Eating Steve by J. Marc Schmidt

Categories:  Reviews

Eating Steve
By J. Marc Schmidt
Slave Labor

J. Marc SchmidtIf Shaun of the Dead taught us one thing (aside from introducing the world outside of the United Kingdom to the subtle comedic brilliance of Simon Pegg), it’s that the zombie flick has the potential to be far broader than we’ve previously imagined. Sure films like Evil Dead and Dead Alive have explored the comic ramifications of the undead, but their approach to the manner was about as unsubtle as film comedy gets.

Meanwhile, as Shaun explored the dry comedic potential of flesh eaters, a new crop of horror films like 28 Days Later, Land of the Dead, and the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead have also helped to reanimate interest in the style.

Suffice to say, nearly everyone has attempted to get into the zombie game—even Robert Rodriguez took a crack at the style with Planet Terror, his half of the double-feature Grindhouse, which stylistically landed somewhere between Shaun and George Romero. Comics, too, unsurprisingly, have also grasped firmly onto the rotting bandwagon, the most prominent example of which is the Marvel zombie universe replete with undead versions of all of the company’s top heroes and villains.

That Slave Labor’s latest book tackles the subject should, of course, come as little surprise. The company has long been associated with the occult, from Lenore, to Gloom Cookie, to pretty much everything that Jhonen Vasquez has committed to paper. What truly saves Eating Steve from being just another in a long line of zombie-centric works, however, is author J. Marc Schmidt’s ability to utilize the undead-related aspects of his book as just one of many subplots that comprise the greater storyline.

Schmidt, who penned 2004’s terrific Egg Story for Slave Labor, opens Eating Steve with a fairly familiar scene of brain consumption, only to make it clear soon after, that, despite the name and cover, his book isn’t the story of shotgun-wielding heroes doing battle with armies of the undead. Rather, we’re presented with a story about a young single girl in Australia struggling with her career and love life, who also happens to have the occasion craving for human brains.

If Eating Steve doesn’t capture all of the charm of Egg Story, it’s due to the book’s increased length and Schmidt’s increased focused on storytelling—also the fact that we’re dealing with flesh-eating zombies, rather than talking eggs. Still, it’s a light and surprisingly warm0hearted approach to its subject matter, which, while it doesn’t reimagine the genre on any level akin to Shaun, certainly offers a nice break from the armies of mindless offerings lining book and video store shelves everywhere.

–Brian Heater

No Comments to “Eating Steve by J. Marc Schmidt”

  1. jeremy | October 2nd, 2007 at 11:12 am

    mmmmmmmm, that sounds delish.

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