Friday, February 1, 2013


For Christmas, my brother and his wife got me Nowadays, a graphic novel about zombies that was made locally.  Flipping through the book is pretty neat because it even deals with local places (they're heading to Thunder Bay, people talk about Silver Islet, things like that).

I was a little leery of reading this so soon after my Walking Dead extravaganza, but luckily there was no need to worry.  Nowadays features zombies but they are very different from those in The Walking Dead.  For one thing it's blood the zombies crave.  For another, the more they have, the more human the zombies become (reminiscent of Gwen, but she needed brains).  Zombies who are full of blood are generally indistinguishable from humans (but they are faster and stronger than us).  This made for a nice contrast between those people who may be desperate at times to heal but who are good and those people who are jerks looking out only for themselves; it's the latter who wanted blood just to be stronger and more powerful.

Nowadays opens with Brendan.  He dies from an infection in his foot and wakes up craving blood.  After eating his dog (who subsequently becomes a zombie dog), he heads off to the graveyard, hoping against hope that his wife and child, who passed away years before, may have somehow returned from the grave.  Finding them 'alive,' he feeds them blood (with the help of his dog's hunting) and they slowly begin to heal.

Brendan's story is intersected with a group of survivors.  They were heading out to plant trees but were attacked by a zombie.  One of their number is bitten and turns while they're trying to rush her to the hospital. They are left trying to decide what to do with her; she died but she's clearly not dead.  Decision made, they then need to figure out how to survive in this new world.

I have to admit, I had a hard time getting into the story.  Most of the problem in the early pages was due to editing errors (there were a couple of words that I really had to puzzle out because they were misspelled), but it also took awhile for the story to focus.  I mean, it started out with Brendan, so I thought he was the main character.  But then it took off from Brendan and stayed away from him for quite awhile.  Once the story came back to him, he clearly wasn't the focus either.  So things were a bit confusing until closer to the end.  But if you do give Nowadays a try, definitely stay with it.  I did, and I really ended up enjoying it.  It took some twists and turns that were fun, had some great characters, and I'd definitely be interested in more.

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