Writer: James Mullholland
Art: Daniel Romero
Cover: Daniel Romero and Armand Jasmin
Letterer by Micah Myers
Format: 32 page comic, black and white interiors
The Story: Gerry wakes up in the loft of his house surrounded by his possessions laid out around his makeshift bed. He can’t remember why he was up there and assumes it’s a prank played on him by his family. When he can’t find them he decides to take a walk… only to discover that the world has gone all flesh eating zombie. He meets one lone survivor who tries to help him.
The Review: This one shot by Mullholland and Romero works exceptionally well. It’s hard to explain the tale without spoiling a big story beat but trust me, it’s not just another zombie book, dealing with the issues of disease and mental illness in a surprising way. It keeps the world both personal and on a small scale and because of this attention to people and their lives it works in a way I wasn’t expecting. There are both shocking and gory moments – but it’s Gerry who you feel for. The most important moments are those when he is alone. Talking to himself as he walks through his hometown, you realise those moments at the exact same time he does.
There’s no doubt The Disease will keep the fans of Romero (the movie director, not the artist on this issue) and The Walking Dead happy but its intentions seem different. It’s a soliloquy in a way; a conversation with the reader about the mental state of the two human characters. I may be reaching a little here, but it evokes the real world problems of PTSD from survivors of war and soldiers returning home. It’s poignant and sad and uses this dynamic to give the reader, and Gerry, a closure of a kind.
The art flows brilliantly, constantly adding a twist to the story, the action and tension of an abandoned town that suddenly erupts into zombie violence. This aspect is something we often see in horror books but is well handled here. I didn’t miss a beat in the reading experience and Daniel Romero handles character and facial expressions really well.
If I had one small niggle it would be with the colouring choice on the cover. The red and the black combination don’t make it especially eye catching. The book deserves better possibly?
• You can find Daniel Romero at www.Romerou.Deviantart.com
• Micah Myers is on Twitter @MicahMyers
Many thanks for reading.