The Wrong Hotdog

Fanboys Vs Zombies is not very subtle. But it is fun! Mixing some rather obvious jokes about geeks with some rather clever jokes… about geeks, the first issue of the series came out last week. Sam Humphries, he of ‘writing absolutely everything right now’ fame, is in charge, teaming up with artist Jerry Gaylord for Boom! Studios. Things build as you might expect them to – the actual zombie attack only begins towards the end of this issue, with the start being more dedicated to giving us a broad look at the various main members of the cast.

So far, they all seem to jump into fairly established ideas: we’ve got the massively confident geek girls, who claim dominion over everyone around them. We’ve got the insecure geek guys. The enthusiastic and proudly slobby fat guys; the people with inexcusable facial hair; the nice creators and mean-spirited fans. All stereotypical, but only because that’s more or less as it is in reality. Humphries knows the convention circuit well, with the different people wandering around and the bizarre interactions that happen when competing groups of geeks bump into each other.

Many of the characters, at this point, come across as a little unlikeable. Which is good news! Because this is a zombie book, meaning hopefully many of them will die. The creation of the zombies is the single-best gag in the comic, so I won’t spoil it here. But it does show that Humphries is not afraid to go gross with the book, and is a promising omen for future issues. It’s an inspired sequencing of panels, drawn with absolute glee by Gaylord. With his slightly manga-ish art looking quite similar to the madcap work of Humberto Ramos, Gaylord is a superb choice for art duties. Teamed up with the fun, dayglo colours of Nolan Woodard, the book catches the energy of Humphries’ writing with ease.

The jokes are a mixed bag. There’s a bit of over-reliance on Twitter jokes to start with, with the main characters all throwing in rather obvious ‘geek-speak’ phrases like wtf, #humblebrag; and references to Tumblr, and so on. Those start to phase out as the comic goes on, and I’ll admit to illictly laughing at a water cooler which has “H2 The Izzo” written on it. Also, the finale of the issue leaves the remaining survivors holded up in the CBR interview lounge – with Jonah Weiland, it looks like – which is hilarious.

Fanboys Vs Zombies is over-the-top, and utterly gleeful. It’s the perfect tone for the story, and it’ll be fun to see how Humphries continues as the series goes on.


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