Zombo: You Smell of Crime and I’m the Deoderant! TPB – Al Ewing

2 out of 5

There’s overkill, and then there’s goddamn Zombo.

The second Zombo collection brings together two stories with ridiculous premises – the ‘reverse’ Zombo, Obmoz, is out to destroy everything in ‘The Day the Zombo Died;’ and a possessed planet is rocketing toward Earth, also set on destroying everything, in ‘Planet Zombo.’

Al Ewing writes a zinger per panel – if you think the title is funny, there are non-stop similar lines throughout – and Henry Flint turns up the chaos to the max for an increasingly surreal splatter of zombie guts and regular guts, and then massive explosions and endless warring armies to boot.  At first I love this stuff, and I’m laughing at the audacious stupidity of Ewing’s characters.  …But man, by a few pages in, realizing it never turns off, I’ve had enough.  When almost every character talks in one-sided nonsense, and every action is just a gateway to an even more ridiculous followup action, no matter how inspired the story – and there are plots, kicking around somewhere between all the crack-ups – it becomes meaningless to follow.  I felt myself straining to get to the next prog, because there are no stakes, and no real requirement for linearity: nothing is sacred; Zombo can be blown up and put back together, and new bad guys can crawl from the woodwork to possess planets.  Obmoz would totally be a valid foe – both Zombo and his opposite are one-track dullards, just the former doesn’t have to ask first if he can eat you – and our various villains in Planet Zombo offer up reams of wonderfully silly bad guy nonsense proclamations, it’s just lost in so, so much noise, both writing and art.  Like, there’s a Beatles parody, and a Fantastic Four parody, and there’s more, and they all offer good jokes… shouted at you in unison.

Also included in the trade is a FCBD spoof on commercialism, with a trademarked rap group fighting against punk music with a government sponsored Zombo to assist; there’s also a bonus story that starts as a summary of Zombo’s powers and then devolves into a hilarious depressing story about eggs.  These two one-shots are the perfect showcase for this all-in style; the humor works great in small doses.

In extended doses, though?  Woof.