Zombo (character)

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Zombo is a fictional human-zombie hybrid featuring in the British science fiction comics anthology 2000 AD. The character was created by Henry Flint and Al Ewing and first appeared in 2009.

Zombo
ZomboCollectEdCoverArtByHenryFlint.jpg
The cover of Zombo: Can I Eat You, Please? (2010, Rebellion, ISBN 9781907519253). Art by Henry Flint.
Publication information
PublisherRebellion Developments
First appearance2000 AD #1632 (April 2009)
Created byHenry Flint (artist)
Al Ewing (writer)
In-story information
SpeciesHuman-zombie hybrid

Creation and conceptEdit

Zombo is a half-human, half-zombie biological weapon. He is created to withstand the terrain on hostile, sentient alien death planets. He is also created as a countermeasure to an unmanageable man-made weapon called the death shadow that had previously been deployed to gain control of the death planet Chronos.

The artist Henry Flint conceived of the character. He has cited the influence of zombie films from the 1970s on the character and Aguirre, the Wrath of God on the first, jungle-set story.[1] Al Ewing was chosen by 2000 AD’s editor Matt Smith to script the series and gives most of the creative credit to Flint, describing his own input as giving Zombo and the other characters a distinctive voice and providing the backstory of the fictional universe.[2]

Ewing describes the series as “completely batshit insane and very violent indeed”.[3] It is as an eccentric mix of comedy, science fiction and horror, incorporating farce and pop cultural satire.[4] One review remarks that “Zombo is as lowbrow as it gets, and also as highbrow — any given page might involve, say, faces being ripped off alongside a gag about French philosopher Guy Debord.”[5]

CharacterisationEdit

His decomposed appearance aside, Zombo’s most pronounced zombie trait is his hunger for human flesh. In other respects, he is characterised as quite human and is especially polite.[1] He is illustrated wearing a red codpiece like that worn by Larry Blackmon of Cameo in the music video for the single “Word Up!”.[1] The codpiece works like a shock collar to ensure obedience. When he suffers serious physical trauma his body temporarily shuts down in emergency damage mode. After the first story he commands the death shadow as a weapon. He has the cloned brain of a stripper called Eric Rabinowicz in his buttocks to act as an emergency auxiliary brain.

ReceptionEdit

The collected edition Zombo: You Smell of Crime and I’m the Deodorant! was included in both Time[5] and Wired’s[6] lists of the best comics and graphic novels of 2013.

BibliographyEdit

  • “Zombo” (in 2000 AD #1632-1639, 2009)
  • “Merry Christmas Mr Zombo” (in 2000 AD #2010, 2009)
  • “Zombo’s Eleven” (in 2000 AD #1675-1684, 2010)
  • “Obmoz Battles the Twinklie Winkler” (in Zombo: Can I Eat You, Please?, 2010)
  • “The Day Zombo Died” (in 2000 AD #1740-1749, 2011)
  • “Planet Zombo” (in 2000 AD #1825-1834, 2013)
  • “Planetronix: Mohawk of Menace!” (in 2000 AD Free Comic Book Day 2013 Special)
  • "Secrets of Zombo's Power!" (in Zombo: You Smell of Crime and I'm the Deodorant!, 2013)
  • "Z.O.M.B.O." (in 2000 AD 40th Anniversary Special, 2017)

Collected EditionsEdit

  • Zombo: Can I Eat You, Please? (collects “Zombo”, “Merry Christmas Mr Zombo”, “Zombo’s Eleven” & “Obmoz Battles the Twinklie Winkler", 100 pages, 2010, Rebellion, ISBN 9781907519253)
  • Zombo: You Smell of Crime and I’m the Deodorant! (collects “The Day Zombo Died”, “Planet Zombo”, “Planetronix: Mohawk of Menace!”, "Secrets of Zombo's Power!", 2013, Rebellion, ISBN 9781781080344)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Flint, Henry; Ewing, Al (2010). "After(life)word With Mr Weirdy (Al Ewing) and Mr Scribbly (Henry Flint)". Zombo: Can I Eat You, Please?. Oxford: Rebellion. ISBN 9781907519253.
  2. ^ sfx (7 July 2009). "Interview with comics writer Al Ewing". GamesRadar+. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  3. ^ Gordan, Joe (13 May 2009). "The Man From the Death Planet: Matt Badham Talks With Al Ewing". Forbidden Planet International. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  4. ^ Smith, Colin A. (11 December 2012). "2000 AD: A British Institution". New Statesman. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  5. ^ a b Wolk, Douglas (4 December 2013). "Top 10 Comics and Graphic Novels". Time. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  6. ^ Wired Staff (27 December 2013). "The Best Comics of 2013 — And How to Read Them Online". Wired. Retrieved 7 June 2016.