Let’s clear the air right now by admitting that James Mulholland’s debut comic, The Disease, is a zombie story, so if you just don’t enjoy hordes of shambling undead or have reached your saturation point, this probably isn’t the story for you; however, I enjoy zombie tales that emphasize the human element, and Mulholland’s story fits the bill. The first half of the book reads as a basic zombie apocalypse narrative, but the plot twist adds a unique element that I think makes it stand out a little. (No, I won’t spoil the twist.)
Daniel Romero and Micah Myers add their artwork and lettering skills to the project. While the black-and-white artwork isn’t the most intricate or photorealistic I’ve seen, it works to share the strange starkness of Gerry’s new, zombie-infested world. My only slight complaint is that I found it hard to judge the characters’ ages from appearance. (e.g., Gerry is supposed to be a grandfather while Kate, another survivor, is a young mother, but they look as if they could be similar ages. It’s not crucial to the plot, and it didn’t interfere with my enjoyment; it just struck me as odd after I finished reading and thought back on it.)
Overall, The Disease provides an interesting variant on the many zombie stories available in comic, book, movie, and TV format. If you love zombies, definitely pick this up! Just keep in mind that it’s pretty hard to have an upbeat apocalypse story, and Gerry’s situation brought a few tears to my eyes in the final panels.
4 Rock Blows to the Head out of 5