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COMIC REVIEWS

Fleshrot: Tales From The Dead (2003)



Fleshrot Vol. 1
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WHERE TO FIND

Purchase at the Official Site:
www.fleshrot.com

Search for it on eBay!

One of the first projects to grace the pages of All Things Zombie was an ambitious comic anthology called Fleshrot: Tales From The Dead. I came upon it while searching far and wide for anything and everything related to zombies and was immediately impressed by the preview art, the website, and the simple fact that it was totally dedicated to the undead. As such, it will always have a unique place in the annals of history at ATZ. I've since followed its progress throughout the past year, all the way up to its recent release. I'm pleased to be able to tell you that not only will I remember it as a unique cog in the very beginnings of ATZ, but it will be remembered as one of the coolest comic collections I've ever read (zombie or otherwise), a ton of fun, and a nice addition to my collection.

To add instant credibility to this huge collaboration of zombie tales and art, publisher and editor John Pearson grabbed the biggest name in zombies, George A. Romero, to lend his thoughts for the book's foreword. Since there's no bigger authority on the subject, I read through the foreword like I was going to be tested on it, soaking up every word. It's insightful as well as interesting, and frankly, it should be required reading for Zombies 101.

After the foreword and an introduction by the aforementioned John Pearson, we're greeted by the lovely Misty Graves in Deadtime Stories. She's the hostess with the mostest in our journey through the book and she's fleshed out beautifully through Dave Cook's artwork. It's just the setup for what's to come and gives you get a feel for the ride you're in for.

A majority of the Fleshrot tales are serious in nature and really do hearken back to the days of EC Comics. And I'm not just saying that because Romero alluded to the same thing, the stories genuinely have that type of feel to them. The Collection and The Family Plot are especially reminiscent of the kind of stuff you'd expect out of a Tales From the Crypt or Vault of Horror comic. The Collection spins a yarn about an adult film director with a gruesome obsession that threatens to get the better of him. With the Family Plot, you have a neat story by Eric Piccione in which a man goes too far with his impulses and covers up his misdeed on his family's plot of land. The long-deceased residents buried on that private land don't take kindly to this and look to rectify the situation.

That's a taste of what's inside the pages of Fleshrot. There are also a few humorous stories to mix it up a bit, like Mustard's Last Drink. Nobody messes with Maynard D. Mustard's moonshine! Well, somebody does (several somebody's actually) and it's not pretty. Sprinkled throughout the book are some faux advertisements, which I thought were great additions. Remember those old comic book ads for hand buzzers, x-ray glasses, and stuff like that? Well there's one of those in here, though this one has stuff like undead teeth, trick brain, and flesh rot soap. Ah, what fun you could have with a bar of flesh rot soap! It takes me back to the good 'ole days when I played the fake dog doo or fake puke joke on a family member at least once a week. I still have both of those gags to this day, and I assure you, fake dog doo never gets old!

So, in total there are eight tales from the dead. All are creative, nicely written, and all are ghastly fun! But wait, that's not all you'll get! There's also a ton of pin-up type art for your eyes to feast upon! Not just zombies either, there are several more renditions of our favorite goth-girl in the very short skirt...Misty Graves. Impressive is an understatement when talking about the collection of artistic talent that has been compiled for Fleshrot. There are 36 artists in all, and among the standouts are the likes of Terry Smith, Ralph Waters, Allen K, Steph Dumais, Jeff Preston, James Ryman, John Dunivant, Jeff Gaither, Socar Myles, and John Pearson (yes, he can draw as well as write/publish/edit). I loved so many of them, but if I were to pick a favorite of the art pieces, I'd go with John Pearson's Poker Night at the Cemetery. Who knew they enjoyed playing poker?

I'd like to add a final thought on Fleshrot: Tales From the Dead. I've sung its praises up to this point, and I back up every word. I'll go one step further and say that I think this will go down as one of the definitive works dedicated to the undead. Granted, that's due in part to its sheer volume, but more so due to the care and the passion in its execution. And great news folks, the second book is already in the works and should be out in the spring!


RATING

(Out of 5)
WEBSITE
www.fleshrot.com
REVIEW POSTED
October 22 2003


DEAD KEV'S ADVICE
All fans of those cuddly dead creatures should own this! One of the definitive collections of zombie flesh-eating fun!
ZOMBIE LESSONS LEARNED
1. Sex with the dead not so good.
2. Zombies dig moonshine.
3. An island is the best place to hide during the zombie apocalypse.
4. Misty Graves is hot.
5. Don't disturb the tired rat.
FUN FACTS
1. Fleshrot was originally planned to be only one story.
2. The hostess, Misty Graves, was added close to the completion of the book.
3. Misty Graves was inspired by Gwen Steffani (No Doubt) and Shirley Manson (Garbage), with a bit of gothic influence tossed in. <I can't argue with that combination!>
FAVORITE QUOTES
- "I don't cringe, I giggle when those jerks get dismembered."
- "Decapitations is another good way to immobilize a zombie. It's a bit more messy, but can be a sport in itself."
- "Nobody eats my damn cow but me, you crazy-ass hippies!!!!"


PUBLISHER
Frightworld Studios
John Pearson
Copyright 2003
ISBN: 0974122904
FORMAT
Trade Paperback Size (6.75" x 10.5")
132 Pages
Exterior: Glossy Color
Interior: Black & White
Cover Price: $12.99 U.S. / $18.25 Canada

REVIEW THE COMIC YOURSELF ON THE MESSAGE BOARD!



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RELEASE DATES
03/2006
- Black Gas #3 (5 covers)
- Escape OTLD #1 (alt cover)
- Escape OTLD #4 (5 covers)
- Land of the Dead TPB
- Living With Zombies #6
- Marvel Zombies #4

04/2006
- Black Gas #1 (alt cover)
- Dead Eyes Open #4
- Escape OTLD #1 (alt cover)
- Escape OTLD #2 (alt cover)
- Escape OTLD #3 (alt cover)
- Marvel Zombies #5
- Walking Dead #30

05/2006
- Black Gas #1 (alt cover)
- Escape OTLD #1 (alt cover)
- Escape OTLD #2 (alt cover)
- Escape OTLD #3 (alt cover)
- Living With Zombies #7
- Ultimate Fantastic Four #30
- Walking Dead Vol 5 TPB
- Zombies! Feast #1