There’s a clear passion that can be seen in indie comics from people who love what they do and do it for that love. Few projects show as much of that passion as My Gal, the Zombie from Dan Conner, which crosses over with a number of other indie creations, including an album featuring indie bands from across the nation and soon a movie.
Conner has an impressive list of publications ranging from adaptations of King Lear and Dracula to a piece in the Pirates vs Ninjas anthology from Antarctic Press. His is a cup running over with talent, spilling out onto the Internet with webcomic projects like faith-based Heaven Forbid and My Gal, the Zombie.
Thanks to a successful Kickstarter project in December of 2013, My Gal, the Zombie has risen from the web into the material world as a print collection. It is the classic tale of a young lady trying to make her way in the world after – of course – being bitten by a radioactive zombie that has given her the undead virus. Fortunately for her, it leaves her mind intact (so long as she can control her cravings for raw meat). Unfortunately, it means she has a vivid green complexion that makes accessorizing a serious task!
The characters of MGtZ are rich and bounce off one another hilariously. Chelsea Checkers is living her unlife as best she can, facing college and relationships dead on. Her roommate and best “frenemy” is London, who constantly jabs her with comments about her skin color. Chelsea keeps a stiff upper lip through it all, often even too innocent to detect London’s mean nature and looking on the bright side. Her boyfriend Carter does not mind the green tone, or so he says, as they try to make their relationship work despite him constantly seeming on edge.
Conner’s art is reminiscent of Archie Comics, friendly to the eye without being overly cartoony. It is a clever juxtaposition with the everyday horror that is Chelsea’s life: at once childlike and very real, such as when Chelsea faces down a café waitress who refuses to serve her since “she’s clearly ill with that zombie disease.” Nothing a little light-beige makeup cannot fix!
One of the best descriptions of MGtZ might be “surreal.” Chelsea’s compatriots on her wacky adventures include a mutated Venus flytrap, a werewolf who admires her humanity as a monster, and the legendary bizarro-Santa from Germany, Belsnickel. Conner packs his collection from Lamp Post with pin-ups, bonus sketches, how-tos, and, in the background of certain panels, mazes. While many surreal indie comics turn to easy crass jokes, Conner keeps it classy with material perfectly acceptable for an audience of any age. My Gal the Zombie is a fun read for all.