There could be an added subtitle of “Hell Week” if you really wanted to extend that title, but I think it’s long enough as it is. Chaos Campus is pretty much everything you’d expect from that title. It’s a comic that probably would have done quite well in the 90s and while it doesn’t try to disrespect women, it really fails to portray them in any positive manner either. I get that that’s not what the book is about, but when the story stars three characters that are all women… it’s a hard fact to ignore. The story opens at a sorority party. One of our main character’s boyfriend is macking on everything and we spend way too much time with him and his “dude bro” dialogue. It’s safe to say that he’s an idiot and that other idiots will sleep with him because… I don’t know… it’s a comic? Eventually he steals a beer truck and gets bit in the process. He makes out with a girl that’s not his girlfriend and they both turn zombie.
Cue the zombie outbreak.
Half of the sorority sisters leave the story because their minorities and know that they won’t fare well in this type of story. We’re left with three, the girlfriend of the guy that caused the outbreak who is a witch that can sometimes cure zombism, the anti-establishment woman that is down with evil and shit and the lipstick lesbian that dresses like a porno school girl or better yet a 90s comic book school girl… because that’s how she dresses.
The story doesn’t really go anywhere. It tries to pull a Scream and lay down rules and be really self-aware, but the jokes didn’t hit for me. At one point I wondered if it was even trying to take itself seriously when it made fun of Jay and Silent Bob and Beavis and Butthead all within two pages of itself. It’s parody and obviously so and yet the character’s joke about being sued because of their parody… sigh. The ending is terrible, but probably the most fun I had with the comic because it made zero sense and is fun to tell others about. That’s the only redeeming this about this book, it’s fun to tell others about, but not so much fun to read yourself.
The art changes every chapter/issue. Since this was a trade that meant it changed quite often. I’m still not even sure how many issues there originally was. The art was weird to say the least. It starts off being realistic and then moves away from that gradually with every art change. Some of it I liked, but most of it was pretty rough and basic. One style seemed to get a different inker halfway through and the new inker ruined the artwork making it look like a different artist… or it could have been a different artist finishing off someone else’s style. Basically there’s a lot of problems with the art and very little to enjoy about it unless you want unrealistic boobies on all the women. Which if this was the 90s you would want that.
Here’s the thing. It’s not good, but you can tell the writer had a blast with it. They knew what they were doing and created the comic they wanted. I can respect that. I think it could have been better and that there didn’t need to be as much pointless dialogue, but it is what it is. The art also could have been a lot better, but it’s an indie book and you never know the story behind the story so I won’t rag on it too much.
You could really enjoy this. Like I said, it’s fun to tell others about or if you just get what it’s doing then it’s not so bad. I think the ending really kills it for me and so for that reason I’m giving it the score I’m giving it. And I say that understanding that it’s a first volume, but the end of any volume should make you want to come back and it doesn’t do that.
Chaos Campus: Sorority Girls vs. Zombies Writer: B. Alex Thompson Artists: Various Publisher: Approbation Comics Price: $19.99 Website