Have you ever heard this silly shit: “Who would win in a fight, a Vampire or a Zombie?”
Well, if you're anything like me, your response was probably something like the following. “Your question is moot. Neither Vampire nor Zombie would have any reason to fight the other. Vampires are already dead, so the Zombie won't give a shit. Zombies are dead and have no blood—or at best, nasty blood—so the Vampires wouldn't bother.” Then you push your real or pantomimed nerd glasses up your nose so you can more easily look down said nose at the person who you just nerd-slammed. But there's one vital thing that I, and possibly some of you, overlooked.
Zombies and Vampires share the same prey.
A few years ago, writers/creators Bobby and Chris Cosby created Last Blood and effectively nerd-slammed us back. During the waning days of a Zombie apocalypse, a troop of Vampires descends on a small pocket of human survivors—their food source To protect them. From the Zombies.
The art is worth checking out, too. The illustrations by artist Owen Gieni are pretty cool at the beginning of the comic, but it's also really cool to watch Gieni's illustrations get better, cleaner, and more confident over the course of the first issue's 32 pages. Even if it's not the most technically impressive comic art I've ever seen, I really dig his style myself. In any case, it's definitely one of the best freely available web comics I have ever read. Eventually it got picked up by Blatant Comics, so if after reading the comic you want to support the creators you can buy a real life print copy. Alternatively, if you're one of them fancy eBook owners, there's a Nook Color version,
Some time last year, it was also announced that Last Blood was being adapted to a live action feature directed by Mutant Chronicles director Simon Hunter, with a screenplay by the original writer Bobby Crosby with Nick V. Sterling. This is a testament to the quality of the comic, because I think it's the first time a movie has ever come out of a webcomic. (Now's your chance to get into a thing before it's cool and everybody knows about it so you can have hipstery bragging rights later.)
Last Blood has gone on to four issues at around 112 pages total, and since the Last Blood archive sports some sketches and concepts for Last Blood 2 it looks like Blatant Comics has commissioned Crosby and Gieni for another round.
Crosby's dialogue is solid, I don't think I ever had a hard time “hearing” the characters speak their lines because the script was written so cleanly. There are also plenty of little gems that I really appreciate, like the vampire Matheson saying, “This has been my favorite shirt for a hundred years,” or finding out how Hitler really died. There are also plenty of great fight scenes with very satisfying zombie re-deaths.
As I said, I love the premise, it's one of those things that makes you wonder why someone hadn't thought of it before because it makes so much sense. Crosby does a good job of establishing the rules of his world, how the vampires and their society function, there's some alternate history that places vampire scientists behind all the major medical breakthroughs in human history, plus there's a big twist at the end of Issue 1 and I don't want to give it away up front, but it's awesome.
Basically, go check it out. You can start with the first page by clicking right here. If you're not into it by the end of issue one (page 32) then maybe it's not your thing. In any case it's worth a peek.
[Connor Cleary is a video game columnist and critic, a freelance web and graphic designer, and an aspiring fiction writer. He is a reviewer at GameShark and an occasional opinion and analysis columnist at Gamasutra. His freelance design business is Four Stair Multimedia and Design. You can follow Connor @The_Blue_Key, or at fb/TheBlueKey, or check out his writing archive on tumblr, The Blue Key.]