Dead of Winter #1

Writer: Kyle Starks
Artist: Gabriel Bautista

It’s the zombie apocalypse. You know the drill.

In all seriousness, Dead of Winter really doesn’t have much going for it. It seems to be going for a comedic tone, but its main joke is that the main character is a superhero dog. Except, the main character is really some guy named Gabriel, and the dog isn’t really a superhero, and the only joke is that the dog really hates zombies. In fact, they say it twice, because everyone knows that a joke is funnier if you repeat it without any alteration, right?

Aside from that one joke, it really is just the most generic zombie apocalypse story imaginable. There’s no preamble, just zombies, a colony of people, and a scavenging mission to a police station. I’m not sure if the generic setting and conventional plot are supposed to be part of the joke, but if it is then it isn’t funny, and if it isn’t, then this really is just painfully unoriginal.

The characters are completely one-dimensional, but not even in a way that relies on archetypes or tropes outside of the “white-trash” character. Everyone else is just… kind of there. There’s the guy who may or may not be a dad to two kids, I guess it’s not important because they disappear as soon as Gabriel and his white-trash friend show up. Gabriel himself is a cookie-cutter zombie-apocalypse protagonist, the nice guy who helps people. Then there’s the leader of the colony, some woman and her friend, and of course, Sparky the super-dog… Who is just a dog with a cape. The lack of personality in the characters and lack of originality in the setting and plot are close to being the worst thing in this story. That is if it weren’t for…

It isn’t funny. And I’m sorry, but a story that tries and fails to be funny is possibly the worst type of story. Dead of Winter has absolutely no sense of comedic timing, witty dialogue, or even how to be original in its jokes since most of them are just references. Of those three flaws, I have to say the dialogue is probably the worst. Each line of dialogue reads as if it’s supposed to be funny, but is just painfully unfunny.

The art by Gabriel Bautista is also pretty amateurish. Faces are weirdly flat and strangely proportioned, backgrounds feel just a little too empty, and the constantly desaturated colors feel out of place with a more light-hearted tone. Action reads pretty stiffly, too.

Dead of Winter isn’t terrible, but it does almost nothing right. It’s an unoriginal, unfunny comic with below average artwork, and you’d be better off reading almost anything else.

Rating: 2/5

More Info: For more information on Dead of Winter and Oni Press, check out their Website, Twitter, and Facebook Page.

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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