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Zombillenium Vol. 2: Human Resources

Zombillenium, Vol. 2: Human Resources
Written and Illustrated by Arthur de Pins
NBM Publishing, 2014
ISBN 978-1-56163-850-5

When you build a horror-themed amusement park in a region where there’s double digit unemployment and you only hire the monstrous living dead (and one witch) as your employees, there’s bound to be some friction with the local living population! Francis von Bloodt—vampire, family man, and owner of the theme park Zombillenium—has his hands full when the neighbors start threatening the monsters.

When cynical skeleton and avid biker Sirius Jefferson is beaten up by the locals on his early morning motorcycle ride before work, his bones are separated from his skull and he’s forced by the local thugs to help them infiltrate the inner workings of the Zombillenium amusement park.

Also, that same day, a bossy heavy-set wife, her timid husband, and their son, 14-year-old Tim, get lost driving to the monster park for their son’s birthday. After driving around for an hour, the husband stops and asks for directions to the park from Aurelian, one of its resident demons. Aurelian hops in the car from his run and helps get them in into the park. While his parents make a scene while entering the park, Tim quickly abandons his family for the haunted house. Soon though, his mother gets into a heap of trouble after callously pushing down young conjoined twin sisters and is quarantined to the security room. Francis von Bloodt recognizes the woman from his past and realizes that she abandoned a demon baby in a dumpster during the park’s construction phase 14 years ago. The teenage demon, Asteroth, works at the haunted house in the park, and dire things could happen if the violence-prone teenage demon meets up with his human twin brother!

Sounds like a dire horror story, right? You’ll be happy to know that like the previous volume of Zombillenium published last year, this book is a riot. No spoilers here, but Zombillenium is a devilish mix of horror and humor that readers will find to be an enjoyable romp that will make you want to skip your plans for Disney World and join the monsters in their terrifically terrifying theme park. If you enjoyed the movie Hotel Transylvania and wanted it for a slightly older teen audience, your wish has been granted.

The French creator Arthur de Pins has an impeccable style that works great on the printed page. The expressions on the characters are highly animated and cartoonish, almost as if this were an animated film. De Pins’s witty humor shines in the great cast of monsters in the book. Readers will love the wide variety of monsters; even if they have just a panel or two, de Pins deftly gives them all a voice and a sense of humor, from buffoonish minotaur security guards to the monsters in a staff stress management meeting. It’s a pure joy to devour the latest installment. As in the first volume, there’s a twist in the plot. And, in the end it’s really the humans that are the real monsters.

The book isn’t rated, but it’s recommended for teen readers and higher. Some small curse words are used in the book (including one “shit”), and there are some brief scenes of monster violence: A guard dog gets eaten off panel, and a human dies off panel as well, but it’s all relevant to the plot. There is some male nudity, but it’s very faint and tastefully done with both the infant baby demon as well as the slaves seen in the pit of Hell.

Arthur de Pins has done it again and created a vibrant dark world that is full of interesting characters, dark humor, and plenty of heart. My only complaint is that we’ll have to wait another year to find out what happens next to Frank, Gretchen the witch, Aurelian the demon, and the other colorful cast of characters from the wonderfully wicked place called Zombillenium.

Mike Pawuk About Mike Pawuk

Mike Pawuk has been a teen services public librarian for the Cuyahoga County Public Library for over 15 years. A lifelong fan of comic books and graphic novels, he was chair for the 2002 YALSA all-day preconference on graphic novels, served as a judge for the Will Eisner Awards in 2009, as well as helped to create the Great Graphic Novels for Teens selection committee for YALSA. He is the author of Graphic Novels: A Genre Guide to Comic Books, Manga, and More, published by Libraries Unlimited in 2006 and is working on a followup to his book.

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