Every day this month I'll be reviewing a different independent comic book, based on submissions from the creators of the comic books themselves.
The month continues with Major Zombie: Love and Loss, by Lefty and Tan Eng Huat, a real treat of a comic...
Gilamon Comics is a Malaysian independent comic book company founded by a trio of comic book artists: Lefty, Michael Chuah, and Chi Sau Lim. Recently, Tan Eng Huat (who has done a number of projects for Marvel and DC, including the very recent Thor: First Thunder series) has begun to work with them, as well. Tan Eng Huat draws the first of two stories in this magazine-sized, full-color magazine, while Lefty writes both stories and draws the second.
The gist of Major Zombie is as follows - a Superman analogue, Supreme-Man, gets turned into a zombie saving a young female adventurer. He has lost much of his original power, but he is still pretty darn powerful, and continues as a superhero known as Major Zombie, along with the female adventurer, Kaktus, as his sidekick (as obviously she feels indebted to him).
What's interesting about this series is that Lefty, on his own, is a talented comic book artist. Here are a couple of his pages...
But Tan Eng Huat is just utterly amazing, especially when he is given free reign to go wild with his dynamic, over-the-top designs.
So artistically, this is a very good looking comic book. And that's not even counting the strong batch of pin-ups at the back of the book, including another prominent artist from the region, Shadowland's Billy Tan.
So, just based on the artwork, this would be an attractive book, but what really makes it work is Lefty's story. He does a tremendous job playing up the absurdity of a world whose biggest hero is well, a zombie. He works in a number of over-the-top but clever ideas, like Rado, the autistic boy who only speaks when he detects paranormal creatures in his dreams (he is the boy shown in the first sample page).
The first story involves a popular superhero who goes to Major Zombie for help when he starts to believe that his wife (another superhero) is cheating on him.
The second story is a compelling tale about a martial arts legend who is able to transfer his power once during his lifetime, and the woman who seduces him into giving him her power. Major Zombie and Kaktus get involved, of course. Lefty really makes you feel for the old man getting seduced by a seemingly weak and beautiful young woman.
Both Lefty and Huat take full advantage of the magazine-sized pages by providing bombastic full-page action scenes (heck, if you notice the bottom left hand corner of the second sample page, you'll notice that Lefty goes even BEYOND the borders of the page!).
This is a highly professional, highly entertaining, well-produced book.
I only wish they had better sample pages. I had to enlarge these images for them to work at all, and that makes them a bit fuzzy. I'd love to see some larger-pixel pages, especially of the Huat pages, as we only have one to go on (plus the cover).
If you wish to purchase a copy, you can go here.
The first story is 12 pages long. The second story is 22 pages long. There are 4 sketchbook pages to see Tan Eng Huat and Lefty's progression on their respective stories. And then there are 8 pages of pin-ups.