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Xomba “Highly Recommends” FVZA

Review by “eb5k”

Zombies and vampires. They are everywhere. Here is the good and bad of having a saturation of movies and comics in this genre. The good is there is tons of new work getting made that otherwise would not have had that opportunity. The bad is there is a lot of average and sub-par work. There are gems among the sea of vampire and zombie fare. In my opinion, Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead were great takes on zombie films. In comics, I really enjoyed titles like 30 Days of Night. The Walking Dead continues to be fantastic. There are plenty of titles out there, good and bad. Personally, I think it’s great. More stories and creations in one of my favorite genres. Today I will review of Radical Publishing‘s FVZA trade paperback. Let’s take a look!

First, lets talk about the art. FVZA is a beautifully produced book. The art is incredible, and the digital coloring is beautiful. The artists are Roy Allan Martinez, Kinsuh Loh and Jerry Choo. The panels are also on black, as opposed to white, which I think makes the art pop out more. The characters look great. The zombies and vampires look menacing. There were 3 artists that worked on this comic. They worked really hard to keep the visuals consistent, and I really could not tell between them. That is not an easy feat, and it was executed brilliantly. The color palette is muted, giving a very realistic look. The angles and placement within the panels are cinematic. Not a lot of talking heads. My only minor issue is the overlapping panels that are used. I don’t think its necessary, plus it covers parts of the panel below it. This art is way too good to cover, even if it’s a small corner. It is my personal taste and by no means takes away or distracts from the story. The angles change constantly, no giant word balloons or text heavy boxes. The team did a great job laying everything out. If they ever do a movie, they have the storyboard right here. I recommend this for the art alone.

The story is what makes this stand out among generic vampire and zombie stories. FVZA is based on a website about the fictional US government organization that’s hunted down these creatures since 1868 . It’s a cool alternate universe that intertwines zombies and vampires with American history. The site has many stories, and the potential for spin-offs is virtually unlimited. Viruses are what caused the zombie and vampire outbreaks. The monsters are diseased humans. Hines packs a lot of material in this trade. Although I would have liked to see a longer story with more character development, I don’t think a better job could have been done in a 3-issue format. You get a FVZA history lesson, flashbacks, and back story on the main characters, but it all moves quickly. Once again, the art is so stunning, and the back stories are all illustrated rather than big word balloons and text boxes. I really like the depiction of vampires. Pale and thin with sharp claws and teeth. This is not your glamorized sexy vampire. Hines gives humanity to these creatures, and even minor characters are well characterized and believable. I could only imagine how good this could be over a longer run. Without giving any spoilers, Hines also tells a touching love story among the carnage.

I was not sure what to expect from this title. Initially, I thought this would be typical eye candy with no substance. I am pleasantly surprised with FVZA. Great art, great concept and script. Radical has done a great job with this property, and I look forward to more FVZA. I highly recommend this book. My only wish is it was not so short!

FVZA Trade

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