Comic conventions are great. It might be a less-than-shocking opinion coming from a site called Giant Size Comic Things, but I needed a first sentence. I’ve only been to a few in my life, but the Coast City Comic Con in Portland, ME is fast becoming a tradition, with a decent price and, while perhaps lacking big name celebrities, a good collection of guest speakers, dealers, and festivities. One of the cooler aspects of comic cons, big or small, are the local/indy creators there to try and sell you on not only their comic but themselves. One such artist was Michael Mitchell. He lured me in with a siren song: a 50 cent box of back issues. These were decent books, too, for the price, as I snagged the first appearance of the Crusader and my friend Andrew The Giant picked up a copy of the first appearance of The Thunderbolts. Grateful to finally add the Crusader to my collection, I took a look at his own comic book he was selling: Zombie Sub-920. For a scant $2.50 I got a copy, a small piece of original art, and signatures on both. If he gets famous? Gold mine. If not? It’s still a unique collectible, another siren song I can get lured in by (hence the German language reprint of an Avengers issue I bought). But how is the book itself?
Zombie Sub-920 is based on an amalgamated, unique precipice of alien invasion, genetically modified apes, global warming, and a biologically induced zombification of the human race. Basically, human beings used genetically modified apes to fight an alien invasion, which led to super-smart monkeys entering into a war with humans, releasing a virus to zombify humans, all stemming from a humanity weakened by environmental disasters. A peace is reached between monkeys and humans, and this book follows the inhabitants of a human-manned submarine, with partial-zombie crew members, taking on new monkey cohorts. The humans are suspicious of the historically aggressive monkey-men, and the entire lot begin to explore old New York underwater.
The book has a labor of love feel. I’m intrigued by the premise, and the inclusion of monkey-men is at least unexpected. The zombies in the crew are only halfway there, shriveled and green but still intelligent. I love the hand painted look to the art, and I’m intrigued as to where the stories could go (full on zombie attack? zombie monkey? monkey/human tension?), though the dialogue’s a little flat. Still, it’s a pretty cool concept and it makes a good piece in my collection.