Zombies have become a staple in mainstream horror. Night of the Living Dead, Diary of the Dead, The Walking Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, every damn thing you can think has become dead! Creator Dave Dwonch is here to secure that even proms will also meet their demise with Spores Vol 1: Prom of the Dead.
What’s the book about?
Spores Vol 1: Prom of the Dead is Dwonch’s first volume in what he calls his Spores Trilogy. Prom of the Dead focuses on the students of Pineview Academy, a private school in New York. As the teenagers prepare for the biggest night of their high school life, a spore infects students and staff one by one, turning them into zombies who are slaves to a hive mind. That’s right, there’s something bigger at hand here than your normal living dead!
The usual suspects of teenagers fill the book. You have your not so popular overweight girl, the promiscuous bunch of social elite chicks that everyone wants to date, the bad boy, and even the stereotypical janitor who’s mistreated makes an appearance, among others. It all sounds cliche and like we have seen it all before. And we have, but Dwonch does an exceptional job in turning the stereotypes into characters that you want to see make it out alive…well most of them, anyway. Some of them get what they deserve.
Spores Vol 1: Prom of the Dead is an entertaining zombie tale — it isn’t your ordinary zombie tale, either. There is more going on behind the scenes than by-the-numbers zombies. We are first introduced to the spores with a scene that appears to be a homage to Creepshow. Remember the story “The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill?” The meteor falls out of the sky and Stephen King plays the poor hick that messes with it and things go south for him. Well here, there is a meteor that falls out of the sky and some redneck is outside his trailer drinking and goes to investigate the meteor crash. Bad luck for him as the spores infects him and take over his body.
The script is written as well as the characters are developed. Each teenager is fighting with their own teenage problems and even some of the faculty have their own vices to deal with. Characters have their strengths and weaknesses as the story progresses, but in the end the key to it all is survival. Dwonch does a great job of creating dread and despair in the story.
Santiago Guillen and Daniel Arruda Massa have the artwork duties and complement each other perfectly. Guillen does a fantastic job with the character art. Strong characters need strong art and Guillen doesn’t disappoint. The visual dread in the teenagers’ eyes as they witness their peers dying at the hands of the zombies is top notch and Massa’s colors are just as impressive. His choice of palette is gorgeous and paints a beautiful picture of doom.
I only have minor gripes with story. Some of it has been seen before and If I am getting ready to be attacked by zombies, I am not going to lock myself up and get high. But hey! They’re teenagers — it’s their way of coping, right? And all good things come to an end. I wanted more, so now I have to wait for part two!
Oh, is there some ugly in this book. Those catty bitches for one! Evil chicks that remind me of some of the girls I went to high school with. I see them on Facebook now and they haven’t improved much. If some of you read this, good luck in figuring out which of you I am referring to, ha ha! Those zombies are ugly as hell too. More props to Guillen and Massa! Keep that weird, creepy stuff coming.
What can I say? I dig Spores Vol 1: Prom of the Dead. The book is over 80 pages and is an exciting read. We have seen these characters before — hell, we might even be some of these characters. That’s what makes it easy to connect with. If you’re a fan of zombies and horror, Prom of the Dead is definitely a book that you should consider. You can order this at Behemoth comics, shipping on September 5th.