One of the best discoveries I made at ZomBcon 2010 was ROTTEN, a zombie comic set in the American West of the 1870’s. This is the best zombie comic I have encountered next to Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead.
Whilst there are already several titles in the Zombie-Western genre, most of them feel like their creators hoped the novelty of the premise alone would sustain the entire movie (or comic, or novel, or short story). Examples of this are the disappointing The Quick and the Undead and Undead or Alive. (The latter is nearly saved by Brian Posehn’s performance as one of the best zombies ever [but, you know. . . isn’t.])
However, ROTTEN succeeds where others fail by (1.) taking the time to immerse readers into the details of the 1870’s Old West (and not just playing on stereotypes from Western movies), and (2.) by weaving a narrative full of plot-twists and surprises.
I loved the references to “Ruther-Fraud B. Hayes” and the contested election of 1876. (It made Bush v. Gore look neat and tidy. Read your history, people.) I also loved the points in the narrative where characters’ identities and priorities suddenly shift. (I can’t say more without giving plot points away!)
I picked up quite a few terrible zombie comics at ZomBcon 2010 (you know who you are, lousy comic book writers), but the discovery of ROTTEN made all of my disappointing purchases worth it. I’m excitied to continue exploring this awesome comic series.