The Horror Honeys: A Comics Honey Review of 'Calavera: The Undead,' Issue #1

A Comics Honey Review of 'Calavera: The Undead,' Issue #1

A Comics Honey Review by Shannon

Title: Calavera: The Undead Issue #1
Author: Nevin Arnold
Artist: Nevin Arnold
Publisher: Hangman Comics
Released: 2014

Artwork 5/5
Layout 4/5
Writing 4/5
Characters 4/5
Re-Readability 4/5
Total: 4 1/2 out of 5

And our first review for 2015 is issue one of zombie punk comic Calavera, which oddly enough, I stumbled upon while shopping at the local comic shop. This comic is made by Nevin Arnold of Hangman Comics, a comic publisher located on Vancouver Island.

“My name is Calavera Padavona and this is the first day of the rest of my afterlife.”

Calavera, a fun loving 80's rocker chick, falls to her death in 1989 only to instantaneously awaken in the year 2012. Now essentially a super powered zombie, deteriorating day by day, and sharing her body with a mysterious entity, this most unlikely heroine may be our last hope as dark forces plot to destroy civilization as we know it!

Artwork

The first thing right out of the gate that caught my attention was the artwork. With great artwork, inks, and colour palette of Halloween orange, red and blues, Calavera's art evokes the past era of EC Comics but with an 80s trash aesthetic. Nevin Arnold has also illustrated some great character and background designs so you never felt confused as to which character you're reading or where they are located. Many of the panels are well constructed and make for good storytelling.

Layout

Calavera has a very good layout for the interior pages: clear, easy to read, while still maintaining dynamic action panels. Calavera has a steady reading pace based on how Arnold designs the panel shapes, backgrounds, and lettering.

With regards to lettering however, my only gripe is that his dialogue is a little cramped in the speech bubbles. Otherwise, it didn't detract too much from the reading flow. All the bubbles and sound effects work well where they are placed.

Writing

Calavera starts out like any good horror story: death in the first panel! From 1989, we travel with Calavera as she is resurrected 23 years into the future and in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. Talk about being way too late to the party!

Worst hangover ever.
From there, Calavera has to maneuver through this new world and figure out why she, one, is alive, As if she is complaining; two, trying to get her stuff back (those records weren't cheap!) and; three, oh yeah - what's with all the dead coming back to life and wandering through the city?

Characters

And speaking of the titular character: Ms. Calavera is one Honey-Approved lady! Sexy, badass, and not willing to take crap from anybody, even as one of the undead... 

In Issue #1, we follow around Calavera as she navigates through the city. Meanwhile, in a concurrent story, we meet two grave robbers who find themselves in the middle of the undead rising. Then, we are introduced to Baazedon, a demon who has fused with Calavera's body, resurrecting her and giving her new powers.

I don't know if this is a Horror Honey problem or a Horror Honey solution.
Re-Readability

Calavera Issue #1 is a great beginning to the comic series. The book is developed with enough information to draw you into the world and its characters, yet they leave you wanting more and anxious to read the next issue.

Conclusion

Calavera definitely shows its influences but still maintains own voice, with great art style, writing, layout, and a kickass female lead. Overall, it was a very entertaining comic, and I will be looking forward to more of Nevin Arnold’s work in later issues.


Purchase Calavera

Hangman Comics/Nevin Arnold