The Webcomic Watchman

Friday, September 14, 2007

Review #29: The Medicating of the Dead

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Bowler hat beats do-rag!

Title: Dead Winter
Artist: S. Dave Shabet
Genre: Zombie-Horror...sorta
Updates: Tue, Fri

It all started when one guy came in, and muttered a single word to the Receptionist Boy: "Pills."

So the receptionist boy made him fill out a form and sit in the waiting room. A few minutes later, a few other dudes hobbled towards the desk, mumbling the same word: "Pills."

The receptionist boy ran out of clipboards to hand them as he told them each to fill out their info. If they don't fill that shit out, then the insurance companies don't pay me a cut of the profits they suck from their pockets. Next thing I know, the receptionist boy runs into my office just as I'm doing some hardcore research on my computer.

"Sir! They're climbing over the desks, and bursting through the doors!" He shouted, "They didn't even finish filling out their forms!"

"Who?" I asked, suddenly hearing about twenty voices groaning in unison, "Pills!" This time in a more demanding tone.

I walked into the hallway, and shouted at the assembled crowd, "I don't have any pills to give you unless you have insurance!"

"Pills!" They shouted, and shambled towards me.

"Okay, fine, you want pills? Take em!" I threw handfuls of hydrocodone at them that I kept in my jacket for other research purposes, "Take 'em and leave me alone!" Only about half of these brain-dead folks took the pills and shambled away. But more started pouring in. I should've known they'd only want more.

Eventually, I ran out of hydrocodone to throw at them. "Receptionist boy!" I shouted, "Grab my universal problem-solver and meet me at that overturned table! We got ourselves a mostly-un-dead druggie infestation!" I ran backwards and kicked over a nearby snack table as the receptionist boy fetched my problem-solver. The nurses weren't going to like that when they came back.

"You guys want some drugs?" The crowd grunted an affirmative, "How about some hot lead?" My problem-solver accented this perscription with a bang as I pulled its trigger, "Mixed with a small dose of tungsten and antimony!" I fired again as the brain-dead druggies went down, "In the rather convenient form of double-ought buckshot!"

Ah, nothing like a crappy Dawn of the Dead parody to try and talk about a comic that sounds more like Shaun of the Dead.

The story starts with a waitress named Elizabeth Rose Cooper (or just "Lizzie") who got a B.A. in English. You see how that turned out early on in the story. She is just trying to scrape enough money to get by with her boyfriend and a cat.

Also, there's some guy named "Black Monday Blues" who kills a shitload of people for some reason. He also seems to be a Mets fan. I'm not sure why he is able to sleep in the middle of a zombie infestation, or how he found time to set up an elaborate trap to kill one guy. I suppose that us mere mortals are not meant to know this.

Their world is turned upside down by a zombie infestation. Of course, zombie infestations only happen in movies, so no one seems to notice except for the various TV and radio reports. Instead, Lizzie tries to retreat to her happy place where she suppresses her anger without any form of medication and the world becomes more colorful...literally.

The artwork is an interesting blend of ink and watercolors to provide some nice shading, though there do seem to be a few anatomical issues here and there...okay, a lot of anatomical issues, though they get better on in the later strips.

My one biggest caveat is the character of Black Monday Blues. Funky name aside, he seems to be a bit out of place in this comic. His run-n-gun scenes just seem to kill the story's momentum when laced in-between the scenes of Lizzie getting pissed off at her boss and her lot in life. I'm hoping the connection between the two characters and the zombie outbreak will be made clearer in later strips, but now it just feels kinda awkward.

In any case, the comic does provide an interesting twist on the usual zombie-horror genre with some tongue-in-cheek humor and a cat. If the unique artwork doesn't turn you off, then I'd definitely suggest keeping your eye on this relative newcomer to the world of webcomicry. Sure, the story could use a little work, but I'm sure there's still plenty of ground to cover.

I fired several times until the problem-solver clicked empty. The receptionist boy cowered behind the overturned table, obviously not accustomed to such violence from a supposed doctor against folks who were brain-dead enough for me to consider them zombies.

"Here," I tossed a bunch of keys at him, "Run down to the pharmacy, grab as much hydrocodone, cough syrup, and anything that could be used to get a quick high. It's the only way we can hold off these druggies until help arrives."

"But what about you?" He shouted, picking up the keys with shaky hands.

"Apparently, gun violence can't solve all our problems," I muttered, throwing the now-useless "universal problem-solver" at a nearby brain-dead druggie and unwrapping a needle full of morphine. "So let's try drug abuse instead."

To be continued...


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