DEAD ALREADY VOL.1

Posted On December - 17 - 2007
  RELEASED BY:   SEVEN SEAS
  AUTHOR / ART:  

MICHAEL SHELFER / DWAYNE A. SMITH

  FORMAT:   JAPANESE / B&W
  PAGES:   192
  RATING:   OT
  RELEASE DATE:   09/19/2007
  REVIEW DATE:   12/17/2007
  REVIEWED BY:   SCOTT CAMPBELL

John Lyon, a wise-cracking, hotshot New York cop has the most amount of kills out of anyone on the force. But one day he takes down a monstrous voodoo killer and falls victim to a terrible curse. Can he convince a sassy psychiatrist that he is not crazy and erase the curse before it is too late? Zombies and other abominations of the undead await him at seemingly every turn. He killed them once, but now it’s their turn to do the killing.

Dead Already is a fun bit of action/humour entertainment that doesn’t try to be too over the top or too dramatic. It’s fast, it’s straight forward, and it actually has just as many funny moments as it has action. Poor John – he’s a good cop and has done away with many a bad man with nothing positive to offer the world. But now these long dead villains and petty criminals want his blood – and they’re coming back (literally) to get it! He thinks it’s pretty crazy, everyone else thinks he’s crazy, and it’s going to get a lot crazier than that – anyone can tell from the fast flow of this first volume. It has the feel of a zombie movie, but with more humour and less gore. It also has a survival aspect and a mystery aspect to it. This series could go anywhere – it has a lot of potential.

The art is much like what we have come to expect from an Original English language piece – it’s proficient and takes some cues from Japanese manga, but has it’s own great North American influence to help it be unique. The art is very “cartoonish” – it’s serious enough in content, but still has a very rounded, non-realistic look to it. All the imagery is quite large, with 3 to 5 panels being contained on each page. That way we can see everything fairly well and flow of the visuals is much easier to grasp. Dead Already would be a good starter book for anyone who’s never read manga before and wants to dip their toes into the shallow end – into something partially familiar. But it also has the potential to entertain any long time fan just as well. 

As for extras, there are some very enjoyable little character “fact sheets” provided throughout the book. Information like age, height, weight, blood type, astrological sign, favourite food, favourite book, favourite saying, likes, dislikes, turn-ons, turn-offs, favourite band, hobbies, criminal record, and education are all provided for each major character – and often in a very humorous way. Everyone likes a laugh now and then! There’s also a special preview for the new Series, “The Outcast” – so you’ll have a whole separate series to get a feel for at the end of the book.

IN SUMMARY: 
Dead Already is a series with a huge amount of potential to go in a myriad of different plot and genre directions. This is a manga with a balance of many well-placed concepts and characters – and wherever it ends up going, it’s going to be great!

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