This past weekend I stopped by the Long Beach Comic Expo and basically used it as an opportunity to grab a bunch of very indie comics. One of those that caught my attention was Zombie Tramp. It seemed a little strange to have a sexy zombie so I took the bait and bought the graphic novel containing all three issues of the series. In hindsight I kind of wish I had bought the singles instead, but oh well the price was right. Zombie Tramp starts off with a man paying for a couple of prostitutes from a pimp. He shuffles the ladies into a van and something inside begins going to town on them brutally murdering them. Next we meet the star of the story one Janey Belle, the highest paid call girl in all of California. Tonight she is accompanying an up and coming actor to an award ceremony. We meet our third main character as she’s transported from prison. She's very well endowed in the chest region and as such her prison jump suit pops open; as the driver of the bus stares at her chest he crashes the bus. Xula (the prisoner) escapes from wreck and kills the two guards.
Janey wakes up to discover that her “madam” has been arrested. She runs to visit him in the police station since he’s the only person to ever take care of her. Once there George the “madam” asks Janey to sleep with the corrupt police officer that busted him. Janey agrees since she’d do anything for George and prepares for the night that will change her life forever. The night she’s bitten by the cop’s zombie son and transformed into the first zombie to keep its soul.
The back of this book has one of the most accurate descriptions I’ve ever read for a comic/book and goes a little something like this: Warning! Zombie Tramp contains: Sexy Zombie outfits, strong Trampy language and gory Undead action! And for once the description isn’t exaggerating. The outfits are sexy and the action is gory as hell!
Writer/artist Dan Mendoza has a great style that is very similar to Josh Howard’s, but with a wider range of skills. His art style is a bit cartoony, but it’s still very mature and works with the story. In fact I think that Mendoza’s style has room for growth and variety whereas Howard’s is locked in for the rest of his career. Personally I liked the art more than the story and really enjoyed one section in particular where Mendoza left the rough pencil lines in for the characters so that you could see the entire penciling process. It reminded me a lot of Hero Bear and the Kid which had a very unique style.
The story was decent; nothing amazing but it was memorable and tried something different with the zombie genre which I have never seen. Obviously with this type of book it’s not really about a long arc of character development, but Mendoza does manage to develop the character of Janey from an abused and used call girl to a confident free willed creature of the undead. It’s funny in the sense that she needed to die and become a zombie to gain confidence and break the shackles of her former life. The story seems like it would be goofy and it does have a few cornball moments, but for the most part it’s a pretty serious story from beginning to end and you really end up liking Janey and rooting for her.
This book probably isn’t for everyone, but if you like zombies then pick it up. The cover also describes it as a grind-house adventure and I’d say that’s pretty accurate. The art has “adult” theme’s so I wouldn’t hand this to a little kid, but if you’re a comic vet or old enough to hand nudity then I recommend checking it out. The book is released by Super Real Graphics and you can pick it up from their site here. You can also buy the single issue's linked from Dan’s site here.