Writer: Ryan Parrott
Artist: Evgeniy Bornyakov and Juancho
Dead Day is Ryan Parrott’s third book with Aftershock and his first with artist Evgeniy Bornyakov. Together they tell the story of a family amidst Dead Day; an irregular holiday where some of the dead come back to life. They only come back after sundown and by the next morning will be back in their grave. Issue one started the evening before and each one after takes us further into the night.
As with every issue of this series, it opens with a death related poem from a famous poet. This issue opens with an excerpt from And Death Shall Have No Dominion by Dylan Thomas. These introductions can feel a bit gimmicky, but they’ve become one of my favorite parts of each issue. They usually foreshadow what the issue you’re holding has to offer and sets the tone. After that, we get into twenty-some pages of pure plot and character development. This series, and this issue, in particular, read fast as they throw backstory and progress at you simultaneously.
This issue starts getting into the actual plot of the series that the previous issue hinted at. We now have all of the characters and backstory in place that is needed for the story to happen. And, I’m pretty happy with the way it is going. The store, though unique, isn’t going to blow anyone away but you’ll be interested in where it might lead. Additionally, there is a splash of cheesiness that makes the series a lot more fun. I’m not sure how intentional that is but it might be my favorite part of the series. The final page of this issue, specifically, was just ridiculous enough to make me want to hate it but couldn’t.
Bornyakov and Juancho make a great artist-colorist duo in Dead Day. The bold and heavy art mixed with the understated colors adds a bit of realism to the unrealistic narrative. Juancho enjoys keeping the colors dulled then adding in a bit of brightness to keep things interesting. Similarly, Bornyakov is a master at making a cast of characters distinct and memorable. This combo keeps each panel and character interesting but not overdone.
I don’t think this issue will ever be the most exciting book on my pool list, but I can’t imagine taking it off. It is a fun and concise story with a handful of unique qualities that keep me interested. The new take on a walking dead situation is fun and creative. The poems at the start of each issue are something to look forward to. The cheesiness forces me to smile even when I don’t want to. If these are traits you like in a comic then I definitely recommend checking this series out.
Dead Day #4
Dead Day continues its fun and original story with plenty of character.