FUBAR #2, Empire of the Rising Dead
Stories by Jeff McComsey, Benjamin Truman, Shawn Aldridge, Rafer Roberts, Kevin Johnson, Steve Becker, Stephen Lindsay, Jennie Wood, Dominic Vivona, Mark Bertolini, Lonny Chant, Phil McClorey, Matt Kendzior, Kyle Kaczmarczyk, Michael Isenberg, Oliver Mertz, Michael McDermott, Jorge Vega, Timothy Zaprala, Jeff McClelland, Richard Meyers, Helaine Crawford, Eric Spohn, Ronald Montgomery, Mike Imboden
Art by Jonathan Moore, Jeff McComsey, Joe Dunn, Rafer Roberts, Kurt Belcher, Michael Bracco, Daniel Thollin, Jim McMunn, Dominic Vivona, Carl Yonder, Lonny Chant, Jason Copland, Steve Willhite, Rob Croonenborghs, Steve Becker, Jeremy Massie, Aluisio Cervelle Santos, Aluisio Cervelle Santos, Mario Wytch, Richard Meyers, Helaine Crawford, Eric Spohn, James Giar, Shamus McGuigan, Leonardo Pietro, Danilo Beyruth
Letters by Jeff McComsey, Shawn Aldridge, Michael Bracco, Jeff McClelland, Jason Meadows, Chris Horan, Phil McClorey, Rob Croonenborghs, Julie Shelton, Jason Arthur
FUBAR Press and Alterna Comics
Release Date: January 11, 2012
Cover Price: $14.95
Oh FUBAR, you had me at “blarg.”
FUBAR #2, Empire of the Rising Dead is a 200+ page, World War II with zombies, short story extravaganza. Whereas the first issue took place in the European theater, this issue takes place solely in the Pacific theater. It’s all here: Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, island hopping warfare, geishas, evil Japanese scientific experiments, shark attacks on stranded sailors, and Tuskegee. But, you know, with zombies.
For such a large comic, FUBAR is an amazingly quick read. This issue is a collection of 27 short stories. With a total of 40 contributors, these tales are a mixed bag in terms of quality, but amazingly there’s not a stinker in the bunch. A few writers could be accused of mailing it in with simplistic and minimalist stories, but for the most part, these are fantastic comic shorts with some true gems in the mix.
The opening comic, “Steady As She Goes,” by Jeff McComsey, revisits Enola Gay dropping its infamous payload on Hiroshima. The story immediately sets the tone for the whole comic. By the end of this amazing introduction, I couldn’t wait to dive in for more and I was not disappointed at all. The comic shorts are completely self-contained presented in no particular order—the book opens with a scene from the end of World War II. As such, you can practically flip to any random page in the book and just start reading. Also, reading FUBAR #1 isn’t necessary, but why would you ever want to miss out on more zombie goodness? PFFFT!
Another standout comic includes “Second Wind,” by Rafer Roberts, which follows a kamikaze pilot who thinks he’s dead. Instead we dive into the mind of a man who’s slowly transforming into a hungry zombie. I especially enjoyed the tale of “Sorgie’s Choice,” by Jennie Wood, where a stranded sailor is faced with a terrifying decision: zombies or sharks? “Operation Z,” by Mike Imboden, closes out the collection with a cool, in-depth look at the zombie virus as Japanese scientists prepare to weaponize the monsters.
Like the writing, the overall art quality is good and features a vast range of styles. Some stories, such as “Si Cheng,” drawn by Rob Croonenborghs, are cartoony—appearing almost right out of the Sunday funny pages. Others like “Propaganda,” by Eric Spohn, have a hauntingly realistic art style. And then there’s any number of styles in between. Each comic is presented in grayscale, which perfectly complements the World War II theme. As a history buff, I’m grateful for all the newfound color footage of World War II, but the lasting images of the war will be forever etched in my mind in black and white. The variety and quality of art in FUBAR #2 is outstanding.
FUBAR #2 is a Kickstarter success story. Jeff McComsey quickly passed his stated goal to raise $3000 to help fund the publishing costs—and ended up doubling it. If you love zombies (and really, who doesn’t nowadays), then the two self-contained FUBAR volumes are brimming with brain-munching awesomeness that you simply can’t miss. 4.5 out of 5!