Written By: Jerry Willoughby
Art By: Zane DeGaine
Mack, who’s nickname is “Lucky” lives in a cycle that many of us are living daily: you work at an unfulfilling job, year after year, wishing and hoping that things will get better for you; somehow things will change and you’ll finally be happy. And of course, Mack never really lived up to his nickname. Mack and his garbage truck partner Ricky were on their way back from finishing their route when they came upon a frantic crowd running away from zombies. Willoughby at this point, stayed true to form with some aspects of a zombie apocalypse: no one knows who, when or where the infection started, but we know it’s spreading faster than the uninfected can put them (the zombies) down. Caught in the mayhem and unable to move freely with an automobile, Ricky and Mack flee only to have their lives snatched from them when an escape was literally at arm’s length.
Mack then awakens to his new life as a zombie, only a tad bit smarter that your run-of-the-mill undead. Lucky had some especially defining moments confirming the “consciousness” of Mack, but two of my favorites were when Mack felt a “pull” leading him back to the apartment he lived in while he was alive and then him ringing and unsuspecting neighbor’s doorbell as a trap for him to come to the door so he can be eaten. Brilliant. Once Mack leaves his apartment, Lucky‘s story transcends into a different perspective; a journey that we never get to see– the trek of a horde of zombies, wandering aimlessly in search of food. Through out Lucky, I became confused seeing so many “scribbly” lines taking the place of words in the talk bubbles and I figured Willoughby just wanted to leave out as much talking as possible and let the art speak for itself, but then it hit me; the zombies couldn’t understand human communication and it was just gibberish to them, thus the scribbly lines. In another slightly humorous twist, as the readers witness the zombies talking amongst each other in broken English, the humans hear them moaning and groaning like we do in films. Lucky made me re-think what zombies might be saying to each other in past films, to get each other’s attention… perhaps they may be a tad bit smarter than we think.
DeGraine’s artwork depicting the emotions of terrified humans and the helplessness from the zombies even with their emotionless faces, made a tremendous impact on me. Some parts even melted my cold, black heart so much that I started to cheer for the zombies’ survival. Willoughby’s Lucky takes zombies and throws in some humor, compassion and a heaping spoon of irony in the mix for a great story surrounding the undead, that’s sure to leave you saying, “WOW” at the very last page.