Land of the Rising Dead (Seven Seas)


CREDIT: Seven Seas

Rating: 5/5 – Everything You Never Thought You Needed To Know About Zombies
by ComicSpectrum Reviewer Al Sparrow

Don’t let the frivolous (and lengthy) title fool you (subtitled: A Tokyo School Girl’s Guide to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse) this book takes its subject matter very seriously. Part manga, part prose novel, this tome walks you through nearly every aspect of surviving a zombie apocalypse, and does so with an almost scholarly bent that prevents this book from becoming yet another entry into the zombie-manga horror craze of late.

Join Chris, Sarah, Lina, and the recently zombified Mero as they walk you through the various aspects of all things undead. After a brief history of the zombie in popular culture, from White Zombie to George Romero to Resident Evil and beyond, the book looks at the seven main archetypical zombies you might encounter, followed by chapters on proper weapon selection, survival techniques, and a couple simulations to test your true mettle against the horde.

The charm of this book is that it reads like a textbook, or maybe a better word might be survival manual. Brief manga vignettes are thrown in to allow the four female protagonists to illustrate a point here or there. I would like to have seen a bit more manga and a bit less exposition, but the two elements work well together, helping this book walk the fine line between scholarly work (the writing team really did their homework) and goofy fun send-up of the genre. While the book is rated all ages, a few of the manga snippets involved some pretty obvious fanservice and the subject itself is by its very nature a bit graphic and gory. Nothing most seasoned manga readers haven’t already experienced, but parents take warning.

Land of the Rising Dead is a great mix of manga and manuscript, creating a valuable field guide for anyone planning to deal with a zombie apocalypse anytime soon. While it aims to take a serious look at the zombie phenomenon, there’s enough humor, particularly in the manga sections, to keep it light and entertaining.

Reviewed by: Al Sparrow
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