Most everybody loves zombies, unless you’re my friend Justin Wiggins (the creator of Spook). They’re the perfect post-modern monsters—zombies can embody just about any subtext. George A. Romero made zombie movies about racism and consumerism; Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead discusses contemporary society’s dependence on technology, at the same time exploring the fragility of social constructions; Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive (Brain Dead for the New Zealand crowd) is just violent fun. Now Gilbert Hernandez, best known for Love and Rockets (done with his brothers Jaime and Mario), is throwing his hat into the zombie ring with Fatima: The Blood Spinners.
Fatima takes place in the near future, a setting familiar but still a bit fantastical. A new drug called Spin has taken over society. The catch: one dose turns users into zombies. It’s possible Fatima arrived in stores a little late, missing the Bath Salts craze by only a few weeks. Regardless, Fatima is a great read, demonstrating why Hernandez is one of the most important names in comic books.
Filled with excessive violence and the artistic styling’s Hernandez is famous for, this four issue limited series is wonderful so far, adding to the zombie canon by asking questions regarding drugs in the 21st century, post 9/11 surveillance, and issues of economic importance (non-zombified community members murder a homeless man as a preventative measure). Yet the book isn’t academic or pedantic (like this statement), instead relying on Hernandez’s storytelling style: excellent artwork, compelling characters, and an honest voice. Even though the year’s only halfway over I have a feeling Fatima will end up being my favorite new comic of 2012.
On a final note, Peter Bagge (Hate, Reset, Apocalypse Nerd) graces the variant cover with his always enjoyable artwork. Click here to see it.