Sometimes things need a little bit of an explanation. Words or phrases which are perfectly normal and have a certain meaning in a particular location may not be as common or may have a different meaning in a different location. So, when Zombies Hi came across my desk, I wanted to know why someone would be greeting the undead. It turns out that in England, where the book originates, “Hi” is used as an interjection or an emphasis at the end of a sentence. So, in this case, it is not so much a greeting as it is a warning. Now that you have been warned, we can begin.
Zombie Hi is an anthology title in the vein of the old Marvel Comics Presents. There is a main story which is serialized with a bit in each issue, and then there are other stories which only last for a few pages. The idea is that you come for the main story and stay to see what else is contained in the book. However, in the case of Zombies Hi, the opposite actually proved true – the rest of the book proved to be far more interesting than the main story.
All of the stories in Zombies Hi, as one would expect, take place during or after a zombie outbreak. The main story is a tale of a group of survivors who have managed to secure a few blocks of London and try to hold it against zombies and raiders from other areas. However, instead of banding together, there are internal struggles which threaten to tear the group apart. The story feels like a riff on Romero’s Land of the Dead movie where the rich and powerful manage to live a life free from the day to day horrors of the real world while everyone else had to deal with the zombie hordes. It is interesting enough, but not unique enough or populated with interesting enough characters to hold my interest for too long.
Where Zombies Hi shines, however, is in the text pieces included in each issue. Almost every issue has at least one short story which delves deeply into the harsh realities of survival during the zombie apocalypse. There is depression, anxiety, and desperation which fuels the intese feelings of loneliness and isolation. While normally I am one to skip the text pieces in a “comic book”, I found myself looking forward to the stories in each issue, rushing through the serialized comic story to reach them. Were Zombies Hi to publish an entirely short prose issue, I would snatch it up in a heartbeat!
There have been seven issues of Zombies Hi published so far. The seventh issue ends on a cliffhanger (as any good serialized anthology issue should), so hopefully there will be more issues. Eventhough I said above that I was not completely into the story, it is definitely interesting enough that I want to see how it all ends! The first five issues are black and white, while the last two are in color. You can order hard copies of the books, or there is a digital download option as well (at a significantly reduced price). You can check out Zombies Hi for yourself here.