Writer: Ryan Parrott
Artist: Evgeniy Bornyakov
Publisher: AfterShock Comics
WHAT IS IT?
A horror-comedy tale with a unique take on zombies.
Think Warm Bodies meets Coco.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
The world is preparing for Dead Day, a mysterious night where corpses rise from their graves. For some, this is a blessing as they get to connect with long-dead friends and family, but for others, it can be an absolute horror. For the Haskin family, this will day mean much more than anticipated.
Hoping to gain closure, Melissa goes to the park bench that was once special to her former fiancé, Jeremy, in case he rises for the world’s fourth Dead Day. Her husband Daniel thinks it is a lost cause, but ultimately supports his wife and stays home with their children, Brandon and Jewel. At the same time, Brandon wants to spend the night at his friend Zack’s family cabin, which Daniel denies him. The Haskin family’s night will soon turn to turmoil, as revenge schemes, cults and house parties pull the family members into chaos.
Parrott's story is humorous and thoughtful. He thoroughly explores the intricacies and consequences of the dead rising and being conscious of their sudden reanimation.
Bornyakov's pencils are crisp and lifelike. His photorealistic style makes the situation and characters more sympathetic.
The coloring of JUANCHO! perfectly matches the story's fine line between intimate emotions and dark humor. They use a variety of muted colors and bring each scene to life.
Pritchett excellently uses size and color to depict the impact of sound effects. Gunfire and other loud noises are more dramatic in these scenes largely because of the lettering.
The creators build a complex world and everyone’s perceptions of it largely through interactions with characters. Background information never bogs down the pace of the story.
Bornyakov's detailed backgrounds add additional story to every panel, fleshing out this society even further. Readers with a keen eye will find joy in picking out the little bits of additional world-building scattered throughout the panels.
JUANCHO!’s uses a primarily yellow palette to signal pages that are flashbacks, making them instantly recognized by readers.
Parrott’s dialogue shows an immense range, switching from heartfelt, or funny, to dark and aggressive with ease.
The Haskins are a complex, but ultimately happy family, avoiding common comic book tropes of having characters be orphans or come from broken homes.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK
Content Warning: There is one part of the story that suggests necrophilia which some readers may find disturbing.
Some of the chapters begin with short scenarios that aren’t addressed again until the end. While they help display other aspects of this world, they feel a bit forced at first. The ending helps this to a degree.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Dead Day has a little bit of everything: horror, humor, family drama, and a smidge of fantasy. The number of details explained about this world is commendable for a miniseries and the reader mind’s will be reeling thinking of all of the possibilities beyond this book. What makes the story truly excellent is grounding this concept through the emotional journeys of the Haskin family. More is explained about the consequences and societal expectations of Dead Day through Melissa’s search for closure, or Daniel’s inner conflict of liking a girl and accepting her odd religion than could be through mere explanation.
This concept wouldn’t be nearly as immersive and fascinating without the art. Every little additional detail, color, and direction of the eyes feels like a true collaboration that pays off immensely. This kind of eye for detail makes Dead Day easily able to read multiple times and still feel fresh.
Zombies fans who’ve felt the genre has been a bit dry or horror fans looking for some excellent worldbuilding will find a home in this comic.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Rogue Sun by Ryan Parrott & Abel
Go Go Power Rangers by Ryan Parrott & Dan Mora
The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard
If you like the art:
You Are Obsolete by Matthew Klickstein & Evgeniy Bornyakov
Descendant by Stephanie Phillips & Evgeniy Bornyakov
Red Atlantis by Stephanie Phillips & Robert Carrie
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Ryan Parrott (@thatryanparrott) – Writer
Parrott is a prolific writer having penned titles for nearly every major publisher but is most known for his work on Power Rangers.
He is also a writer for television and most notably served as an assistant to J. J. Abrams on Star Trek: Into Darkness.
Parrott’s Dead Day is being adapted for a Peacock original series.
Evgeniy Bornyakov (@evgenybornyakov) - Artist
Bornyakov has mainly written titles overseas, but he is an AfterShock regular penning such titles as You Are Obsolete, Dead Day, and Descendant.
He is also a storyboard artist.
Bornyakov hails from Russia.
JUANCHO! (@juanchovelez25) – Colorist
A rising talent, Juancho! has colored titles by DC, AfterShock, IDW, and Zenescope.
He is on a quest to find the best cheeseburger and would appreciate any help.
Juancho! hails from Colombia but currently resides in Spain.
Charles Pritchett – Letterer
Pritchett has lettered books for several major publishers including IDW, Top Cow, and Image comics.
He is a founding member of the design company Frozen Beach Studios.
Pritchett is also a LEGO builder and shares his projects on his Instagram.
HOW DO I BUY IT?
The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.
All Dead Day characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright of Aftershock Comics or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.