Advanced Review: Alan Robert’s ‘Killogy’ #1

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Alan Robert dives into the world of character mashups with his latest series, Killogy, bringing together an unlikely cast of characters for an unflinching zombie crime tale. Robert strays from the current trend to bring together old literary icons, and instead ventures into modernity to deliver one of the most absurd ensemble casts imaginable. “Killogy” teams Marky Ramone, Frank Vincent (The Sopranos), and Brea Grant (Heroes, Dexter) for a throwback horror story that’s more about character development than it is about zombies. Issue #1 is a solid introduction to the misfit cast and it offers a promising start to what looks like another hit horror series from Alan Robert and IDW.

WRITTEN BY: Alan Robert
ART BY: Alan Robert
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: October 31st, 2012

The issue begins with the three stars sharing an overnight holding cell in a local police station. Immediately, Robert focuses on character development rather than simply using familiar faces as a way to sell his book. As Frank Vincent and Marky Ramone banter back and forth, Brea Grant cries in the corner whispering something about killing her boyfriend through lost breathes and streaming tears. The dialogue is genuinely funny, showing that Robert knows these characters almost intimately. Not only is he able to capture their likeness with his artwork, but he’s able to get inside their heads. Even if you know nothing about The Sopranos, The Ramones, or Bea Grant, it won’t matter. Robert brings out their over-the-top personalities in the span of a few pages. When Frank and Marky duke it out, it’s easy to see the potential conflict down the line when they have to face an army of undead together. Unfortunately, Brea hides in the shadows and I wish the starlet was a bit more established. While it’s clear where Marky and Fank fit together, it’s difficult to tell where she fits into the action.

From the jail cell, Frank Vincent flashes back to his first encounter with the undead. His story is quite wordy to begin, but when floating zombie heads enter the picture, it quickly turns into a fun 80s style horror story. The zombie head in a tub of mint ice-cream is an image you won’t soon forget, making the juxtaposition of modern pop culture icons with the setting of a cheesy 80s movie a blast. Robert leaves plenty of enigmatic story threads to keep the mystery going with the Tarantino style, non-linear narrative. The high tension gives it the book a cinematic feel, to go along with the famous stars of “Killogy”.

It’s hard to get a good grasp on what the deal is with the zombies, and I’m not sure if Robert will keep it a secret or if he’ll attempt to explain the zombie apocalypse. The zombies do not seem to be the focus of the story, and the seeds are planted for a greater mystery that lies beneath the undead surface.

Robert strategically chooses three individuals who look so starkly different from one another. It’s clear, even without reading, that these characters don’t belong together, they won’t be friends, and they have very differing outlooks on life. Robert captures their faces perfectly, making them easily identifiable. There are a bit too many close ups, and I’d like to see more of their surroundings to get a sense of the state of the world.

Robert changes his art style drastically from his previous books “Crawl to Me” and “Wire Hangers” by relying less on digital means and using heavy, gothic shadows to add weight. There’s less digital effects added giving it a cleaner look. Killogy offers a less horror-focused story from Robert’s other work, and the change in artwork reflects the change. It’s refreshing to see that he can alter his style so drastically. It’s increasingly rare to see an artist who can offer a variety of styles.

The coloring increases the feeling of a drive-in horror show which fits with the plot, however, some panels look flat. Robert relies too much on the uniform color scheme, which detracts from his great work on pencil and inks.

The combination of both Robert’s writing and artwork is truly unique, providing a perfect balance of comedy, drama, and horror. I’m really excited to see how the characters will band together to overcome the imminent undead threat, and how Robert will tie it all up. There’s no doubt “Killogy” will be one of the year’s most fun horror books

3.5/5 Skulls