It’s been a year of Zombie Tramp already! Despite having some ups and downs this series has been pretty consistent in its first year. At times I’ve felt that the story was moving a bit too slowly and there really wasn’t anything new that our character was doing. Janey has largely been touring the country and running into trouble and getting out of trouble the same way. At times her true character has shown through and kept the core of the series going which is why I keep going with this series. This issue marks the return of creator Dan Mendoza on art and story which made me extremely happy to see. I’ve enjoyed TMChu’s artwork and Jason Martin’s story and coloring are okay, but Mendoza’s story and art is what made this series so damn good to begin with.
With this issue you can really see the improvements he’s made as a visual storyteller. He’s not just illustrating posed characters, but really making them come alive on the page. His linework is cleaner and yet holds the integrity of his style. On top of that he’s really flushed out his backgrounds which has been a problem of the ongoing since the beginning. Janey’s world has never felt this alive and I hope that regardless of the next artist on the series this improvement sticks.
Another notable improvement is the coloring. Mendoza’s never really had a chance to work on his coloring for the series before TMChu took over. Frankly I would say that he’s surpassed the work that Jason Martin does on the series. This is hands down the best coloring of the series to date and really gives the world a personality that it’s often times missing.
As for the issue itself, the story is very dark, but if you’ve read the series then you know it is. Janey comes face to face with man that raped her and her friend back in high school and low and behold he’s married to the woman that tormented them afterwards. Janey gets her revenge and it closes out this chunk of her past, but what’s really interesting is what the issue sets up at the end of the book. I’m going to leave that for you to find out, but it was good.
Mendoza really does dark comedy and just darkness well. There’s a lot of inventiveness to the torture that Janey comes up with via Mendoza’s writing. Obviously not for the timid, but I enjoyed it. Again, this is the type of material that the series has been lacking. It’s supposed to be uncomfortable at times. You’re supposed to root for Janey, but then also question if you really should. Is she justified in her revenge? That’s the type of question you should ask yourself at the end of this issue.
The series is heading to the South in the next story arc so we’ll see if it’s more of the same Janey gets into trouble, Janey uses the same five tricks to get out of trouble; type of story. Maybe this issue has given everyone enough of a break to come back with something fresh or at the very least set up a new journey for Janey with the ending of this issue. It’s been a good year of Zombie Tramp and I’m looking forward to the next year as well.