November 25, 2010

Titan Books Reviews: Shaun of the Dead

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Written by: Mac
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Shaun of the Dead CoverShaun of the Dead
Publisher: Titan Books
Based on the Motion Picture Screenplay by: Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright
Adapted by: Chris Ryall
Artist: Zach Howard

It is my humble opinion that the film Shaun of the Dead is one of the best zombie films ever made. It’s funny, it’s scary, and it’s delightfully British. It’s also a movie that relies a lot on physical comedy and the timely delivery of lines, so it was hard to know how well it would translate into comic form. The answer is: pretty good.

If you’ve seen the film, then there really isn’t anything new to be found in Shaun of the Dead except for the format it’s presented in. It’s a culled down version of the movie and it hits all of the highlights. Shaun is still a retail-working loser that can’t seem to get his life in order. But when zombies start roaming the streets, he takes charge in attempt to save his ex-girlfriend, her flat mates, his best friend, and his mother.

The dialog in the book is well executed and there are many familiar quips throughout. It’s funny, but I found myself missing the experience of actually hearing the lines (and the awesome British accents). The story is well paced and the book is a pretty easy read.

Since there was nothing really new by way of story or dialog, I found myself focusing a lot on the art. It has a charming, sketched quality throughout with a number of over-exaggerated expressions. The colors are well done and pop pleasingly on the page. The character design is reminiscent of the actors, but not overly so. I was also enjoying all of the details in the backgrounds and settings. If you look closely, you’ll find silly labels on beer bottles and posters on the walls. In one panel there was a carton of cigarettes labeled “Tumors.”

If you’ve seen the film, chances are you’ll enjoy the book. If you haven’t seen the film, there are a few places where the jokes may not seem as apparent since they’re pulled directly from the film and are a tad confusing on paper. It should still be a fun book regardless of your familiarity with the film.

If I had to give it a grade, it would get 4.5 out of 5 bloody cricket bats.




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