Comic Reviews,

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (the graphic novel)

Monday, May 10, 2010 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

Since the release of George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead in the early 70s Zombies have been enjoying an increase in popularity. In 2005 the un-dead invaded the Marvel Universe and wreaked havoc as well as countless crossovers and sequels - but they didn’t stop there and in 2009 they invaded the classics.

I was aware that Zombies had made their way to Regent England in the early 1800s but didn’t have a clue as to how it could all come together given the traditional nature of the material. It does in some twisted post modern way it made perfect sense that Zombies would pop up in the classics, but I never thought it would be possible given possible ownership and copy right issues. Turns out many of the classics are now in the Public domain and fair game. Pride & Prejudice was the first to receive the mash-up treatment and is an inspired first choice.

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies was actually the secondary novel I was happy to receive for review – it being a comic and I, a veteran of graphic literature - I thought it would serve as a quick read before the main feature Vern’s “Yippee Ki-Yay Moviegoer”.

A couple of pages in I realised that Pride & Prejudice & Zombies would require some focus as well as it quickly fell into my favourite category of comic “read properly”.

Being a veteran of graphic literature since the Bronze Age means two things:
  1. I can call pictorial literature “comics” and give the beat down to anyone that still feels the need to call me out on the tired “actually they’re called graphic novels now” debate.
  2. I can quickly determine the pedigree of the reading material and whether a speed read is sufficient or a leisurely hey this is actually quite good, don’t rush, read it properly and enjoy it for as long as you can.
Pride & Prejudice & Zombies retains the charm and crux of the original story – the ongoing tribulations of the Bennet family whilst navigating the minefield of aristocratic society trying to get five sisters married off, thereby assuring their futures.

To further complicate their dilemma Seth Grahame-Smith introduces the flesh eating unmentionables and Ninjas! Yes! you read right NINJAS!! As part of a young ladies upbringing - heading to the East for Kill Bill like tutelage under a master Martial Artist is an accepted part of life. And that’s exactly what our young heroine Elizabeth Bennet did, once back in England she is fast becoming the baddest ass in England.

The similarities in the aristocratic way of life and the warriors honour code are brought together well in the comic. Following the strict honour code is tough but will Ms. Bennet be able to adhere to it and still capture the heart of renowned Zombie killer and man about town Mr Darcy? Or will the spreading plague over run the countryside and ruin her chances?

I enjoyed Pride & Prejudice & Zombies it refreshed my memory on the classic which I haven’t read since I was very young whilst (I’ve avoided the many TV & Film adaptations) and brought in some contemporary adventure into the mix. The only issue I did have with the comic was adapting to the illustrative style at beginning of the book. I couldn’t distinguish which female characters was which.

Apart from that it’s a cracking good read. It’s not in my top 10 of comics but certainly nowhere the bottom of the pile either. I’m looking forward to reading more of these mash-ups - which is good because Quirk Classics have a couple more of these gems up their sleeve such as; Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, Android Karenina and an original prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies called Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls.

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls takes us back to Regency England, the Land of the Undead and let’s us see the origin of the Zombie plague as well as a young Elizabeth Bennet grow from a stumbling teenager into the Zombie destroyer we see in Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. Below is the teaser trailer:

I'm not the only one who feels this way: "Pride & Prejudice & Zombies was the surprise publishing phenomenon of 2009" and has more than one million copies in print. It’s a best seller on three continents, has been translated into 17 languages and optioned to become a film starring Natalie Portman.

It should be noted I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies the graphic novel. There is a proper book available too with far less pictures and a lot more words as well as a Deluxe Heirloom Edition.

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies (the graphic novel)

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies is available in all fine comic stores in the UK as well as from as well as directly from Titan Books.

More information can be found over at at Quirk Classics