Review: Zombies Hi #1-7
Today we have a zombie apocalyptic series all the way from the Emerald Isle. Zombies Hi is a series from Uproar Comics set in Derry, Ireland. Uproar is a small press based collective out of Derry/Londonderry that sell-publishes the monthly comic. The format consists of the flagship story followed by three or four short stories and comics as backup for each issue. There are currently 7 issues in release, and the main title is written by Danny McLaughlin with pencils by Ruairi Coleman. Devin “Gio” Logue handles additional art along with Roo Thompson and Dannii Coyle coming in on colors for issue 7. The backup stories and comics are handled by various artists throughout the run.
The story of the seven issue features the people of Derry doing their best to survive a zombie apocalypse within the city’s walls. Our main character is a police officer named Paddy. Our other big character is a woman named Walker who has taken control during these troubling times. The first issue sees Paddy dealing with a zombie related issue that hits close to home. From issues 2 to 7 we see Walker and Paddy working to bring some semblance of civilization to the group of survivors. We have several character threads running throughout, but the big story is Paddy setting out at Walker’s command to get hold of some weapons. One of the big events that set things in motion is a car bomb going off. Even in zombie apocalypse land, the old battles in Ireland are still being waged. Besides the zombies, the themes of sectarianism, religion, and terrorism are explored. It is very Irish, but it is readable and relatable by a wide audience. Colloquialisms are kept to a minimum, but there is a definitely Irish way of speaking. The title itself is one of the most prominent colloquialisms. Hi is said at the end of a lot of sentences in Derry, as I’ve been told.
The main story is very well written by Danny McLaughlin. All of the many short stories and comics serve as good supplemental material to the world he has created. Some of the shorts are stronger than others, but all help flesh out the world we’re viewing. McLaughlin does a great job of working in the themes mentioned earlier to make this stand out from your regular zombie story. There are times when the story becomes a little too wordy and the speech bubbles distract from the art, but that is only a handful of times. Character development is something that gets stronger as the series goes along. We are thrown into this world, but it is only in latter issues that we truly learn about our group of characters. The art is handled adeptly by the team. The first 5 issues feature black and white are that looks rough at times, but it finds its way as the series progresses. Color is added in issues 6 and 7, issue 6 literally explodes into color after an explosion.
Bottom Line: Zombies Hi is a series with a lot of potential. The distinctly Irish themes and settings help to set this apart from the countless other zombie books on the shelves. There are some rough parts in the writing and art departments that have been ironing themselves out over the 7 issue run so far, so I expect great things from the next installments. This is definitely one to look into. You can learn more about the series on the official website by clicking here.