: "Ever since my parents died when I was a kid, I've avoided funerals."

Publisher's Summary: "In death, he finally found something to live for. 

Lou Collins is caught in a cyclical curse of violent, gruesome deaths and new beginnings in the bodies of strangers. With no clue why, Lou desperately searches for a way to break the curse and cross over peacefully to the other side. Then equally doomed Ella comes along. It's a love story to die for.

Collects all four issues and features never before seen sketches, alternate covers and conceptual art by series illustrator ALUISIO C. SANTOS ."

Acquired: Received a review copy from the publisher through Netgalley

Reason for Reading:  OK, I admit it. I like death stories and this sounded fun; plus I've read vol. 1 of the author's Peter Panzerfaust which I enjoyed so I looked forward to reading the author again.

I kind of feel embarrassed giving this five stars but honestly, I simply loved it!  With a sub-title of "A love story to die for" it sounds a little cheesy but I really enjoyed myself and love how the author turned a quite graphically violent story into one about redemption that had some real insight into the human condition.  As a believer I felt good about the final message and we can perhaps see death here as being substituted for "rebirth".  Profound ... whether the author meant to be or not.

On the other hand a rollicking good ride!  The leaping reminds one of "Quantum Leap" which is fun as we have the same characters in different bodies each issue but the similarity ends there.  This is extremely violent with heads being chopped off in the most amazing ways!  Lots of blood and gore and amongst it all a love story develops.  Something one would think quite hard to pull off and hence my hesitation in thinking it would be "cheesy" but I really got a Christopher Moore "Bloodsucking Fiends" vibe from this, different but on the same wavelength.  If you are prepared to take the story seriously in the end, you might just love it like I did.

Friday, January 18, 2013

11. Bigfoot Boy: Into the Woods by J. Torres

Bigfoot Boy: Into the Woods by J. Torres. Art by Faith Erin Hicks (US) - (Canada)
Bigfoot Boy, 1

Pages: 100
Ages: 7+
Finished: Jan. 9, 2013
First Published: Sept. 1, 2012
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Genre: graphic novel, MG, humour, paranormal
Rating:  4/5

First sentence: "Northwood is a cool place. You'll see, Rufus."

Publisher's Summary: "Rufus is bo-o-o-ored at his grammy's house in the country. But when he follows a girl into the woods and finds a totem in a hollowed-out tree, things become a whole lot more interesting. Especially when he reads the word etched into the magical talisman: "Sasquatch." "

Acquired: Received an egalley from Netgalley, through the publisher.

Reason for Reading:  I love Faith Erin Hicks and read anything new she has out, even if she is only the illustrator.

So not the most original story in the world when a boy ventures into the woods, finds a talisman, reads the word inscribed on it and turns into a 'Bigfoot', uttering the word backwards turns him back to human.  But things get better when we add in the fun characters and side plots.  Rufus is bored staying with his grammy who is watching her soaps and meets a girl who is very attuned to 'her' woods and has the attitude to match her self-imposed ownership.  He also meets a talking squirrel who becomes his ally once he turns Sasquatch.  When the local wolf pack discovers he's found the long lost totem, they try to get it for themselves by kidnapping the girl and blackmailing Rufus into turning it over.  The bad guys are out of luck today.  The book ends with a finite ending to these events but clearly sets the stage for a continuing series.  Hicks illustrations are wonderful and really the highpoint of this graphic.  Her characters are cute and lovable and yet 'real' with an edge.  I always find that she seems to draw the same female character over and over again in her books but this time the main female character has some of the same qualities found in her usual style while venturing out to look different.  Hicks' characteristic style is highly present though and this is a visually pleasing and well-presented piece.  With a Canadian author and illustrator it makes a great addition to Canadian comics.  I enjoyed it and would read the next book.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

08. Agent Gates and the Secret Adventures of Devonton Abbey by Camaren Subhiyah

Agent Gates and the Secret Adventures of Devonton Abbey by Camaren Subhiyah. Illustrated by Kyle Hilton   (US) - (Canada) - (Kindle)

Pages: 128
Ages: 16+
Finished: Jan. 6, 2013
First Published: Jan. 1, 2013
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Genre: Graphic novel, parody, humour, historical mystery, spies, 1910s
Rating: 4.5/5

First sentence: "Sir Alistair has spread word our new hedge maze can be walked in under twenty minutes."

Publisher's Summary: "Presenting a parody spin on the characters we know and love from the hit show Downton Abbey, this story is told through the eyes of the downstairs staff—especially one secretly badass valet John Gates, who turns out to be an undercover spy for Her Royal Majesty's British Secret Intelligence Agency (the SIS). Gates and several other Devonton staffers are part of a nationwide top-secret division of operatives scattered throughout country estates, all supervised by (who else?) the Dowager Countess, a close personal friend of Queen Victoria herself.

Armed with his own superpower—his limp disguises a steampunk titanium leg perfect for dispatching enemies of the crown—Gates's mission is to protect Devonton Abbey from foreign spies, assassination attempts, and traitorous household staff, all while posing as the valet to the utterly clueless Lord Samson. Action-packed antics ensue, romance blossoms, and, as usual, the downstairs crew continues to run the show...and always saves the day."

Acquired: Received an egalley from the publisher through Netgalley.

Reason for Reading: I love these upstairs/downstairs type of British dramas.  However I have not ever watched Downton Abbey as I don't really watch TV these days.  The general plot along with the time period and the tongue-in-cheek humour of this book made me think I would enjoy it even though I would miss out on the Downton Abbey links.

And enjoy it I did.  I have no idea how the story connects up with Downton Abbey but I certainly enjoyed the insider jokes when it came to class behaviour and mores of the times.  While the drama of the family is going on behind the scenes, the main plot here is Agent Gates, posing as a man's valet, along with a few other secret agents working for the SIS, must uncover any plot going on at Devonton that could potentially bring war to the surrounding countries.  Gates is fun, with his titanium steampunk leg and the other agents also each have some 'magically' enhanced power.  While I enjoyed the class tale, it was the spy story that engaged me the most and kept me reading the book pretty much straight through.  Fans of the show will most likely get a big kick out of this but you needn't have watched the show to enjoy the spy or time period story.  Lots of fun!

Friday, January 11, 2013

06. Judge Dredd: The Garth Ennis Collection

Judge Dredd: The Garth Ennis Collection featuring art by Steve Dillon, Iam Gibson, Cliff Robinson, Colin MacNeil, John Burns & Greg Staples (US) - (Canada)
Judge Dredd

Pages:  160
Ages: 13+
Finished: Jan. 5, 2013
First Published: (1991-1993) Dec. 11, 2012
Publisher: 2000 AD
Genre: Graphic novel, science fiction, crime, post apocalyptic
Rating: 4/5

First Sentence: "Good dinner. Mister Ambassador?"

Publisher's Summary: "Here are a selection of his [Garth Ennis] best Judge Dredd stories, including his brilliantly funny take on the Irish Justice System in Judge Dredd’s world - The Emerald Isle - which he co-created with Preacher artist Steve Dillon."

Acquired:  Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

Reason for Reading:  I'm a huge Judge Dredd fan and this is the latest North American publication.

At this point I recognise the names of the popular Dredd writers but I can't say I have any particular favourites except for Wagner, of course.  This is actually my first time to come across Ennis in my rediscovery of Dredd this past year or so; so my attraction here was not to the author in particular but just to more Dredd stories.  This book contains quite a nice selection of stories with several longer multi-issue stories interspersed with short one-issue ones.  The entire book is in colour except for the last story which comes to us from the 1993 Judge Dredd Yearbook.  All the stories are from the '90s which brings a nice consistency to the collection.

The book begins with "Emerald Isle", a multi-part story which takes Dredd to Ireland and a violent tale of terrorists.  Here we meet Judge Joyce who will return again in this collection.  I only had two problems with this book and one was the "cheese" in this story.  Now I like the cheesiness of early Judge Dredd as much as the next fellow but a gun invented to shoot potatoes instead of bullets was a bit beyond it; death by potato lodged in forehead, uh-huh.  Otherwise a great story.  Next is a short story where Dredd meets the very first guy he ever arrested. "Almighty Dredd" then brings a multi-parter where a bunch of kooks have created a religion around Dredd himself.  Let's just say they do get to meet their maker!    This is where I had my second problem.  Artist Ian Gibson drew this one and used a very cartoony style which I did not appreciate at all.  His work is in a lot of my books and I haven't had this problem with it before but the style just didn't work for me here.

I love the '90s Dredd!  His typical attitude is "Give yourself up to the laaaaaw!" Criminal "Never!" Dredd "Brakka! Brakka! Blamm!" "Call in the meat."  Anyway, next up is a story with probably the most violent villain I've come across in the Dredd Universe so far, Blender McCoy.  This multi-parter is violent but also a love story.  A very good one.  Then another multi-parter as Judge Joyce comes to Mega-City One following a couple of bad guys on the run from Emerald Isle.  By the time he's finished he's more than glad to go back home.  I rather like Judge Joyce.  Another multi-parter of a vigilante ex-Judge called "Raider".  Here I actually sympathized with him rather than Dredd.  I love Dredd, but he can be a high and mighty jerk. LOL.  This story also introduced me to my first "Wally Squad" (I'll be reading Low Life soon) member Judge Lola Palmtree.  I liked her and hope she comes back again.

Then the book ends with two one issue stories a mediocre story of the illegal drug snow, aka sugar and finally the only b/w in this book, a return to Emerald Isle with a funny but very gruesome story of a case for Judge Joyce.  A great collection of '90s Judge Dredd stories!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

05: Nura: Rise of the Yokain Clan Vol. 12 by Hiroshi Shiibashi

Devil's Drum by Hiroshi Shiibashi (US) - (Canada)
Nura: Rise of the Yokain Clan, Vol. 12

Pages:  192
Ages: 13+
Finished: Jan. 4, 2013
First Published: Dec. 4, 2012
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Manga, YA, fantasy, paranormal
Rating: 4/5

First Sentence: "Everyone's been defeated ..."

Publisher's Summary: "As Rikuo trains to increase his Fear, his true yokai power, the human yokai hunter, Kubinashi, goes on a rampage to kill the yokai of Kyoto. Kubinashi is attacked and kept at bay by the yokai Ibaraki-Doji who has a shocking weapon—the Devil’s Drum, a deadly attack with a dark secret to its range of power!"

Acquired:  Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

Reason for Reading:  Next in series.

After a dozen volumes this manga continues to deliver!  Continuing where we left off from the last volume, Kubinashi becomes the main character for this volume and we continue to learn more about him as a yokai and his long past.  Kejoro, one of my favourite minor characters, also comes out from the background to play a major part and the action/battle scenes were very satisfying for me (even though they are not my favourite part of shounen).  The overall plot of reclaiming the next Seal continues and the volume ends on a tragic and intense note.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

04. Voltron #5: Dragon Dawn by Brian Smith

Dragon Dawn by Brian Smith. Art by Albert Carreres Guardia (US) - (Canada)
Voltron Force, Vol. 5

Pages:  96
Ages: 8+
Finished: Jan. 2, 2013
First Published: Dec. 4, 2012
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Manga, MG, science fiction, action
Rating: 4/5

First Sentence: "This way, King Lotor."

Publisher's Summary: "On Planet Doom there’s a species of dragon that hatches every hundred years. The eggs are just about to hatch and Maahox orders the Drule army to collect them and ship them off to Planet Arus! Will the dragon dawn be too much for the Voltron Force?"

Acquired:  Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

Reason for Reading:  Next in series.

This continues to be my favourite current manga series for children.  An intelligent, action-packed adventure, with humour, as good fights evil.  The series maintains the same author with a variety of illustrators who bring their own style yet keep an easily recognizable cast of characters.  With the same author writing all the books there is a continuity to them even though each one is an individual episodic adventure.  For the first time this volume brings a sense of a crew who has been working together for some time now and events from past books have shaped each character so there is development.  This was a great story, different from what we've seen so far, some cute humour touches and the power struggle between Lotor and Maahox is evident.  A great read!

The brief write up for the next volume is exciting; telling us that many enemies from the previous volumes "have joined forces" and are going to return.  Should make for an exciting, fun read.  Looking forward to it!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

315. Three Kingdoms, Vol. 2: The Family Plot by Wei Dong Chen

The Family Plot by Wei Dong Chen. Illustrated by Xiao Long Liang  (US) - (Canada)
Three Kingdoms (Vol. 2)

Pages: 176
Ages: 16+
Finished: Nov. 17, 2012
First Published: Jan, 2013
Publisher: Jr Comics
Genre: Graphic novel, ancient history, China, YA
Rating: 4.5/5

First sentence: "After the coalition army of the 18 feudal lords falls apart, Shao Yuan set his sights on conquering the Ji Provence."

Publisher's Summary: "The coalition has fallen apart. The treacherous Zhuo Dong remains in power. The 18 men who united to save China are now at war with themselves. Now, in order for the fight to continue, a battle will be waged that doesn't involve soldiers, horses, or spears; it involves a desperate man who will go to desperate lengths to rid the world of a tyrannical leader."

Acquired: Received an egalley from the publisher through Netgalley.

Reason for Reading: Next in the series.

While I thought the first volume most suited to this age group due to intellectual maturity, this second volume does become more graphic in all senses: violence, and sexuality both implied and visual.  The first book was almost a whirlwind as we got introduced to the myriad characters and intricate plot, this book does continue in that vein but also settles down into various story arcs.  Several dealing with the battles and politics but a major one in which the volume is named after "The Family Plot" where a plot to bring down a ruthless tyrant is put into action.  The first female character is introduced via this plot and several other characters are explored more fully.  I enjoyed this volume even more than the first one, but still do contend that it is not an easy read.  I read the book in one sitting and recommend that as the best way to read it.  Putting the book down halfway through and picking up again could prove disorienting as there really is a huge cast present here.  It is hard to keep track of everyone but as the story progresses the characters are becoming more familiar.  I could see myself re-reading this series after I'd been through it once.  I didn't mention in my first review but this is based on a Chinese epic written 600 years ago called "The Romance of the Three Kingdoms".

Saturday, January 5, 2013

312. Three Kingdoms, Vol. 1 by Wei Dong Chen

Heroes and Chaos by Wei Dong Chen. Illustrated by Xiao Long Liang  (US) - (Canada)
Three Kingdoms (Vol. 1)

Pages: 176
Ages: 16+
Finished: Nov. 16, 2012
First Published: Jan., 2013
Publisher: Jr Comics
Genre: Graphic novel, ancient history, China, YA
Rating: 4/5

First sentence: "For centuries, China was divided into many kingdoms."

Publisher's Summary:  "At the end of the second century, the lands of ancient China are thrown into turmoil when the Han Dynasty collapses, and when a tyrant overthrows the weak emperor, a group of regional lords forms an army to restore the nation. But bravery and valor are soon stifled by ambition and cunning, and the coalition dissolves before the battle is even won. Now, a new group of heroes must emerge if China is to survive. Based on one of the most popular and influential novels ever written,Three Kingdoms is an epic adventure of heroism and villainy, honor and deceit, and overcoming individual failings to serve a greater purpose."

Acquired:  Received an egalley from Netgalley

Reason for Reading:  I love Chinese history.  Though I usually am interested in 20th century history, I have read Chinese mythology and thought this dive into ancient history sounded interesting.

First I'll start off with some caveats, the publisher's recommended reading age has not been given at this time but I'll vouch that it will be younger than my recommended age of 16+.  {ETA: I've now found they recommend ages 10-18) There is nothing content wise to make this unsuitable for younger ages except possibly the violence which is rampant yet fairly tame showing only sprinkles of blood and the occasional bloodless but decapitated head. It is for older YAs and adults in my opinion because it is not an easy read.  The book is full of historical information and the story is complicated with a *huge* cast of characters.  Either an interest in the topic or simply an interest in ancient warfare will be needed for enjoyment.

I enjoyed the book very much and have volume 2 lined up to read next.  Each chapter starts with a text page giving an historical account of what is about to happen next, including a map with areas of main action marked off.  This section is vital to keeping the intricate story in order.  Then the chapter turns to a graphic depiction of the story briefly discussed on the historical page.  This is done well.  I really enjoyed the art which is distinctive from the usual fare because of its Chinese origin and the story, while taking time to settle into becomes quite gripping and as mentioned intricate.  There are many characters and different story lines running through out; though all concentrate in one form or another on the three men who have taken a blood oath to protect their nation.  These characters are given the most personality and one becomes the most familiar with them.  While the scope of this series will cover the Three Kingdoms era of Chinese history, this book starts of with the period just prior to it called the post-Han era.

What I also appreciated about the book was the occasional snippet of historical information such as a listing of all Chinese Empires from the earliest BC era to the current People's Republic.  An exciting story on a grand epic scale full of battles, jealousies, treacheries and loyalties.  This book only scrapes the top of the iceberg and I look forward to the next volume.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

02: Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michaelangelo, & Me by Ellen Forney

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me by Ellen Forney  (US) - (Canada)

Pages:  248
Ages: 18+
Finished: Jan. 1, 2013
First Published: Nov. 6, 2012

Publisher: Gotham Books
Genre: Graphic memoir, mental illness, bi-polar, artist, comic industry
Rating: 5/5

First Sentence: "Every time Owen traced a new line with his needle, I could see the sensation - a bright white light, an electrical charge, up & to the right."
Publisher's Summary: "Cartoonist Ellen Forney explores the relationship between “crazy” and “creative” in this graphic memoir of her bipolar disorder, woven with stories of famous bipolar artists and writers. 
Shortly before her thirtieth birthday, Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Flagrantly manic and terrified that medications would cause her to lose creativity, she began a years-long struggle to find mental stability while retaining her passions and creativity.  
Searching to make sense of the popular concept of the crazy artist, she finds inspiration from the lives and work of other artists and writers who suffered from mood disorders, including Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe, William Styron, and Sylvia Plath. She also researches the clinical aspects of bipolar disorder, including the strengths and limitations of various treatments and medications, and what studies tell us about the conundrum of attempting to “cure” an otherwise brilliant mind.Darkly funny and intensely personal, Forney’s memoir provides a visceral glimpse into the effects of a mood disorder on an artist’s work, as she shares her own story through bold black-and-white images and evocative prose."

Acquired:  Received a review copy from the publisher, Penguin Books, US.

Reason for Reading:  This book talked to me and I had to read it.  I'm bi-polar and had always been creative in various media.  I had expanded into what I finally called "art" but since my various diagnoses and meds, I have not done my art or any form of creative expression besides my current so-called book reviews.

This gripped me right from the beginning.  Ellen is Bipolar I, while I am a milder diagnosis but still I could relate to her in every way.  I ended up taking notes while reading this at it really hit home with the connection between mood swings and creativity.  I found myself crying during her description of her depression as she expressed it so well.  The scene where she gets out of bed to make it to the couch to go back to sleep is heart-wrenching and was very emotional for me.  That is a place I never want to find myself in ever again.  The combination of Ellen's story mixed with the medical information she discovers and her own journey of finding just the right dosage of which medications is entertaining and informational.  The book is going to be of much interest to those both familiar with the disorder and those coming to it with no previous knowledge.  Forney also has a dark sense of humour which adds light to much of the darkness of the story.  There are plenty of episodes and one-liners to laugh at.  This was a brave book to write and a challenging book to read.  When I realized how "real" it was going to be I wasn't sure I wanted to go there but I'm so glad I did.  I have been getting back to my art in my head for the last year or so, even getting out the supplies, collecting canvases but haven't put pen, brush or glue to paper yet.  Ellen has started me thinking I might just take the step and get the creativity out of my head again.  A very personal book that spoke to me.  A caveat.  The book does contain full frontal nudity and Forney speaks openly of her bi-s*xuality, plus she is in her late 20's as the story starts so it is indeed a mature book for adults.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

341. Rebel Blood by Alex Link

Rebel Blood by Alex Link. Art by Riley Rossmo  (US) - (Canada)

Pages:  128
Ages: 18+
Finished: Dec. 20, 2012
First Published: Oct. 2, 2012
Publisher: Image Comics
Genre: Graphic novel, horror, zombies
Rating: 1/5

First Sentence: {several pages of sound effects, then the first spoken word is the Lord's name taken in vein.}

Publisher's Summary: "A virus has created a wilderness of blood-thirsty creatures standing between you and your family. You don't know if you can save them in time, or if you've even got the strength to try. But you're about to find out. 
In a world of ravenous creatures it doesn't matter who you used to be. Today you're lunch.

Acquired:  Received an egalley from the publisher through Netgalley.

Reason for Reading:  I like a good zombie story as much as the next fan.

I'm going to keep this short as I have nothing good to say.  The entire book is filled {every page} with gratuitous violence.  It starts graphic and never ends.  Plot is lacking and frame after frame of "rowr" and "boom" replaces text, which is minimal.  Read my other reviews; the presence of violence doesn't bother me, but this is superfluous and taken to the point of ridiculousness.  What plot there is quickly becomes cliched.  And while I say this next with tongue in cheek, I say it with respect to the zombie fan.  What is with the crazy twist ending?  Today's modern zombie fan is serious about his zombies, we know the zombie apocalypse is coming and want a good tale that respects this, unless it is an all out pastiche such as Faith Erin Hicks' Zombie Calling.  The ending wrecked an already bad story for me.