'Zombillenium' Is A Clever, Horror-Themed Riot [Review]

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Zombillenium” features a witch who rides around the air with a skateboard on her magic broom. That’s all you need to know.

Okay, fine, there’s a lot more to it than that, but the point is “Zombillenium” is a really fun graphic novel, and you realize that when you open to the first page and see a bored-looking goth girl riding a skateboard on top of a broom. Sold.

The next few pages introduce us to a mummy who’s trying (and failing) to hitchhike, a talking skeleton who likes to talk about his past, and a vampire who’s concerned that everyone uses their seat belts. All of them work at Zombillenium, a horror theme park where the employees are actually creatures from horror stories. The people who go there just think everyone’s in costume. But even with all the real monsters, they’re still not doing as well as Disneyland . . . who’d have thunk?

Then we get to Aurelian, who’s not a mummy, skeleton or vampire. He’s just a really angry guy who does a really dumb thing. He’s upset that his wife cheated on him, and he tries to hold up a bar. When this fails, he goes outside and his day gets even worse . . . he gets run over by a car. He’s dragged off to Zombillenium, where the vampire tries to make him a vampire and the werewolf tries to make him a werewolf, and he just turns out being some kind of devil thing. He’s now stuck serving cotton candy to little kids, and he’s never allowed to leave. And you thought your job sucked.

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But he might have a way to get out of here, or, at least, get his head around what’s happening. Gretchen, the witch who likes to skateboard, also works at Zombillenium, and she seems much cooler and more with-it than the other people (I use this term loosely) there.

“Zombillenium” is a slender, nicely packaged hardcover graphic novel. The cover looks pretty serious, and the title might make it seem like some sort of zombie/end of the world/Millennium thing. No, this is an absolute comedy, and it’s a total riot. “Zombillenium” is nothing but fun, from its cute tongue-in-cheek moments to its laugh-out-loud humor. You don’t have to be a fan of zombies or anything like that to enjoy this graphic novel. If you’ve got a sense of humor, that’s all you need. The characters all have distinct personalities, and at least some of them are bound to grow on you by the end. Every page is in full-color, and Arthur de Pins has excellent comedic timing and creates great comedic expressions. The book also ends with a great cliffhanger, so you can’t just stop with one “Zombillenium.” See, there’s more to this than a witch on a skateboard . . . but everything else just makes it better.

“Zombillenium” is a real find.

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