Readers’ Advisory 2: Zombillenium 1:Gretchen & 2:Human Resources. Arthur de Pins

Quick Facts

Author/Illustrator: Arthur De Pins

Published 2013, 2014 Nantier, Beall, Minoustchine Publishing Inc. $14.99

46pp, 9781561637348. 49pp, 9781561638505.

Graphic novel, horror, humor

Available inprint

Why I Read It

The cover art. The cover art. The size. The cover art. If you think I’m joking, ask my mother. When I brought these home from the library, she took one look and said, “You picked those because of the covers, didn’t you?” Yep. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but the covers looked amazing, so I had to know. Also, I found it in the adult graphic novel section.

TLL’s Tag 

Even the dead need jobs in this economy.

The Rundown 

Zombillenium, an amusement park that employs the undead, is on the brink of ruin. Fewer tickets are being sold and fewer people visit each year. The Board is scrambling to keep the lights on. CEO Francis Von Bloodt is away from the park looking for a runaway mummy. Once found, they are on their back to the park when the hit and runover a human, Aurelian Zahner. He’s dead on impact, and officially part of the workforce of Zombillenium. When Von Bloodt and the Director of HR, a werewolf, fight over the type of undead Zahner will be, they bite him multiple times, turning him into a creature that is both and neither, a demon. He becomes the new star of the park

When you can only recruit dead people, though, things get a bit difficult.

Here’s what I think

It could be the artwork. It could be the story. I’m not sure which is stronger in this series. The artwork is what hooked me originally, then I got into the story. I’m genuinely curious about how the series will play out. Does anybody find out that Gretchen is the daughter of the boss? Do they already know? What exactly is Aurelian? Like, what is the name of the variety of demon he has become? Where is his wife and why did she cheat on him? This early in the series, it is only natura to have many questions and no answers. What I do know, though, is that graphic novel fans should give this series a try.

Final decision

I had a lot of fun with these two, and sparked interest at my library by being the first to check them out.

5Q–Hard to imagine it being better written.

4P–Broad general or genre appeal.

Readalikes, courtesy of NoveList Plus

Authors

Joe Hill

Steve Ditko

Titles

Macanudo, Liniers

Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight, Alex de Campi

Appeal Factors

Engaging, bold, detailed, offbeat, fast-paced, charming

Book talk ideas

Gretchen

Aurelian Zahner

Zombillenium

Book discussion questions

1) Why does Zombillenium only employ dead people?

2) What do you think Von Bloodt has in store for Mrs. Matauzier?

3) Did you suspect that Gretchen was whom she is revealed to be or was it a surprise?

4) What’s your favorite part so far?

Clues to the Future

digital art, graphic novel, sequential art, Zombillenium, amusement parks, horror, humor, monster story, Arthur de Pins, daughter of the devil, Gretchen, Aurelian Zahner

Awards and Lists

Gretchen: 2014 Great Graphic Novels for Teens

Links to the Author, Interviews, and Reviews

Author site: http://www.arthurdepins.com/

Animation Insider interview: http://www.animationinsider.com/2015/03/arthur-de-pins/

NY Journal of Books Review: http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-review/zombillenium-gretchen

Comics Bulletin Review: http://comicsbulletin.com/review-zombillenium-perfect-halloween-sitcom/

Review quotes:

“The art is wonderful with an excellent use of color and expressions that are just exaggerated enough to kick it into the cartoony realm. ”

Sequential Tart

“DePins artwork…is quite good. It’s heavily digital, but full of unique verve, making it rather eye catching, particularly the covers.”

Coverless Reviews

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