In the tradition of ‘Boneyard!’ Francis von Bloodt, vampire, a good family man, manages the theme park Zombillenium. They don’t just hire anyone, at Zombillenium: mere mortals need not apply, the park works only with genuine werewolves, vampires and zombies. This is what Aaron gets to discover as, burnt out, deceived by his wife, he finally gets hired in spite of himself in this strange business. Gretchen, a plucky trainee witch, helps him get around…
Title: Zombillenium | Author: Arthur de Pins | Publisher: Europe Comics | Pub. Date: 15 May 2019 | Pages: 48 | ASIN: B018846DTQ | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: NetGalley
‘Zombillenium’ is a very silly, but quite entertaining French comic book about a theme park run by monsters. It’s not unlike the ‘Hotel Transylvania’ movies, but with a slightly more satirical adult theme. The art is functional rather than inspired, the story is slight, but the characters are fun and there are some decent gags along the way. I found myself liking it despite its many flaws.
The two main characters are Gretchen, a witch who works at the park, and Aaron, a young human who gets hired to work there after dying and being brought back as a vampire, or werewolf, or demon. I got lost really. The park is managed by an older vampire, and author Arthur de Pins, has some fun critiquing corporate structures and business practices. Mummies, werewolves and zombies work side by side, with the zombies very much at the bottom of the pecking order. They’re represented by a kind of trade union that aims to protect their rights. It’s not entirely clear if the visitors to the park know that it’s run by monsters or not, in fact a lot of what goes on obeys the kind of cartoon logic that is fine if you’re in the mood for it.
The setup lends itself well to humour. There are some decent jokes as the workers at the park tease newbie Aaron about their monstrousness. “Here’s the freezer where we keep the children’s bodies” jokes the Mummy, before leading him into the locker room. That kind of silliness abounds and it works well, glued together by the story of Aaron coming to terms with his transformation as he changes from human to something else. There’s also some back story about his estranged wife which adds to his humanity (even as he becomes less human) and makes him a likeable lead.
If you’re in the mood for something nonsensical but amusing, you might enjoy this. I won’t be rushing out to buy the later books in the series, but I did enjoy the time I spent in the company of Gretchen and co.
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