Few other series have worked- or maybe more accurately, stumbled and gnawed- their way into our hearts with the success that “The Walking Dead” has enjoyed. Originally a graphic novel series written by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Tony Moore, “The Walking Dead” has evolved into a full-blown phenomenon; it is now one of the most popular shows on TV, and the constant plot twists flood social media on a regular basis. So if you’re hooked on zombies and need something to tide you over in between seasons (or volumes, if you’re reading your way through the series), then here are some other wonderfully creepy and gory graphic novels of the undead to keep you occupied.
1. 30 Days of Night by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith
You may remember the film “30 Days of Night” from 2007; it was based off of this graphic novel miniseries. The series takes place in a town called Barrow in Alaska, which is situated so far north that each winter it experiences an entire month without sunlight. This, of course, makes it the ideal target for a coven of incredibly vicious vampires.
While not technically a zombie story, 30 Days of Night is about as far from the sparkly, sexy, brooding vamps of Hollywood as you can get. The vampires in these graphic novels are completely brutal, merciless, and endlessly hungry, and they are brought to life with Templesmith’s dark and sketchy art style. If you love the violent and often bleak survival-based drama of “The Walking Dead,” then this is a series you need to pick up.
2. I Am a Hero by Kengo Hanazawa
I Am a Hero is a relatively new Japanese manga about Hideo Suzuki, a manga artist assistant who sees himself as a sidekick in his own life… until a disease that turns his fellow humans into slavering, bloodthirsty maniacs gives him a reason to reevaluate a few things.
I Am a Hero is pretty heavily realistic, as far as zombie survival stories go. Hideo is in many ways an Everyman forced to survive in far-from-average conditions, which makes him an extremely relatable main character. The zombies themselves are absolutely terrifying: anyone who is bitten succumbs to the disease with varying levels of quickness, and they devolve into the fully-sprinting, rampaging variety seen in works like “28 Days Later” or “Dawn of the Dead”. I Am a Hero is genuinely a masterpiece of horror-based manga, and is a great quick read for in between new episodes of “The Walking Dead.”
3. Revival by Tim Seeley and Mike Norton
Revival is an ongoing zombie comic series published by Image Comics. Billed as “rural noir,” the series is set in Wisconsin following the day when the dead start coming back to life. Unlike other zombie stories, not everyone who dies instantly comes back; instead there are a select few (called “Revivers”) who find themselves resurrected from the grave, and they are very confused as to why they were chosen, and others were not.
While not a gory terror-fueled adrenaline rush like “The Walking Dead”, Revival has a genuinely creepy vibe, and boasts a masterful level of storytelling and character development. Readers are hooked from the very first chapter and become quickly invested in every character, even the supporting ones.
4. Marvel Zombies
Ever wished you could see what your favorite superheroes would be like as the homicidal undead? Well, your wish has come true! (Or at least it has if you love Marvel Comics). Marvel Zombies is a collection of miniseries and one-shots featuring Marvel’s most popular superheroes- like Spiderman, Captain America, the X-Men, and more- as they battle the onslaught of bloodthirsty zombies… and even become infected themselves.
Marvel Zombies combines the best aspects of zombie survival horror with all of the action and wit that you’ve come to know and love from Stan Lee’s enterprise. It’s not always easy to find zombie horror that manages to scare you and be fun at the same time, but Marvel Zombies pretty much hits the nail on the head.
5. iZombie by Chris Roberson and Mike Allred
Being a gravedigger isn’t the most glamorous of jobs… but when you’re a zombie that needs to eat a human brain once a month to keep your intelligence and personality intact, then it’s a pretty sweet gig. iZombie is a fun graphic novel series that feels more like a detective drama than horror, as the main character- Gwen Dylan- experiences memories from the brains she eats, and often uses that skill to help the police solve murders in her hometown.
Like “The Walking Dead,” iZombie was also adapted into a TV series in recent years. The series features more than just zombies- werewolves, ghosts, and other entities run rampant, making the series an immensely fun supernatural romp. If you’re addicted to the world of zombies but need something a little more lighthearted as a break from the heavy drama of “The Walking Dead,” then this is the series for you.
6. Chew by John Layman and Rob Guillory
Chew is not technically a zombie story, but it is incredibly unique and entertaining in its own right. It follows the life of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration agent Tony Chu, who possesses the unique psychic gift of being able to tell where and how everything he eats was prepared. Funnily enough, this also extends to people who have been murdered… you can imagine how he might gain access to those particular memories.
Chew is a genuinely funny graphic novel series that also incorporates action and drama in equal turns. Like iZombie, this is a great choice if you’re looking for something a little less heavy to switch things up while waiting for the next season or volume of “The Walking Dead.”
Whether you’re a die-hard horror fan looking for the next thing to scare the pants off of you and keep your lights on at night, or whether you’re just looking for a little extra supernatural entertainment, there’s something on this list for every fan. So sprint, stumble, or crawl your way to the nearest bookstore and sink your teeth into one of these series right away… and do your best to avoid running into any of the undead while you’re at it!