Eating Steve (SLG Publishing)

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eatingsteve-header.gifJill takes a bite out of her boyfriend and her world falls apart in this surprisingly sweet little book about zombies.

 

 

76 pgs. b&w; $5.95 softcover

(W / A: J. Marc Schmidt)

 

Jill's life is fairly ordinary and boring. Like so many of us, she wakes up and goes to a thankless job, then sits on the couch with her boyfriend Steve and watches hours of senseless television...that is until one night when she comes down with a nasty case of zombiism, suddenly leaping from the couch and biting into Steve's skull with every intention of eating his brains. Steve survives Jill's cannibalistic attack, and she snaps out of her zombie trance in time to rush him to the hospital. Steve, of course, wants nothing to do with Jill and harshly boots her from his life. She then loses her job and the luxury of her cell phone, which cuts her off from the ability to seek comfort from her two closest confidants, her Mom and her friend Amy, leaving Jill all alone in the world with no idea of her future.

The cover to Eating Steve.Eating Steve is many ideas in one. It's the story of a lonely girl starting over and meeting new friends. It's about the droning negative and demeaning images our media presents to us and how it affects our state of mind. It's about dealing with the loss of loved ones and learning to make it on your own, making the tough decisions that transition you from adolescence to adulthood. But mostly, it's about taking chances. All of these elements are set against the impending spread of a worldwide plague that is turning everyone into brain eating zombies, plus the side story of an organic farmer who has beetles eating up his orchard. The only thing that can save his livelihood is a pesticide made by a big mega corporation, but to use it goes against all the philosophies of his life as an organic farmer.

The artwork of J. Marc Schmidt (Egg Story) is unassumingly great. He draws in a simplistic, comic strip sort of style, yet his images convey much action and emotion, using over-the-shoulder and high angle shots to great effect. He never wastes a panel either, making sure each one has a purpose and function to the story.

Eating Steve is certainly the sweetest little zombie book I've ever read. Schmidt tells a very realistic coming of age story while using the idea of a zombie and a beetle plague to symbolize the ugly, deteriorating world happening around the characters. Schmidt does a great job of telling his story through the dialogue and actions of the characters, completely avoiding narration to bring the characters to a more personal level. Schmidt's purpose is to show that no matter how unexpected and drastic changes to your life can be, there is no reason to implode, that we must keep moving forward and not linger on our past mistakes, ending a book with a horror-filled beginning on a very positive note. | Ryan Parker

 

Click here for a 4-page preview, courtesy of SLG Publishing!
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